On 15 October this year, Bronx Science, as it is colloquially known, was officially designated a "historic physics site" in a ceremony organized by the American Physical Society (APS). The high school joins an imposing list of 18 other landmarks with that status. They include Bell Labs in New Jersey, where the transistor was discovered, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Radiation Laboratory, which helped to develop radar, the University of Chicago site where Robert Millikan measured the charge on the electron, and the spot outside Cleveland, Ohio, where Albert Michelson and Edward Morley did their epochal ether-drift experiment.
Located in the northwest corner of New York City, Bronx Science owes its historic status to the fact that seven future Nobel-prize-winning physicists went through its doors – more than any other high school in the world and more than most countries have ever achieved. The school, which opened in 1938, was founded by the educator Morris Meister, who believed that if a school put bright students together, it would kindle ill-defined but valuable learning processes. The school seems to have proved him right: according to the Bronx laureates, their physics learning took place mainly outside the classroom.
It is fitting that it became a physics historic site here in the US.