2019 STEM Expo

About the STEM Expo

The STEM Expo is an annual school-wide event which showcases individual and group projects focused on various STEM topics.  Students are asked to address real world problems using the engineering design cycle or the scientific investigative process. Teams will present their projects to local STEM experts and will demonstrate how their research has authentic applications and connections related to solving larger community issues or needs.

First started at TAF’s pilot school TAF Academy in 2013, the STEM Expo allows students to flex their creativity in solving and presenting challenges and issues that are relevant to them. At the same time, the event allows family, community members, and industry professionals a close view of the amazing things our students are capable of!

Come see how TAF@Saghalie students apply their STEMbyTAF learning by coming to this year’s STEM Expo, March 16, 2019 from 10:30 – 1:30 pm (hours open to the public).

View the full day’s schedule or sign up to be a volunteer judge!

New and Improved

This year’s STEM Expo features 700 students showcasing their projects to industry experts and professional volunteers. With TAF Academy expanding to serve an additional 400 students at TAF@Saghalie, we want to ensure each and every student feels supported. For many, the Expo will be a new experience and we are committed to set everyone up for success.

We count on our volunteer judges to contribute valuable feedback to students to help them further understand and learn from their work.  As a professional in the field, you can be the judge.

The Road to STEM Expo

To prepare our TAF@Saghalie students for the STEM Expo, teachers follow a set of scientific practices that help students determine what STEM fields or areas of study interest them most, what driving question they want to answer and how to answer that question. Students then use what they learned to present their findings at our culminating STEM Expo.

Kick-off with Industry Day and Topic Generation (December 5, 2018)

This year, we kicked off this 3 month project with Industry Day on December 5, where 30 volunteers from 14 different organizations interacted with 550 of our students at TAF@Saghalie about their STEM-related careers. Professionals shared information about their careers and answered questions about our students’ areas of interest in addition to how they use scientific practices daily. Students took the ideas they gathered from these conversations and determined a community problem they hoped to solve, settling on their STEM topic.

Generate Driving Questions (December 2018)

During this phase, students conduct preliminary research to come up with potential solutions, analyzing each solution for its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in order to come up with the most viable option. Students then use this research and solution to write their driving question that will guide the rest of their project.

Design the Test and Conduct Research (January 2019)

After writing a driving question, students conduct additional research needed to test their solution. During this phase, students write their hypotheses, determine if their project is an engineering design project or a scientific investigation and design their project prototype or procedure.

Collect Data (February 2019)

Once students have carefully designed their project, they must design a detailed approach to collecting data. Students utilizing the engineering design process will continue developing and refining their prototypes and students designing an experiment will execute their procedure so that they can gather reliable and unbiased data.

Synthesize and Analyze Data (February – March 2019)

After students have collected data about their prototype or experiment, they analyze their various data points to draw conclusions. Students determine if their hypotheses were correct and how they would add to or redesign their project in the future.

Present Findings at STEM Expo (March 16, 2019)

Students present what they found either through a poster presentation (6th and 7th grade) or in a PowerPoint presentation (8th grade and high school) on the day of STEM Expo to a group of teachers and industry experts.


With more students comes a need for more volunteers. This year, we’re working hard to pull together our community of professionals to help us make our STEM Expo events a success. More importantly, we’re leaning on you to help us support our students – many of which are experiencing the STEM Expo for the first time.

There are two main roles we are seeking volunteers for:

  • Ongoing Student Project Support, January – February 2019
  • STEM Expo Judge, March 16, 2019

Please contact Krista Fincke to share your specific interest and availability at kristaf@techaccess.org. If you’re ready to offer your time as a STEM Expo judge sign up here or click the button below.

Thank you so much for supporting TAF!

STEM Expo Event Day

March 16, 2019
9:25 am – 1:30 pm

33914 19th Ave SW
Federal Way, WA 98023

Project and Presentation Evaluation (Students and Judges Only)
11:45 am – 1:45 pm

Project and Presentation Viewing (Open to Public)
10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Awards Ceremony (Open to Public)
1:00 pm – 1:30 pm


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