Science and Technology
At Taft, we offer a variety of science courses to meet the needs of our students. No matter the course or the level, we hope to inspire a sense of wonder in our students. Our curriculum begins with physics and moves into chemistry and biology in the following years. From foundational classes to Post-AP courses, we offer a range of science class so that every student can find a path where they can excel. From Scientific Ethics to Pox and Pestilence, Adolescent Psychology to Forensics, our electives help keep students engaged in scientific thought, giving them confidence with scientific vocabulary and reasoning, while exploring a topic not traditionally covered in our core classes. We have expanded our STEM offerings due to the popularity of those courses where students get to use our new STEM lab to tinker, create, and explore. For students looking to challenge themselves with AP courses, we offer AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Environmental Science, AP Physics 2, AP Physics C, and AP Psychology. For students looking to explore a subject in more detail, at the collegiate level, we also offer Post-AP courses in our core classes. Every year we also have students create Independent Tutorials in Science, with topics ranging from marine science to neuroscience to organic chemistry. Behind all of this work is a faculty that challenges students with the goal of cultivating independent, scientific thinkers, eager to take students as far as they can go in science.
Students can pursue their passions outside of the academic day through our various offerings ranging from Science Team and Robotics to competitions like Science Olympiad, Chemistry Olympiad, Physics Olympiad, and Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science (TEAMS). Many of our students engage in summer internships in scientific fields, including Yale’s Discovery to Cure and our partnership with the New York Botanical Garden.
Portrait of a Science Graduate
Our work is guided by the Science Department Portrait of a Graduate. Our hope is that graduates from our program will:
- Demonstrate proficiency with scientific processes and content
- Be literate, critical consumers of scientific information
- Be able to design and execute experiments, interpret data, and communicate results
- Habitually apply science and scientific thinking beyond the science classroom
- Utilize the interpersonal and problem-solving skills necessary to navigate individual and collaborative challenges
- Possess a growth mindset, a sense of curiosity, and an appreciation of scientific discovery
“The school does a really great job of preparing students to be critical thinkers. Our talented faculty offers broad electives that inspire curiosity in all kinds of students.”—Dr. Amanda Benedict, Science Teacher
The Lady Ivy Kwok Wu Science and Mathematics Center is a state-of-the-art, 48,000-square foot academic facility with resources that rival those at many colleges. It is home to our aquaculture lab, a robotics facilities, 3-D printer and digitizer, and a PCR machine capable of replicating a single copy of DNA into a million copies within four hours.
Taft students work side-by-side with renowned scientists during summer internships, conducting advanced research.
Leigh Sharpless '18 is studying the future of cancer therapies, and it looks bright.