TAF Academy 2014 Science Fair Reflection


Science FAirOn February 1, 2014 TAF Academy held it’s second annual Science Fair. It was however the first time it was an “all school” fair.  It was absolutely fantastic!  It was clear from walking in the rooms that students put a lot of effort into their work and the staff did an awesome job getting everything setup–tables, judges, refreshments, signage, a science show to occupy families while judges deliberated, etc.–and being there for students and their families.

I sent an email to the staff thanking them for all their work and this is what I got back from TAF Academy high school science teacher (and one of the two organizers of the fair) Claudia Lemus.

David [Harris] and I get a lot of credit for coordinating the science fair, but it’s thanks to the school and the foundation that things like these happen. I’ve been teaching for a long time, and believe it or not, at my last school, I was always one of the first people to win at the nose-game we’d play at the beginning of the year to figure out who would coordinate that year’s science fair. And I never did coordinate a fair over there. I always helped, but I never got “stuck” with the job. And it was because we all knew that it was a huge undertaking that would leave you drained, would result in a mediocre event, and where you’d have no help or support.

At TAF Academy, from the first moment that I tried to coordinate anything – a lab in my classroom, a field trip, a project, I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of support, help, and encouragement that I’ve received. I’ve seldom had an administrator, let alone a principal, whom I felt really “had my back.” I’ve never had the opportunity to work closely with someone from outside the classroom, like David, whose talents and contacts go far beyond what I could do or reach on my own. I’ve never seen my students’ recognition and support be elevated to the level that it is here at this school, and I’ve never felt the level of genuine teamwork from my fellow colleagues that I feel here. And THIS is what makes yesterday’s event possible. This is what drives me to want to do more. I’m so happy with how science fair turned out yesterday. And I know there’s a lot of lessons learned that we’ll reflect on and use as a starting point when planning next year’s event. And I know that each year the event will be better and better. Because that’s how I feel this school is.

And I’m going to steal from Denise’s language use here in saying, Because Paul. Because Trish. Because the TAF staff and the school staff and all the awesome teachers. THANK YOU ALL for working with me, and for all your support – with the science fair and with everything else. I feel SO grateful and lucky to be working at this school.

Here’s to another adventure-filled semester! 🙂 -Claudia

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