Since its inception in 1996, TAF has been a stalwart partner of community, industry, and higher education as a means to bring essential relevance, adult relationships, and rigor to the learning process.
Even before opening TAF Academy in 2008, the relationship between TAF and corporate partners invested in equal access public education allowed students opportunities they’d never dreamed of. Summer internships at technology companies and guest presentations from leaders like computing pioneer Alan Kay, provided underserved students an advantage, and a chance to realize their own capabilities and foster passion in STEM.
Today, we continue working with partner companies committed to leveling the playing field for minority students. We rely on organizations to help us and provide experiences that can impact the outcome of student success now, as well as innovation and diversity of STEM industries in the future.
When FlowPlay learned of TAF Academy’s expansion plans for fall 2017, they wanted to make sure that the schools transition to a larger campus would be a success.
While FlowPlay celebrated their 10th anniversary in February, they simultaneously made a bold financial commitment to the future of STEM and public education. Through their generous donation of $60,000, we will be able to outfit the new Lighthouse Engineering Lab at TAF@Saghalie with state-of-the-art equipment. Students will have access to industry level tools – and with access, comes innovation.
Support like FlowPlay’s is critical to TAF’s ability to offer students in public education a pathway to STEM careers with less barriers to entry.
When the fifth grade students of Boze Elementary were deep into studying entrepreneurship, they received an opportunity to see business practices in action!
Boze fifth grade students would soon open their own school store, so when Costco offered to provide a private tour of their Sumner depot facility, the students were ecstatic.
It’s never to early to introduce children to the idea of management, organization, and general business practices. That day, the students learned how Costco began, successful operation tips, and even provided some math behind the business.
How many high school students are working alongside research scientists in attempts to cure cancer? Well, through a collaborative effort between TAF and Fred Hutch, that’s exactly what TAF Academy students are doing.
In efforts to provide students with work experience, the specially designed Fred Hutch internship program offers 90 hours of instruction during the school year, followed by 8-week, 40 hours per week summer internships. Student participants begin in 10th grade, and continue until graduation.
Experience, mentoring, and scientific content, as well as a stipend for lunch, travel and lab expenses are all benefits. With three years of experience in biomedical research, the program aims to improve the chance of students entering college, attaining a science degree, and ultimately diversifying the STEM industry.
Innovation Challenges have quickly become an exciting way for companies to offer mentoring, skill acquisition, collaboration practice to students. For example, this year TAF worked both Comcast NBCUniversal and Expedia, Inc. to design unique challenges.
At Expedia Inc., students formed teams to build their own travel website! Over the summer, they had intense coding instruction through Coding Dojo and learned four programming languages.
The websites the students are building have the potential to be acquired by Expedia too. Who knows? By next year, you may be booking a trip through a site made by one of our students!
There are four main ways corporate partners engage with TAF – through monetary support, as volunteers in various capacities, by providing internships and real world experiences, and offering exclusive innovation challenges.
Our partners enjoy our flexibility. There aren’t many written rules when it comes to finding ways to serve our students and teachers better. We’ve designed programs from the ground up. No matter the size of your company, or industry background, we’ll help you find the best way to partner with us.
Help fund our core programs operation costs.
Offer your time as a mentor, guest speaker, etc.
Provide students with real work experience in STEM fields.
Design challenges that will inspire creativity and innovation.