2012 Annual Report What We Did Who Helped What Others Said TAF's programs are funded by individuals, foundations and businesses. Our job is to use their investments wisely and responsibly, to maximize results for the youth we serve. Finances Click on the link below each image to read about the award. Awards In the TAF Alliance TAF Academy’s Teacher-Scientist Partnership (TSP) program supports meaningful, inspirational personal connections between STEM professionals, teachers, and students with a demonstrated interest in STEM fields. The soft and hard skills students learn through TSP provide the best-possible preparation for professional roles, and for roles as leaders in their communities—they’ll be able to apply STEM thinking to solve real-world issues. Teacher-Scientist Partnerships TAF volunteers had plenty to do over the past year. There were organization events, like the barbeque at our new building, that saw volunteers checking in guests, moving stuff around, acting as bouncers at the bouncy castles, helping with the program design, picking up cake and more. There were program events, like the TechStart Expo, for which volunteers organized an entire college fair, solicited refreshment donations, and judged robotics and web design contests. Then there was the day-to-day, where volunteers worked as classroom assistants, sorted lego robotics kits, did research for the development team, taught classes, showed students the STEM projects they were working on. You name it and a TAF volunteer probably did it. Thanks to every one of you for your hard work, and mostly for having the type of dedication to a cause that went beyond lip service, to actual service. Volunteers This fall, TAF moved to the Bethaday Community Learning Space (BCLS)—our new home for our expanding staff and most of our out-of-school programming. The public previewed the building in early June and were invited back for an October grand opening. Programming there starts, officially, in January 2013.
The BCLS was named by donor Ken Birdwell and TAF’s executive director, Trish Millines Dziko, who combined the names of their heroes in education. For Trish this was Mary McLeod Bethune; for Ken it was Michael Faraday.
Having this new home will allow TAF to:
• Educate thousands of Washington State’s young people of color in STEM; we can reach more than 1,500 each year in this building alone, and will reach more kids through our programs in schools
• Bring community organizations and public educators together to explore ways to eliminate the opportunity gap in education; the building has gorgeous, functional, hi-tech spaces for community meetings and education
• Better reach one of our target communities – White Center; we’ve been teaching in White Center for 6 years, but now we’re officially part of this diverse neighborhood http://www.techaccess.org/strategic-direction/ Program Restructuring Co-teachers at all TechStart School Day sites worked with partnering teachers to enhance their science and math curriculum by designing lessons based on the grade-level expectations teachers indicated they needed to meet. For example, students learned about the solar system and the way Earth’s rotation around its axis causes day and night. Then, they designed computer characters to explain that concept, learning computer programming along the way. They also built robots to compete in contests!
This summer, we re-branded TechStart School Day as “TechStart.” Overview Sites White Center Heights Elementary (White Center): After a successful pilot year at White Center Heights, we returned there in the fall of 2011. We expanded our partnership to four classrooms: the same two 5th grade classes as the previous year and two 6th grade classrooms. Mount View Elementary (White Center): We moved from White Center Heights in January 2012 to partner with Mount View. Mount View had been partnering with TAF as a site for our TechStart after-school program for several years. So far, our experience implementing TechStart during the day there has been wonderful and effective. We enjoyed being part of the school’s morning coffee event for parents—we used this event to have students share their work with parents. Highlands Elementary (Renton): TAF brought TechStart to three 5th-grade classrooms at Highlands. We had a fantastic year at Highlands; teachers were excited about the opportunity to learn how to integrate technology into their classes. At Highlands’ 5th grade graduation this spring, several students told the audience that TechStart had been the most memorable, best part of their entire experience at the school! Congratulations to TAF Academy's first graduating class! Our first graduates headed out into the world in 2012. “We’re more than just a graduating class,” graduate Nila Griffin proclaimed at their commencement ceremony at the Tacoma Landmark Convention Center. “We’re the first graduating class of TAF Academy. We’re tech-savvy leaders, and innovative thinkers.”
90% of students graduated college-ready, and with substantial scholarship support, almost 70% were able to go straight to college, to schools like Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Seattle Pacific University, the University of British Columbia, the University of Hawaii, the University of Washington – Bothell, Highline Community College and more. Go tigers! Graduation If you judged by the success TAF Academy’s speech team had in 2011-12, you wouldn’t guess it was their very first year. After practicing relentlessly with team coaches Andrew Stuckey (high school humanities teacher) and Krista Wright (TAF’s development associate), most team members made it to the state tournament in March. TAF Academy senior Cameron Sharpe was the state champ in his category—original oratory—and went on to finish in the top 24 (of 62 competitors) at the National Individual Events Tournament of Champions.
Though many of last year’s speech team have since graduated, incoming speech-teamers proved that they’ll carry on the legacy left by their predecessors, and build on that success, by dedicating some weeks of this summer to attending a speech camp at TAF Academy! Competitive Speech Club This summer, thanks to scholarship support from Wimmer Solutions, 10 TAF Academy students went on a journey through Costa Rica as part of Learning AFAR’s Global Explorers program. Students were chosen based on their leadership potential and academic work, and on financial need. They prepped for the trip for a couple of months, with the help of AFAR Magazine and TAF Academy staff, by learning how to document their travel through writing, photography and videography. In Costa Rica, they visited 3 different ecosystems and learned about sustainable development. They also collected books at home and delivered them to libraries in the country! Check out the trip blog here - http://goo.gl/up0Nj. http://tinyurl.com/97alajd http://tinyurl.com/9o82qmq http://tinyurl.com/8nr8x6y Bethaday Community Learning Space in White Center nears completion http://tinyurl.com/8b7n9dz TAF students earn award in first LEGO robot competition "Latino and African-American students are graduating from TAF's program, going on to college and landing internships at prestigious companies such as Microsoft. A statewide STEM effort that spurred programs in Seattle at Cleveland High School and an elementary school could take some lessons from TAF." - Columnist Lynne Varner http://tinyurl.com/8eoy7y2 http://tinyurl.com/8kfwvno Trish Millines Dziko, TAF's co-founder, on Seattle Voices with Eric Liu “When it was time for me to pick a senior project for my last year, I wanted to work and be a part of something special, and TAF was it! What impressed me most was their commitment to the students and making a difference in the communities that need their services most. Too often people talk about making a difference, but TAF puts that into practice. While working at TAF I had the chance to work on marketing, which is part of my long-term career path. TAF let me get involved [in many projects] right away, be it working on a brochure or helping plan a picnic. I loved TAF’s commitment, the students, and the amazing people I met during my time there.” But why? 3 reasons to partner with TAF 1: Inspiration. Volunteering with different TAF programs offers the chance for our staff to be inspired, surprised, and to grow personally and professionally in ways our company employment experience wouldn’t otherwise offer!
2: Creativity. Hosting TAF students as interns pushes us to try new job functions, explore projects with interns we might not otherwise, and push full-time staff to test their technical skills and share ideas.
3: Challenge. Committing time, money, and effort to the partnership with TAF challenges our staff and company leaders to do more than just run a growing business; we also must fund the time and money which we invest in the partnership. This introduces additional rigor, in a positive and productive way, to our business management for forces us to do annual planning around our Civic and NonProfit practice. I love that this is an aspect of how we measure success as a company, and the depth and breadth of our TAF relationship is a key driver of that. Washington ranks 4th in the country in the number of technology-based corporations, but falls to 46th when it comes to participation in science and engineering graduate programs. Less than five percent of post-secondary STEM degrees are earned by students of color. Support from members of the TAF Alliance helps us change this, by empowering students to make important contributions to Washington State’s technology, engineering, and biological-and physical-science sectors. The end result is increased diversity and competitiveness in businesses, and healthier, more economically-robust communities. Through their participation, partner organizations have the opportunity to directly contribute to the nation’s future workforce.
Partners have been involved in programming like:
•Internships and job shadows
•On-location and virtual workshops
•Group project leadership
•Project exhibition panels
•Online teacher forums
•Adopt a classroom
•Teacher Scientist Partnership (TSP) According to Spring Creek Group’s managing director, Clay McDaniel: Invest in change This year, the Safeco Insurance Foundation committed $800,000 to TAF to help build the Bethaday Community Learning Space. Combined with an earlier gift, this brings Safeco’s investment in TAF to $1 million.
“Every donation makes a difference, but we’re especially excited about the generosity of the Safeco Insurance Foundation,” said Trish Millines Dziko, co-founder and executive director of TAF. “Employees of Safeco Insurance regularly volunteer their time with us, and the company has supported us financially and provided technical internships for our students since 1998. They’re true partners who are committed to our success and the success of the thousands of kids we’re helping.”
“As a strong supporter of education, the Safeco Insurance Foundation is pleased to help TAF expand its educational reach into our community and move the organization closer to achieving its $12.5 million fundraising goal,” said Matthew Nickerson, Safeco Insurance president. “Safeco Insurance has been a longtime supporter of TAF, both financially and through the volunteer efforts of our employees. This grant is one of the best ways we can show we believe in the positive impact of TAF’s work.” "PopCap is dedicated to supporting math and science education in our community. These are the future designers, artists, and engineers of the gaming world!
We want to make sure that children know that there are amazing and fun jobs out there for people who are skilled in the STEM categories. Hopefully, our partnership can help inspire them to excel in their studies and create a brighter future." Since 2009, the Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) has annually chosen TAF students as Technology Leaders of Tomorrow through a scholarship competition. This year, middle schoolers designed video games and members of the WTIA voted on the finalists. Gizan Gando won for the second year in a row, this time for his “Get Rich” video game, and all finalists were laden with prizes at the Annual Industry Achievement Awards in March. Technology Leaders of Tomorrow Websites, robot obstacle courses, raffle prizes and even an impromptu rap performance were among the many highlights of this year’s Expo, which had up to 300 attendees. Hilltop Elementary produced the winning team overall, after rounds of presentations and contests, one of which required an instant replay! And, TechStart parent Pamela Phillips-Nichols organized a stellar college and career fair that included representatives from Harvard University, Highline Community College, the University of Washington, South Seattle Community College and Yale University. Thanks to all the students, families, volunteers, schools and companies who made this year’s event one of the best we've ever had! Expo http://www.techaccess.org/2012/06/2012-techstart-expo-a-huge-success/ Service Learning Abroad 2011-12 was a momentous year for TAF Academy. Here are some highlights. Overview Overview In summer 2012, we re-branded our middle school after-school program as "STEM Up." The students in these grades consistently amaze us, and their parents' tireless dedication to their kids' education impresses us too. We can't say it's ever business as usual with the students, parents and teachers in our programs; in 2011-12, for example, they did this: http://tinyurl.com/9d9dvyd TAF's Bethaday Community Learning Space is a model investment TechFest Microsoft’s APEX group reached out to TAF this year, wanting to get involved. We made suggestions, but the resulting project was of their own design. In April, more than 100 students gathered to participate in engineering activities, STEM career workshops, and Kinect demonstrations led by young Microsoft employees from around the world. It was a wonderful opportunity for our students to meet and interact with STEM professionals, and spark their excitement about careers in technology and STEM. Andrew Newsome, TAF volunteer Learn more http://www.techaccess.org/ https://twitter.com/stembytaf http://www.linkedin.com/company/technology-access-foundation Expenses Yodit, a parent, on TAF Your future workforce Bethaday Community Learning Space Tyler, a student, on TAF TSPs, on being a TSP TAF student recognized as tech leader of tomorrow http://tinyurl.com/9h4ceej http://www.facebook.com/techaccess and these hosted student interns Ashoka Youth Ventures took students through the The Dream it. Do it. Challenge, a workshop series designed to take young people through the process of launching their own social venture.
The Boeing Company held a workshop on IT careers.
FullArmor Corp's CTO, Danny Kim, gave a workshop on Prezi - http://tinyurl.com/9hsoe9k
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center taught TAF Academy students on their campus, and helped student interns produce a teleconference on the immortal cells of Henrietta Lacks - http://tinyurl.com/9qxrxtu
Global Explorers sponsored a trip to Costa Rica through Learning AFAR.
Kariba Photography's Kariba Jack gave a photography workshop for interested students.
PopCap Games gave a tour of their workspace.
Salish Sea Expeditions took students on a sailing expedition where they learned to do marine research - http://tinyurl.com/8gsuklu Avanade
Casey Family Programs
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Rainier Valley Chamber of Commerce
Spring Creek Group
Waggener Edstrom Worldwide We started the 2011-12 school year with 3 STEM-focused programs: TechStart School Day, a program for elementary school students taught in schools during the school day; TechStart, an after-school program for grades K-8; and TAF Academy, a 6th-12th grade public school.
But we wanted to reach more kids. So in summer 2012, just in time for us to move into our new headquarters, we streamlined programming so we can reach more students with less overlap. We re-branded and re-structured after-school classes for middle school students as STEM Up to emphasize that content encompasses all STEM subjects, not just technology. In-school classes for elementary schools retain the name TechStart.
Students in areas TAF serves will eventually have access to a full pipeline of high-quality STEM education: TechStart for elementary school, STEM Up or TAF Academy for middle school, and TAF Academy for high school. http://tinyurl.com/8gezj59 TAF Academy student interns study cells of Henrietta Lacks Sources (To scroll through, click the buttons below.) Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Our partnership with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center continued in 2011-12, with the addition of new students to the program. TAF Academy students travel to "the Hutch" for 90 hours of instruction (spread over the school year) in a lab built for this partnership. In the summers, these six students work at the lab for 40 hours per week. The goal of this partnership is to promote diversity in the biomedical research workforce.
In 2012, three of the first participants in this program graduated and went on to STEM programs in college. Before they went, they were tasked with choosing their successors. This is a picture of some of the students showing the lab to their parents! These companies taught students This year, Microsoft Corporation had quite a presence at TAF Academy. For the second year, programmers taught weekly computer science courses, this time for grades 9, 10 and 12; they even helped develop a set computer science curriculum for the school. In June, students presented their final class projects at an exhibition at Microsoft's campus - http://tinyurl.com/8la8vhq
Students took a tour at Microsoft's headquarters and did a career workshop there. In April, several students took a trip to Microsoft's Imagine Cup, a computer programming competition - http://tinyurl.com/9ud37z9/ Doing the work News Intel School of Distinction in Math Partnering for Excellence: Innovations in STEM Education winner for Teacher-Scientist Partnerships at TAF Academy Organizational Partners Our programs wouldn't be possible without our partner organizations. In 2011-12, these included: Community Day School Association
Federal Way Public Schools
Highline School District
Mount View Elementary
Renton School District
Treehouse for Kids
White Center Heights Elementary http://tinyurl.com/9ed75ja Both gubernatorial candidates endorse TAF Academy Costa Rica $2,729,593 $2,507,978See the full transcript