TAF Academies

The STEMbyTAF model in action.

Students at our TAF Academies don’t just learn to store information for later — they learn to apply their knowledge in real-time through project-based STEM learning and connect it to the world around them.

TAF co-manages two public neighborhood STEM schools (TAF@Saghalie and Washington Middle School), where traditionally underrepresented students are given the opportunities and access to explore STEM careers, embrace their cultural identities, and achieve academic success. At our academies, we empower our students to be active participants in their own education. 

Through our successful STEMbyTAF model developed at our pilot school TAF Academy, students receive rigorous and relevant learning experiences that encourage student-led learning, college and career readiness, STEM literacy, leadership skills and confidence to launch students into their futures. 

Students at TAF Academies have access to numerous opportunities to expand their learning and experiences. They receive an education that rivals private schools, free of cost — having access to  engineering and design labs, Makerspaces, innovation challenges, various competitions, and interactions with STEM organizations and professionals.

Each student leaves our schools with the knowledge and experience to use STEM as a tool for positive social change starting in their own community. They are prepared to lead and create the world they envision — personally, locally, communally, and globally.

Proven results.

Our TAF Academies serve a diverse student population in historically low-performing areas where students are furthest from educational justice. We focus on encouraging students who typically have been underrepresented in STEM fields on the basis that every student deserves access to a high-quality public school education, regardless of race, neighborhood or income. Our high expectations for our students and personalized support creates college and career-ready, socially-aware citizens of society.
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School of Distinction winner for math and reading scores

Learning beyond the classroom.

We offer rigorous and relevant learning experiences rooted in STEM and Project-Based Learning for the future innovators, leaders, and creators of the world.

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6th-Grade Summer Prep

In order to prepare incoming 6th-grade students for our TAF Academies, we offer a preparatory summer program to give students a chance to get familiar with our STEMbyTAF model, meet other students, and build new skills that will help them during the school year and beyond.

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Every year, students participate in several months of STEM exploration, using scientific investigation and design-thinking to develop solutions to community challenges. This school-wide event, called STEM Expo, culminates in students presenting their projects to industry professionals and the larger community.

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Career Experiences

Students need to learn how to be successful in professional environments regardless of what career path they choose. TAF works with corporate partners and industry professionals to provide students with paid high school internships, mock interviews, innovation challenges, workshops, and more.

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TSP Program

A program built in collaboration with Amazon, the Teacher Scientist Partnership (TSP) program brings in industry professionals to support teachers and supplement student curriculum with industry experience in Web/Game Development, UX/UI, Machine Learning, and Programming.

Explore our Academies.

We partner with public school districts to co-manage public schools and implement our STEMbyTAF model. Our journey operating public schools began in 2008 when we opened our pilot school TAF Academy. We realized our after-school programs could not close the disparity we saw among students of color alone. Opening our own school allowed us to develop and test our academic model.

After much success and eight graduating classes, with the support of Federal Way Public Schools, our small school of portables found a new home and grew to serve over 500 students at TAF@Saghalie. Today, our TAF Academies include TAF@Saghalie in Federal Way, WA and Washington Middle School in Seattle, WA. 


In 2008, TAF partnered with the Federal Way Public Schools to open TAF Academy, now known as TAF@Saghalie, the first 6th-12th grade STEM-focused public neighborhood school dedicated to preparing students for college and careers through a project-based curriculum. 

As the first school in Washington State to be co-managed by a nonprofit and school district, students are provided a rigorous and relevant learning environment rooted in project-based learning practices which garnered attention on both district and national levels and won numerous state and national awards for excellence and innovation.

TAF@Saghalie STEM School
TAF@Saghalie school building (Photo by TAF)

Want to take a self-guided virtual tour? Explore the halls of TAF@Saghalie yourself!

Washington Middle School

TAF has partnered with Seattle Public Schools (SPS) to implement TAF’s STEMbyTAF academic model at Washington Middle School (WMS) effective through the 2020-2021 school year and expand one grade each year through the 2022-2023 school year.

Through this partnership, WMS will be an environment that encourages innovation, pushing the limits of what is expected. The school will deliver the curriculum in a way that is relevant to real-world challenges and goals of students, and create a space that promotes academic success for all students.

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Washington Middle School (Courtesy of Seattle Public Schools)