Graduating Class: Boze in its final year

This is one of the moments we’ve waited for.

After five years of receiving in-school, one-the-ground support from STEMbyTAF instructional coaches, Boze Elementary has become like the child you’ve raised and are now sending off to college. The school, its students, and teachers, are ready to take what we’ve taught them and prove they can do it on their own.

In 2015, TAF began the partnership with Tacoma Public Schools at Boze Elementary. It would be the third time we worked directly with a school – a challenge that had proven to be more difficult than we initially thought. Our student-centered model is not a quick fix; it requires buy-in, not just at a district level, but also from school leadership and the teachers who are implementing it.

Pictured: Students present projects to families and community members during one of the quarterly Boze Exhibitions.
Pictured: Students present projects to families and community members during one of the quarterly Boze Exhibitions.

Generally when we begin the process of School Transformation, teachers experience some degree of reluctance to change. They wonder how it’s possible to teach an all-day project-based STEM model without losing traction to meet state-mandated requirements. But at Boze, the teachers and staff were led by their amazing principal Arron Wilkins. Together, they believed in us enough to give it a valiant try, and low and behold, found that our method of teaching works.

Five years, and the results are in.

Over the course of almost five years, TAF has helped increase student engagement. In fact, Boze went from 125 students being absent or tardy or absent 20-30% of the time to only 5 students. Additionally, we’ve helped Boze form relationships with industry professionals who encourage students to explore learning and careers through hands-on-activities and technology like virtual field trips and interviews. We’ve raised funding to open their first maker space where students can bring their ideas to life, start the robotics team, send students to summer coding camps, and more. In all, over 850 students have received a STEMbyTAF education, practicing critical-thinking, public speaking, and leadership skills that will prepare them to be successful in middle school and beyond.

We can’t wait to hear what these students go on to accomplish.

Help TAF partner with three more public schools.

Just $1 a day, or $360, will provide one student with a year of STEMbyTAF education.

From 1st to 5th-grade.

Students at Boze were just 1st-graders when TAF arrived. Now that they’re in 5th-grade and will soon be promoted to middle school, they reflect on their most memorable moments.

“My all-time favorite project was in in 4th-grade when we did First LEGO League Jr. We got to be really creative to build with LEGOs and create bases in space.”
– Kayla, 5th-grade student

“I like student exhibitions because you can tell the process of what you did during the project.”
– Nick, 5th-grade student

“I liked when someone came in and we learned how to cook. We learned to look at how much grams of sugar are in products like creal. It was fun and we did a lot of work!”
– Kaylee, 5th-grade student

“I liked working on climate change and how Native Americans survived natural disasters!”
-Shanari, 5th-grade student

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