The Bronx High School of Science
(commonly called Bronx Science
, Bronx Sci
, or just Science
, and officially known as H.S. 445
) is a specialized New York City public high school
. Founded in 1938
, it is currently located in the Bedford Park
section of the Bronx
. Admission is by an exam open to all grade-eligible students in New York City, reportedly taken by more than 20,000 students annually. Although known for its focus on mathematics
, Bronx Science also concentrates intensively on the humanities
and social sciences
. As a result, it has continually attracted gifted students with a wide variety of interests.
Bronx Science has developed a worldwide reputation as one of the best high schools in the United States, public or private, ranking twentieth in U.S. News and World Report's 2007 list of America's best "Gold-Medal" high schools. It attracts an intellectually gifted blend of culturally, ethnically, and economically diverse students from New York City. Its students are required to study five major subjects each semester, as compared to four major subjects required in nearly all of the other public high schools.
Almost all Bronx Science graduates go on to four-year colleges; many attend Ivy League and other highly selective schools. Bronx Science has counted 131 finalists in the prestigious Intel (formerly Westinghouse) Science Talent Search, the largest number of any high school. Seven Nobel Prize-winning scientists — more than any other secondary education institution in the world — and seven Pulitzer Prize-winning authors are among the many notable Bronx Science graduates.
Bronx Science is a member of the National Consortium for Specialized Secondary Schools of Mathematics, Science and Technology (NCSSSMST). Together with Stuyvesant High School and Brooklyn Technical High School, it is one of three original "specialized" science high schools operated by the New York City Department of Education.
The Bronx High School of Science was founded in 1938 as a specialized science and math high school for boys, by resolution of the Board of Education of the City of New York, with Morris Meister as the first principal and guiding light of the school. They were given use of an antiquated Gothic-gargoyled edifice located at Creston Avenue and 184th Street. The building, built in 1918 for Evander Childs High School, had been successively occupied by Walton High School (1930) and by an annex of DeWitt Clinton High School (1935). The initial faculty were comprised in part by a contingent from Stuyvesant High School. Principal Meister put his imprint on the school from its formation, for example selecting as school colors "green to represent chlorophyll and gold the sun, both of which are essential to the chain of life.
Expansion to co-education
Bronx Science started with about 150 ninth year students and 250 tenth year students, the remaining facilities of the building being used by DeWitt Clinton. As Science became larger, the Clinton contingent was gradually returned to its own main building. During their joint occupation, which lasted for 2 years, until 1940
, the two schools had separate teaching staff and classes, but the same supervision and administration.
In 1946, as a result of the efforts of Principal Meister, the faculty, and the Parents Association, the school became co-ed, preceding its rival schools Stuyvesant (1969) by 23 years, and Brooklyn Tech (1972) by 26 years. This opened the doors to gifted and talented girls of New York, giving them equal opportunity to pursue a quality education in a specialized high school, previously denied to them.
In February 1958, Morris Meister, after 20 years as the principal of the school, resigned to become the first president of the newly organized Bronx Community College. Alexander Taffel succeeded Meister as principal.
The move to modern facilities
From the very beginning, a campaign for a new building was conducted by the Parents Association and Principal Morris Meister. Working with the Board of Education and the City of New York took twenty years to see the dream become a reality, but under Principal Taffel's guidance, plans were finally completed for a new building specifically designed by the large architectural firm of Emery Roth and Sons
and equipped for the Bronx High School of Science. The new building would be on 205th Street near Bedford Park Boulevard, in a predominantly institutional area, commonly referred to as the "Educational Mile" between DeWitt Clinton High School and its large football field on one side, and Harris Field and Hunter College
(now Lehman College
) on the other. On March 3
, students and faculty occupied the new building for the first time, solving the problem of how to move the books from the old library to the new in typical Bronx Science manner: on Friday afternoon each student took home five library books from the old building, and on Monday returned them to the new one.
They entered a school equipped with the most modern facilities and state-of-the-art laboratories, classrooms, and technical studio areas, all designed to the specific needs of the specialized Bronx Science curriculum. Gracing the main lobby entrance was a large, 63-foot, Venetian glass mosaic mural depicting major figures from the history of science such as Marie Curie and Charles Darwin under the protective hands of a God-like figure representing knowledge, with this quote from John Dewey: "Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of imagination." The mural is an original work of art by Frank J. Reilly entitled Humanities Protecting Biology, Physics, Chemistry, reflecting the breadth of the school's mission: to excel not only in the sciences and mathematics for which it was founded, but also in the humanities. Legions of students over the years, bemoaning the lack of swimming facilities, have sarcastically referred to the mural as "the Science swimming pool", perpetuating the idea - perhaps apochryphal - that a choice was made to fund a mural rather than a pool in the new building; but the mural continues to epitomize the special nature of the Bronx High School of Science.
The move was not without incident. In the first spring of the move, rumors swept the school that various Bronx youth street gangs were coming to the school, and that the Fordham Baldies would shave the hair of Science students. This never happened. Another incident did happen that spring: The first time Science girls appeared on the outdoor physical education field in skimpy shorts/t-shirts (which probably showed less than in the average high school in 2006), some students from the neighboring, all-male DeWitt Clinton High School charged the separation fence between their field and the Science field. The fence held, but the female students exercised indoors for the remainder of that year.
When Bronx Science celebrated its silver anniversary in June 1963, President John F. Kennedy hailed it as "a significant and pathfinding example of a special program devoted to the development of the student gifted in science and mathematics." The President had occasion to know the quality of the school's product since he had recently selected one of its graduates, Harold Brown, of the class of 1943, for the position of Director of Defense Research and Engineering; he would later serve as Secretary of Defense under President Jimmy Carter.
Holocaust Museum and Studies Center
In 1978, Stuart S. Elenko, a popular Social Studies faculty member, single-handedly founded a Holocaust Museum and Studies Center at Bronx Science. It has been funded by grants, donations, and the New York City Council. The Museum was one of the first of its kind in the United States, and houses an impressive collection of rare documents, photographs, artifacts and other material from the Nazi era; the Studies Center sponsors speakers and puts together and distributes educational materials about the Holocaust. The Museum has had over 60,000 visitors, and has received wide acclaim from leaders in the field. In 2003, the Museum celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a gala. In 2004 an anonymous benefactor - an alumnus of the school - made a very large donation which is allowing the Museum to modernize and be totally revamped; eventually it will move out of the library where it now resides, and turned into a full-sized museum. In 2006, the Museum finally moved out of its original home into a larger space. Its facilities have been upgraded to include a plasma television screen and a computer to display presentations about different topics related to the Holocaust. Renovations are still being made to improve the aesthetics of the new location.
Tours of the museum are given by students in the Holocaust Leadership Class to any guest that requests one, as well as to sophomore World History students. The Museum and the tours have received tremendous reviews and only add to the excellent educational experience.
When Alexander Taffel retired as principal in 1978
, the chairman of the Biological Science Department, Milton Kopelman, became Principal. He remained so for over ten years. Upon Principal Kopelman's retirement in 1990
, long-time faculty member and Biology Assistant Principal Vincent Galasso became Principal. He was followed by Physical Science Department Assistant Principal Stanley Blumenstein, a 1963
graduate of Bronx Science.
In 2000 William Stark, a popular Assistant Principal of the Social Studies Department, was appointed Acting Principal. He was expected to move up to the Principal's office, when Chancellor Harold O. Levy decided to try to find a Nobel laureate to become Principal; that effort failed, but Stark was still not offered the job as principal. Stark gave an ultimatum which said that if he wasn't officially offered the job by a certain date, he would take another position being offered to him elsewhere. When the deadline came and went, Stark accepted a job as Principal of Manhasset High School. Many faculty and parents were upset that Stark was not appointed in a timely way and thus had left the school; Vincent Galasso agreed to an interim appointment for one term in 2001. Then, despite Levy's desire to appoint a Nobel laureate, Valerie J. Reidy, Assistant Principal of the Biology Department, was appointed Principal in September 2001; she was the first woman Principal in the school's history. She has been a controversial figure, and several teachers left the school in response to her becoming principal. Some teachers have openly criticized her to newspapers, and the general opinion of the students is one of dislike. Most recently, this resulted in student protests in 2005 and 2008 objecting to the administration's policy on cutting classes, and worrying that the administration's policies are driving away teachers deemed insubordinate.
The Bronx High School of Science has a student body of about 2,800 students. Admission is based exclusively on an entrance examination, known as the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test
(SHSAT), open to all eighth and ninth grade New York City students interested in attending one of the specialized schools. Each year, thousands of students from the five boroughs of New York City take this comprehensive examination covering math (word problems and computation) and verbal (reading comprehension, logical reasoning, unscrambling paragraphs). Out of the 26,000 students taking the entrance examination only about 700 are admitted to Science, based on a system of ranked scores.
The student body is diversified, comprising almost every ethnic group in New York City. In 2008, 59.92% of the school was of Asian descent. The students are evenly split between males and females.
Facilities and resources
- Computerized & renovated science laboratories, including the Syracuse University @ Bronx Science Crime Lab and DNA Research Lab
- Television studio
- Computer laboratories
- Weather Station
- Rooftop planetarium
- High speed internet access in every room
- Televisions equipped with DVD/VHS players in every room
- Advanced library
- The Bronx Science Library supports the student body by providing extensive resources ranging from traditional print and microform to electronic subscription e-journals and databases rivaling many higher institutions. Located on the first floor just off the main lobby, the library is composed of three smaller rooms encompassing approximately 65,000 square feet (6,000 m²) with a seating capacity of 100. Holdings include over 30,000 volumes, 135 different magazines, microforms (including the New York Times on microfilm dating back to 1851) and readers, and computers in the computer room. Every available space is productively used, and presents a comfortable and attractive environment for students who use the library for study, relaxation, and computer activities.
- Especially notable among its electronic resources is ScienceDirect, a free science journal service provided by Elsevier to a select few science high schools. It is used by students in their own original research endeavors as a gateway to firsthand experience with published scientific research. The library currently also contains the Holocaust Museum and Studies Center.
- Completed in February 2006, the installation of solar panels provides advanced instructional facilities. The 33.6 kW (DC) photovoltaic (PV) arrays consist of 168 Sharp Solar 200 watt DC PV modules laminated to PowerLight's flat-roof PowerGuard mounting system and utilizes a Xantrex PV-30208 30 kW AC 3 phase inverter. Integration with the school's computer network provides a hands-on approach with an economical and ecological power source by allowing students to monitor the solar panels' production of electricity in real time, while reaping savings on energy cost. A screen just off the main lobby displays production data at every moment.
Bronx Science students take a rigorous, well-rounded, college preparatory curriculum that includes four years of lab science, math, English, social studies, three years of foreign language and a year of fine arts, with required courses and a wide selection of electives, including AP classes. Over 600 classes are offered. Students have an opportunity to do independent research, and many compete in the annual Intel Science Talent Search (formerly known as "Westinghouse"). After the completion of four years at Bronx Science, and the fulfillment of the Bronx Science academic track, students graduate with a Bronx Science degree - more advanced and more prestigious than a typical New York State Regents Degree.
The core science courses chosen are typically earth sciences, biology, chemistry, and physics; many students choose to take the Advanced Placement versions of these courses, which allow students to place out of introductory college science courses that match Science rigour. In the life sciences, the students have the additional option of taking a special "double honors" biology course, which features extra laboratory exposure. Science electives include microbiology, physiology, forensic science, human genetics, evolution, astronomy, organic chemistry, electronics and others.
In mathematics, beyond the standard AP courses in AB/BC calculus and statistics, courses in multivariable calculus and computer science (including AP Computer Science) are among the choices. A course in linear algebra and differential equations was offered for the first time in fall 2007.
Students take four years of English, which also allows for electives, including courses in journalism, Shakespeare, creative writing and AP English.
Social studies and history classes are required, and include US and world history, economics, with electives in psychology, law, finance, and global studies, among others.
Three years of languages are required. Bronx Science offers French, Spanish, Latin, Italian, Russian, Modern Greek, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. At one time Hebrew and German were also offered.
Students are required to take Technical Drawing (formerly known as Mechanical Drawing) and a Science Techniques Laboratory course; technology courses include engineering and architectural drawing, telescope making, computerized graphics, robotics technology, and medical illustration. Art and Music Appreciation are also required courses, with a range of studio art electives and music performance electives available.
Health and Physical Education courses are also required, with activities including step aerobics, weight training, basketball, skating, and yoga.
- ENGLISH- Dramatic Tragedy & Comedy, Women in Literature, A Study in Evil, Shakespeare: Behind the Scenes, Poetry & Inner Visions, Basic and Advanced Acting, Play Production, Journalism Workshop, Yearbook Workshop, Introduction to College Health
- SOCIAL STUDIES- Mock Trials, Introduction to Psychology, Introduction to Constitutional Law, The Principles of Economics and Finance, Film Studio, Holocaust Leadership Class, Social Science Research Projects
- MATHEMATICS- Calculus, Multivariable Calculus, Pre-Calculus, Senior Math Team, Junior Math Team, Math Projects, Visual Basic, Advanced Computer Programming, Linear Algebra and Differential Equations
- BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES- Biology Research, Animal Behavior & Human Psychology, Human Genetics & Evolution, Plant Physiology and Horticulture, Nutritional Science, Microbiology, Forensic Biology, Biomedical Ethics
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES - Physical Science Research, Organic Chemistry, Earth System Science (Atmospheric Sciences, Oceanography, Geology), Modern Frontiers in Chemistry, Astronomy and Astrophysics, Electronics, Physics of Engineering
- FOREIGN LANGUAGE- Honors Literature Courses in French, Modern Greek and Spanish. Honors Conversation courses in French, Italian & Spanish. College level Russian. Intermediate Korean Language and Culture.
- TECHNOLOGY- Photography, Internetworking, Architectural Drafting, Computer Technology, Principles of Engineering, Computer Graphics, Cisco Networking, Advanced Internetworking, Theater Technology, Robotics Technology, Television Production Technology
- FINE ARTS and MUSIC- Studio in Drawing and Design, Studio in Painting, Studio in Sculpture, Orchestra, Chorus, Band
- HEALTH & PHYSICAL EDUCATION- Basketball, Baseball, Volleyball, Aerobatics, Whiffle Ball, Pickle Ball, Gymnastics, Yoga, Weight Training, Fitness, Flag Football, Soccer, Ultimate Frisbee, In-Line Skating, Hockey
Advanced Placement courses
- ENGLISH- English Literature, English Language and Composition
- SOCIAL STUDIES- American History, European History, World History, U.S. Government and Politics (1 Year), U.S. Government and Politics (2 Years), Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics & Macroeconomics
- MATHEMATICS- Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Statistics, Computer Science (JAVA)
- SCIENCE- Biology, Environmental Science, Psychology, Chemistry, Physics without Calculus, Physics with Calculus
- LANGUAGE- Spanish Language, Spanish Literature, French Language, French Literature, Italian Language & Culture, Latin (Virgil), Latin Poetry (Catullus/Ovid), Japanese Language
- ARTS- Studio Art, Art History, Music Theory
Along with a rigorous academic foundation and an array of extracurricular choices, students are provided with original research opportunities in the biological, physical, and social sciences, and programs that hone students' investigative skills and prepare them for academic competitions. Interested students may apply for research programs in their freshman year and begin a three-year sequence of voluntary work on their projects in their sophomore year. During this time, students collaborate with scientists at local laboratories to develop and complete an independent research project, usually concentrated during two summers. The program culminates in the writing of a scientific paper in the senior year, which is submitted to various competitions, such as the Intel Science Talent Search ("Westinghouse") competition. Since the inception of this prestigious national competition in 1942, Bronx Science has accumulated the highest number of finalists: 125.
- The Observatory is Bronx Science's prizewinning yearbook.
- Science Survey is Bronx Science's entirely student-run newspaper. Students manage everything: reporting, layout, design, editing, and final production. The paper runs purely on funds from its advertisers, with no fiscal school support. The paper is distributed 5 times per year, gratis. Survey has been the name of the Bronx Science student newspaper since the founding of the school in 1938.
- Math Bulletin is the annual publication of the Bronx Science Mathematics Department. Student term papers, original student mathematics research, and interesting topics in mathematics are featured.
- Reactions is a school publication written by Physical Science students.
- Dynamo is the literary magazine of the Bronx Science English Department. The entire student body is encouraged to submit original poems and other works which are considered for publication.
- Bronx Science publishes an annual Biology Journal. It is a joint venture between students and the faculty of the Biology Department to document advances in the field, both within Bronx Science and in the outside world. Each themed issue contains interviews, commentaries, artwork, featured student research papers, and abstracts from every student Biology research project that year (see Research).
- Exposition is an annual production of the Bronx Science Social Studies Department.
Traditions and Events
- Earth Day Festival- hosted annually by the LEAP club on Earth Day. Features musical performances, guest speakers at an assembly, and educational programs in courtyard.
- Day of Silence- an annual event hosted by the GSA to educate students about the difficulties faced by the gay, lesbian, and transgender community.
- Winter & Spring Concerts- features performances from Science's bands and chorus.
- Freshman Appreciation Day-a day once known by its abuse of incoming freshman, this day is an event celebrated by upperclassmen with general benevolence toward freshmen.
- Poem In Your Pocket Day
- Holocaust Remembrance Assembly, held annually on Yom Hashoah
- Black Organization of Student Strength/West Indian Society cultural assembly-produced by BOSS/WIS
- Lunar New Year - produced by the Lunar New Year Productions club
- SING musical production
- Spring musical
- UNIDAD - produced by UNIDAD
- International Food Fair/Multicultural Day
- Music Festival
- Senior Prom - The Prom is held at the Starlight Ballroom at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in Manhattan.
- Baseball: Boys, J.V. & Varsity
- Basketball: Boys & Girls, J.V. & Varsity
- Bowling: Co-ed, Varsity
- Crew: Co-ed, Varsity
- Cross Country: Boys & Girls, Varsity
- Fencing: Coed, Varsity
- Golf: Boys & Girls, Varsity
- Gymnastics: Boys & Girls, Varsity
- Handball: Boys & Girls, Varsity
- Indoor and Outdoor Track: Boys & Girls, Varsity
- Soccer: Boys & Girls, Varsity
- Softball: Girls, J.V. & Varsity
- Swimming: Boys & Girls, Varsity
- Tennis: Boys & Girls, Varsity
- Volleyball: Boys & Girls, J.V. & Varsity
- Ultimate Frisbee: Coed, Club team
- Wrestling: Developmental
Founded in 1969 by renowned debate coach Richard B. Sodikow, the Bronx High School of Science Speech and Debate Team has been prominent and successful. With the creation of the annual Lincoln-Douglas Debate in 1979, came the creation of the Bronx Science LD squad which has had national success. David Yalof won the national championship in 1984, and two years later, Hee-Sun Hong received the first-ever Tournament of Champions title in Lincoln-Douglas Debate. In 1988, Jonathan Koppell and Peter Colavito closed out the final round of the Tournament of Champions.
Bronx Science debaters have amassed many major titles: Emory University's Barkley Forum for High Schools, the Harvard National Invitational, the Lexington Winter Classic, Hendrick Hudson, T.A. Edison, University of Southern California, Villiger, the Northeast Regional Championships, the Newark Debates, the Westchester Classic, the Robert J. Kaiser Invitational, the Scarsdale Jeffrey Williams Lincoln-Douglas Debate Championship, Woodward Academy Novice Nationals, Woodward Academy Second Year Nationals, the MBA Round Robin, the Bronx Round Robin, the Glenbrooks Round Robin.
- Robotics Team The Bronx Science Robotics Team (FIRST Team 1155) competes annually in the FIRST Robotics Competition. The team is an extensive collaboration between students and faculty to design, fund, and construct a winning robot.
- *Winners, 2007 New York City Regional Chairman's Award
- *Winners, 2007 New Jersey Regional Finalists
- *Winners, 2006 New York City Engineering Inspiration Award
- *Winners, 2005 New York City Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, and Byers Entrepreneurship Award
- *Winners, 2004 New York City Delphi Driving Tomorrow Award
- A Capella
- American Cancer Society, Bronx Science Chapter
- Amnesty International
- Animal Room Squad
- ARISTA Honor Society
- Art & Cartoonists Society
- Astronomy Club
- Badminton Club
- Baseball Club
- BOSS/WIS (Black Organization for Student Strength/West Indian Society)
- Cartoonists Society
- Cheerleading Club
- Chess Club
- Children's Charity Club
- Chinese Students Union
- Circle of Racial Understanding
- College Circle
- Computer Technology Society
- Cooking Club
- Current Events Club
- Dance Squad
- DDR Club
- Defenders of Wildlife
- Digital Media Club
- Drama Club
- Eastern European Club
- Eastern Religion Club
- Echobelly (Poetry Workshop)
- Equestrian Club
- Exposition History magazine
- Fencing Club
- Filipino Club
- Film Production
- Reader's Society
- Red Cross Club
- Rival Magazine
- Role Players
- Robotics Team
- Russian Cultural Society
- Science Fiction Fantasy
- Seekers Club
- Simulation Corporation
- SING, student produced musical
- Soccer Club
- Speakers Forum
- Speech and Debate Team
- Stock Market Club
- Students Against Violence Everywhere
- Table Tennis Club
- Thai Expo
- The Other Box
- Tibetan Cultural Society
- Ultimate Frisbee
- Urban Dance Club
- Volleyball Club
- Weather Club
- Web Club
- Women's Forum
- Woodstock Nation
- Young Republican Club
The school's dress code has evolved over the years. Once boys were required to wear ties and "collar" shirts and not allowed to wear "patch-pocket" pants (jeans) or hats; girls were required to wear skirts or dresses, no matter what the weather. Offenders were sent home if they were not dressed according to the rules. Many girls walking to school in the winter along wind-swept Goulden Avenue between the Jerome Park Reservoir and Clinton's football field, wore slacks under their skirts and removed them when they arrived at school. Boots also had to be removed.
In 1968 the students successfully demanded that the dress code be relaxed; girls then were allowed to wear slacks and boys could wear t-shirts.
Today's students still are not allowed to wear hats (a NYC Department of Education rule), and the dress regulations are less specific, forbidding clothing that is "distracting", "offensive", or "degrading"; anything promoting drug use or offensive language is similarly banned; and "undergarments must not be visible, and tops and bottoms of outer garments must meet or overlap".
The Bronx Science faculty comprises educators who possibly represent one of the most highly qualified high-school teaching staffs in the world. Many hold advanced degrees, including the Ph.D.
, in their field, and many have taught at universities. A rigorous hiring process fosters qualified staff: Unlike most New York City public schools, teachers are not hired according to seniority. Instead, teachers are interviewed and a committee of current teachers from the department meets to decide whether or not an individual upholds the qualities of a potential Bronx Science faculty member. So, although many new teachers are young and un-tenured, they come to the classroom familiar with the up-to-date methods of instruction.
Strong alumni relations are apparent at Bronx Science. In fact, many teachers are alumni of the school: Michael Contente (ret. June 2007), the former coordinator of the Department of Mathematics (1966); Jean M. Donahue, Ph.D., the assistant principal of the Department of Biology (1977); Fred Levy, assistant principal of the art, music, and technology departments; David Cohen (math and technology), Richard Lee (biology), Sherrill Mirsky (math), James Perna (math), Beatrice Robertson (math), and Polly Schoenfeld (English). Surprisingly, because of such relations, many teachers have had other teachers as students at Science at some time during their career. There are other distinctions in the faculty. For example, one member of the Bronx Science faculty, Lateef O. Giwa, M.D., was a cardiothoracic surgeon for 39 years prior to becoming a science teacher at the school.
Many teachers are approachable and willing to help students. Students can speak to their teachers before and after class, or schedule a conference with their teachers during lunch or a free period. Students can also communicate with their teachers via e-mail, which is provided free of charge to the entire Bronx Science staff, faculty, and student body, through the school's computer network.
Many teachers also play an active role in the advancement of the school's vision. For example, Fanny K. Ennever, Ph.D., a teacher in the Physical Science Department and adjunct assistant professor at Columbia University, was responsible for securing a $27,500 grant in both 2004 and 2005 for developing and modifying the Bronx Science chemistry laboratory curriculum, in order to make sessions less "cookbook" and more inquiry-based.
Every year, the senior members of ARISTA National Honor Society vote for the Honored Teacher Award, honoring a teacher they believe has gone well above and beyond the call of duty in educating their students. No one teacher can win this distinction more than once, thereby ensuring that all teachers have a chance to be acknowledged. Winners of the award include Patricia Nunez, Gregory Greene, and James Perna. During the 2007-2008 school year, the award was offered and shared amongst Mr. Reutershan (Multivariable Calculus), Dr. Wheeler (Advanced Placement Biology), and Mrs. Ramos (Advanced Placement Chemistry).
In Season 1, Episode 18 of The West Wing
, Mallory O'Brien
mentions Bronx Science in a discussion of public school reform and school vouchers. Rob Lowe
's character, Sam Seaborn
says, “Boston Latin
, the oldest public school in the country, is still the best secondary school in New England.” Mallory O'Brien replies "They all can't be Boston Latin and Bronx Science."
In the television show Head of the Class, Bronx Science is named explicitly throughout the show as Fillmore High School's rival, often appearing against them in academic competitions.
Notable alumni and former students
The Bronx High School of Science counts seven Nobel Prize-winning
physicists among its graduates:
- Leon N. Cooper 1947, Brown University awarded the 1972 Nobel Prize in Physics
- Sheldon L. Glashow 1950, Boston University, awarded the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics
- Steven Weinberg 1950, University of Texas at Austin, awarded the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics
- Melvin Schwartz 1949, Columbia University, awarded the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physics
- Russell A. Hulse 1966, Princeton University, awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physics
- H. David Politzer 1966, California Institute of Technology, awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics
- Roy J. Glauber 1941, Harvard University, awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physics
No other secondary school in the world has as many alumni who have won Nobel Prizes.
If Bronx Science were a country, it would be tied at 23rd with Spain for number of Nobel laureates (as of 2008). Were Bronx Science a university, it would be tied for 58th place, matching UNC-Chapel Hill, UMD and McGill, while beating Ivy League schools Brown and Dartmouth, as well as academic powerhouses such as Purdue, the University of Virginia, and Swarthmore.
Bronx Science also has six Pulitzer Prize-winning graduates:
- William Sherman 1963, reporter at the New York Daily News, awarded 1974
- William Safire 1947, author and columnist at The New York Times, awarded 1978
- Joseph Lelyveld 1954, Executive Editor at The New York Times, awarded 1986
- Bernard L. Stein 1959, Editor of the Riverdale Press, awarded 1998
- William Taubman 1958, Professor of Political Science at Amherst College, awarded 2004
- Gene Weingarten, 1968, reporter and columnist for The Washington Post, awarded 2008
Six alumni have won the National Medal of Science, the nation's highest scientific honor bestowed by the U.S. President and thus far awarded to 425 scientists and engineers. Bronx Science also counts among its graduates twenty-nine current members of the United States National Academy of Sciences (NAS), an honor attained by only about 2,000 American scientists. Twenty-two Bronx Science graduates are current members of the United States National Academy of Engineering (NAE), ten are current members of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), and at least one is a current member of the Royal Society of Canada.
Other notable graduates and former students include:
- Bruce Ackerman 1961, constitutional law scholar, Yale Law School
- Richard Alba 1959, sociologist of Italian-American life, Vice-President Emeritus of American Sociological Association
- Bruce Ames 1946, biologist, winner of National Medal of Science
- Judith Baumel 1973, poet, winner Walt Whitman Award, 1987
- Peter S. Beagle 1955, author, singer, guitarist, best known for The Last Unicorn
- James Bethea 1982, producer/television executive
- Rosemary Bravo 1969, Vice Chairman, Burberry, former President, Saks Fifth Avenue
- Harold Brown 1943, former U.S. Secretary of Defense (1977-1981)
- Joseph Capecci 1951, US Inventor Space Race, Architect, Dean CCNY, Nuclear Waste Disposal Activist
- Stokely Carmichael 1960, Black Power activist
- Majora Carter 1984, recipient of MacArthur Foundation fellowship ("genius grant")
- Gregory Chaitin 1964, mathematician, computer scientist
- Marsha Alpert Chandler 1961, Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer at the Salk Institute; former Executive Vice Chancellor, University of California San Diego
- Dominic Chianese 1948, actor (best known as "Uncle Junior" on the HBO series The Sopranos)
- Gregory Cooper 1978, Chief of Gastroentorology and colon cancer studies at University Hospitals in Cleveland, OH.
- Jon Cryer 1983, actor
- Richard J. Danzig 1961, 71st Secretary of the U.S. Navy
- Bobby Darin (as Walden Robert Cassotto) 1953, singer, songwriter, actor
- Samuel Delany 1960, science fiction author
- E. L. Doctorow 1948, author of Ragtime and other books
- Jonah Falcon 1988, talk show host
- Jon Favreau 1984, actor/director
- Jerald G. Fishman,1962, CEO, Analog Devices
- Jeffrey S. Flier,1964, Dean, Harvard Medical School
- Todd Gitlin 1959, writer and social critic, former head, Students for a Democratic Society
- Harrison J. Goldin 1953, former NYC Comptroller
- Mark Gottdiener 1960, sociologist/urbanist/semiotician
- Jeff Greenfield 1960, CNN reporter/commentator
- Gene Grossman 1973, former Chair, Department of Economics, Princeton University
- Pablo Guzmán (as Paul Guzman) 1968, CBS-2 reporter
- Clyde Haberman 1962, New York Times reporter/columnist
- Marilyn Hacker 1959, poet, winner of National Book Award
- Michael Hirsh 1960s, head, Cookie Jar group (animation); founder, Nelvana animation
- Martin Hellman, 1962, cryptologist
- Scott Ian (as Scott Ian Rosenfeld) 1982, rock musician
- Martin Jay,1961, prominent intellectual historian
- Michael Kay 1978, New York Yankees sportscaster
- Thomas Keenan, 1966, Internet culture scholar and university dean
- Leonard Kleinrock, 1951, computer scientist
- Leslie Lamport, 1957, computer scientist
- Elliott Landy, 1959, Woodstock photographer
- Leonard Lauder, 1950, former president Estee Lauder Inc., and an heir to the Estee Lauder fortune.
- Ronald Lauder 1961, former NYC mayoral candidate and an heir to the Estee Lauder fortune, former US Ambassador to Austria
- Bill Lann Lee 1967, United States Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, Clinton Administration
- James Kyson Lee 1993, actor
- Jeanette Lee, professional pool player (attended, did not graduate)
- Harold O. Levy 1970, former New York City Schools' Chancellor
- Daniel Libeskind 1965, architect of Freedom Tower, Berlin Holocaust Museum, Royal Ontario Museum, etc.
- John Liu 1985, New York City Council Member
- Nita Lowey 1955, Member, U.S. House of Representatives
- Anthony Marx 1977, President, Amherst College
- Marvin Minsky 1945, computer scientist
- Robert Moog 1952, synthesized music pioneer
- Al Nagler, 1953, optical engineer, founder of Televue
- Lars-Erik Nelson, 1959, award-winning correspondent and columnist for New York Daily News, Newsweek, Newsday
- Jay Pasachoff 1959, astronomy professor
- Martin Peretz 1955, editor-in-chief, The New Republic magazine
- Kevin Phillips, 1957, author and political analyst
- Richard Price 1967, author and Oscar-nominated screenwriter
- Robert Price 1950, New York State Commissioner of Investigation
- Paul Provenza, 1975, actor
- Christopher "Kid" Reid 1982, rap musician and actor
- David Ren , writer/director
- Donald L. Ritter, former Member of Congress
- George Ritzer 1958, sociologist
- Daphne Maxwell Reid 1966, actress
- Lee Bam Rubenstein 1976, Fire Chief CommHeed Fire Service, USAF Firefighter, Disabled American Veterans, Instructor for Texas A&M University's Brayton Fire Training Field
- Frank Rosenblatt 1946, computer pioneer
- Jun John Sakurai 1951, theoretical physicist
- Joel Sherman, 1979, Scrabble champion
- Ben Shneiderman 1964, developer of computer visualization and human-computer interaction
- Karina Smirnoff, professional ballroom Latin dancer
- April Smith 1967, author, Emmy-nominated television producer and writer
- Dava Sobel 1964, author
- Michael I. Sovern, former President of Columbia University
- Norman Spinrad 1957, science fiction author and screenwriter
- Robert Strom 1961, 2nd biggest winner, The $64,000 Question TV show
- Worley Thorne, 1950, TV writer and script consultant ("The Paper Chase," "Dallas," "Star Trek: The Next Generation")
- Neil deGrasse Tyson 1976, Director, Hayden Planetarium at American Museum of Natural History
- David Viniar 1972, Chief Financial Officer, Goldman Sachs & Co.
- Eliot Wald 1962, TV and film writer ("Saturday Night Live," "Camp Nowhere")
- Gary Weiss,1971, journalist and author
- Barry Wellman 1959, sociologist, founder of International Network for Social Network Analysis, Fellow - Royal Society of Canada
- Wolf Wigo 1991, Olympic water polo player, Captain of the US National Water Polo Team
- Dave Winer 1972, computer scientist, blogger
- Grace Wong 2004, Miss International 2007 semifinalist including Miss Hong Kong 2007 1st runner up
- George Yancopoulos 1976, biologist, member of the National Academy of Sciences
- Words and music by H. Rensin
Science High our school whose towers reach for truth and light; all for thee our hearts and powers solemnly unite.
Hearken how the chorus heightens as our praises soar; through the years your glory brightens:
In our hearts your name is graven, there to keep immortal. Hope and faith have found a haven, hidden in your portal.
Hearken how the chorus heightens as our praises soar; through the years your glory brightens:
- Note: The Class of 1959 began the tradition of adding the irreverent "Oh Baby" as a bridge to the chorus, taking it from the 1958 pop song hit, "At The Hop", by Danny and the Juniors.