CAMS: MIT, Olins Silly Photo (copy)

CAMS' class of 2018 had the largest MIT acceptance rate in LBUSD history. 

From Top Row Left to Right: Kevin Ho (MIT), Diana Garibay (MIT), Mario Leva (MIT), Kaleb Blake (MIT), Ikenna Maduno (MIT), Wesley Soo-Hoo (Olin), Jerry Goss (Olin), Vinh Le (MIT), Shavonna Jackson (MIT), Odalys Benitez (Olin).

The California Academy of Mathematics and Science (CAMS) — a mathematics and science LBUSD magnet school in Carson on the California State University, Dominguez Hills campus — has received national recognition in Newsweek's 2020 list of the top 500 schools that emphasize science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning.

CAMS placed 479 on the publication's list, scoring an 89.58 out of a possible 100 points. The number one spot was given to the School of Science and Engineering in Dallas, Texas.

The score system was based on STEM.org's Algorithmic STEM Accreditation system (ASTEMA), which made its public debut in the Newsweek STEM list. The grading scale is based on a rubric with eight standard points of measurement. 

Those measurements are based on STEM subjects, including what STEM courses are offered. At least two subjects are required, but the organization suggests that schools should offer all four STEM disciplines. That accounts for 40 percent of the score. 

Other measurements include 21st century skill proficiency, STEM studies content quality, diversity learning, socialization (after school activities and events), technology, hands-on problem solving and STEM career (which measures how well the school presents learning opportunities that feature real-world challenges and work opportunities).

The data for the report has been researched and collected since 2015 and submitted through surveys, including from the National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core Data and STEM.org.

And the recognition is just one of the many accolades the LBUSD high school has received. 

Last year, seven CAMS graduates were admitted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and three to Olin College of Engineering, a feat that was a notable accomplishment for both the high school and the school district. 

"CAMS normally has one or two such acceptances (to MIT) each year, so seven is pretty extraordinary," Chris Eftychiou, director of public information for the Long Beach Unified School District, told the Grunion last year.

An even larger version of the top STEM schools list include 4,500 more schools. Long Beach Poly and McBride high schools placed at 3,507 and 3,679 respectively.

Earlier this year, both McBride and CAMS high schools received key certifications that would expand their Pathway programming.

McBride received the Linked Learning Gold pathway certifications for its engineering and criminal justice and investigations pathway. CAMS received the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Distinguished School for its computer science, biomedical science and and engineering pathways. 

PLTW is a nonprofit that helps recognize STEM accomplishments in school districts across the nation, as well as help fund grants and scholarships for STEM programs.

For a full list featuring Newsweek's top STEM schools, go to newsweek.com/americas-best-stem-high-schools-2020.

Stephanie Stutzman can be reached at sstutzman@gazettes.com.

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