Dowell Middle School and Minshew Elementary School in McKinney were named finalists this week in Intel Corporation’s 2012 Schools of Distinction Awards for their excellence in mathematics and science.

The Intel Schools of Distinction recognized Minshew Elementary for its achievement in science, providing a rich curriculum incorporating hands-on investigative experiences that prepare students for 21st century jobs.

Minshew’s program encourages student achievement in sciences and engineering, while simultaneously helping students become knowledgeable consumers of news and data in order to be active and informed citizens.

“It is an honor to be recognized for our achievement in science,” said Minshew Elementary Principal Susie Towber.

The Intel Schools of Distinction recognized Dowell Middle School for its achievement in mathematics, offering students a rigorous, challenging and engaging program that teaches mathematics skills and how to apply them to real-life problems, approach projects as a member of a team and communicate succinctly on the subject.

“We are very proud of the Math Department at Dowell, who strive for excellence in the classroom. Their dedication to excellence has earned this prestigious recognition,” said Principal Logan Faris. “We are very excited to continue to design innovative learning strategies that benefit our students in their learning,” he said.

Shelly Esque, vice president of Intel’s Corporate Affairs Group and president of the Intel Foundation, said: “The schools selected as Intel Schools of Distinction are leaders in preparing their students to become America’s next generation of thinkers and doers. Intel is recognizing these schools as exemplary models of what can be achieved through hard work and innovation in the areas of math and science.”

Dowell and Minshew along with the 16 other finalist schools will receive a $5,000 award from the Intel Foundation and a trip to Washington, D.C. in September, when six schools will be named Intel Schools of Distinction.

These six schools will each win an additional $5,000 from the Intel Foundation and a package of goods and services with a total value of approximately $500,000 split among the schools.

The winning schools, to be honored in September at an awards reception in Washington, D.C., serve as outstanding examples of leaders in preparing tomorrow’s innovators.

One of the six schools will also be selected as “Star Innovator” and will receive $25,000 from the Intel Foundation, and additional prizes and services from sponsors.

Intel’s sponsorship of the Schools of Distinction Awards is part of the Intel® Education Initiative, a sustained public-private partnership with governments in more than 50 countries.

Through this $100 million-a-year initiative, Intel delivers programs which improve the effective use of technology to enhance 21st century skills and encourages excellence in mathematics, science and engineering. For more information, visit: www.intel.com/education.

For more information on the Intel Schools of Distinctions Awards visit: www.intel.com/education/schoolsofdistinction.

About the author: Shane Mauldin is a communications specialist with MISD. Portions of this article provided by Intel Corporation.