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New TAF School Transformation For Fall 2015

 In #STEMbyTAF, #TAFSchools

TAF partners with public schools  interested in transforming their academic environment.

This school year, TAF welcomed Boze Elementary School, from Tacoma School District, as a new school partner.  Under this partnership, Boze will be transforming into a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) school.

STEMbyTAF takes the best instructional and programmatic practices learned from TAF Academy and makes it available to schools where students have been historically underserved and unprepared for a college ready path.  Our transformation work focuses primarily on creating the academic environment that will promote the highest level of student learning, and it is also mindful of our part in meeting the strategic goals that our partnering districts have established. We provide a project based learning model for schools to follow in the classroom with the option to add their own components. The main objective is for “kids to see a connection between what they’re learning in the classroom and College and Career Readiness (CCR).” -Arron Wilkins (Boze Elementary, Principal).

This summer, Boze Elementary teachers prepared themselves for the transformation during the 4-day STEMbyTAF Teacher Institute featuring industry speakers from Alaska Airlines, Boeing, UW, and Nordstrom. TAF’s annual STEMbyTAF Teacher Institute provides professional development and training for teachers and schools that want to integrate STEM into their instruction.

We teach teachers the same way we are teaching them to teach- with project based learning. – Chris Alejano, TAF Director of Education

Learn more about our new partnership with Boze Elementary school:

2015 STEMbyTAF Teacher Institute Highlights

  • The major highlight was the principal, Arron Wilkins, who joined with his teachers in doing the work.  He became a member of the 5th grade team, participating in planning and presenting their project.  He didn't  just tell his staff that he supports the work--he became a partner.  Teachers were moved by this, and so was I.

  • Initially, folks were frustrated and somewhat baffled.  They just couldn't see that PBL was about them and their students.  They didn't have a vision of what a project should look like. However, by the morning of Day 3 something clicked and they owned it.  That was definitely a highlight!

  • The presentations on the last day were exciting.  People were proud of their work and they had bonded with their colleagues. The applause for each presentation was genuine and enthusiastic.

  • The power lunch speakers were well received. What they had to say brought that real world dimension and a sense of urgency--a new level of meaning.

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