LBUSD News (05/14/20) Sato a Leading Biomed, Engineering School Skip to main content
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Sato a Leading Biomed, Engineering School

Sato Academy of Mathematics and Science is one of 143 high schools in the nation to earn the Project Lead The Way Distinguished School designation this year “for providing broad access to transformative learning opportunities” through biomedical science and engineering. 

The nonprofit PLTW is a leading provider of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum, teacher training and other resources to engage students in real-world learning.

“When we opened Sato Academy just five years ago, it was a personal goal for me to create a program worthy of being recognized as a PLTW Distinguished School,” Sato Principal Mona Merlo said. “The work and dedication of our staff, students, parents and community have made this goal a reality. I am grateful to work with our amazing team and PLTW to provide an outstanding program for students that prepares them for college and career.”

Through PLTW courses, students develop STEM knowledge and in-demand skills that they will use in school and for the rest of their lives on any career path they take. 

The Distinguished School recognition honors schools committed to increasing student access, engagement and achievement in their PLTW courses. To be eligible for the designation, Sato Academy had to meet several criteria:

  • Offered and had students enrolled in at least three PLTW courses; 
  • Had 25 percent of students or more participate in PLTW courses, or of those who participated in PLTW, at least 33 percent took two or more PLTW courses; 
  • Had 95 percent of students take the end-of-course assessments;
  • Had strategies, procedures and supporting data on reasonably proportional representation with regard to race, ethnicity, poverty and gender.

PLTW serves millions of students and teachers in more than 12,200 schools throughout the United States.

PLTW curriculum also has been used at Long Beach’s McBride and Cabrillo high schools, and at the California Academy of Mathematics and Science. CAMS earned the PLTW Distinguished School honor last year, and last month CAMS was named the top California high school by U.S. News and World Report. 

For more information on Project Lead The Way, visit

DISTINGUISHED – Sato Academy's new science classrooms opened this school year. The high school opened five years ago on the former Hill Middle School site.