ABERDEEN, Md. (WJZ)—Aberdeen High School received a big honor Friday.

Mike Schuh reports the students there beat out 500 other high schools for a national recognition.

If you take a look around the gym, you’ll find plenty of things to dance about: current girls basketball state champs, 20 other state championships, not to mention dozens of individual champs.

But Friday’s gathering honors work done by kids in the classroom.

“Well, it’s a big deal because this program is getting more kids prepared for college and STEM success than any other program in the country,” said Gregg Fleisher, National Math Science Initiative.

Fleisher’s organization challenged 500 high schools across the country to improve their science and math test scores.

Rebecca Lewis was one of the students of the 160 students who excelled in those tests.

“We’re here today to celebrate that we’re NMSI school of the year,” Lewis said.

Aberdeen is the best school in the country.

In fact, the program director flew in from Texas on Friday just to meet them.

The school has “the greatest one year increase we’ve ever had,” Fleisher said. “The number of passing exams in math, science and English went from 186 to 441, an increase of 255 exams in just one year, and we’ve never had that.”

And an achievement like that will have the White House knocking on your door.

“Well, it’s terrific! Because it’s so easy to sometimes not to do things that you think are going to be hard, right?” said Patricia Falcone, White House science and technology.

A total of 162 students participated. And they hope others will join them.

“I feel like the students who don’t put out much effort will see what a great celebration this is and they’ll want to put out the effort more to improve their grades,” Lewis said.

The students tell Eyewitness News that if they achieved a high grade on their tests, the group sponsoring this honor paid them $100.

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