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A protest for unequal education in New York City schools on October 7, 2015. | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

During my high school years, I was one of 400 students who had tested into the STEM Magnet program at Montgomery Blair High School. We had class offerings that looked like a college curriculum spread: Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, Origins of Science, Sports Statistics, Astronomy, Genetics, Advanced Algorithms, and higher level math courses. We did elaborate experiments in chemistry and biology. We took an overnight trip to Wallops Island to learn more about ecological science. We built robots and trebuchets. We wrote research papers and won national STEM competitions. Our teachers were, for the most part, brilliant and excellent, expanding our minds to accept difficult, college-level concepts, and encouraging an innate curiosity and desire to probe for truth. …

Samantha Xiao Cody

Queer, half-Chinese writer with work published or forthcoming in the Masters Review, Split Lip Mag, Jellyfish Review, and elsewhere.

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