TAF Academy wins math award
By GREG ALLMAIN
Federal Way Mirror reporter
September 13, 2012 · Updated 4:30 PM
TAF Academy recently received an award for excellence in math from the Intel Schools of Distinction program, earning the academy $10,000 to continue its excellent work.
The Intel Schools of Distinction program recognizes K-12 schools that "provide a rich, rigorous science or mathematics curriculum by incorporating hands-on investigative experiences that prepare students for future jobs."
Wendy Hawkins, executive director for the Intel Foundation, said these awards are aimed at creating greater awareness of schools that have success in preparing their students.
"Intel is proud to honor the Schools of Distinction Award winners for their commitment to encouraging and engaging students in science and math," she said. Through the recognition of these innovative programs, Intel hopes to form a greater awareness of the tangible successes schools can achieve by cultivating a hands-on science and math environment."
A total of $560,000 in cash grants were distributed to winning schools by the Intel Foundation and other participating companies. Each winning school received an estimated $75,000 in total awards between the cash prizes and matching prizes in software, hardware and other curriculum materials.
"These awards are testimony that TAF Academy provides among the most innovative math and science instruction in the country. TAF Academy is at the forefront of closing the opportunity gap by rethinking how we educate all children," said Federal Way Public Schools (FWPS) Superintendent Rob Neu.
TAF Academy is a 6th-12th grade science, technology, engineering and math focused public school that is located in Kent. FWPS is a co-manager of the academy along with TAF itself, which is a Seattle-based nonprofit organization.
Trish Millines Dziko, TAF's executive director, said the academy is effective because it "teaches students mathematics skills and how to apply them to real-life problems, (and) how to approach projects as members of team and how to communicate what they've learned to others."
"We hope that Intel's recognition of our program will inspire more schools to adopt innovative approaches to teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)," she added.
TAF Academy Principal Paul Tytler gave credit where credit was due, saying his staff's hard work and dedication led to the Academy's success in the awards.
"Our middle school math team's dedication and hard work reflects our school's desire to make a difference in student achievement regardless of our students' background and life situations," Tytler said. "As a STEM school, we're proud to be honored by Intel for forwarding our mutual goal of inspiring the next generation of scientists and mathematicians."
Winners were chose from 18 finalists, which were taken from 176 applicants across 35 states. To learn more about the Intel Schools of Distinction Awards, visit www.intel.com/education/schoolsofdistinction.
Contact Federal Way Mirror reporter Greg Allmain at email@example.com or 253-925-5565 ext. 5054.