A Walk Through Wu

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The Heart of Campus

Dedicated in 1997, the 48,000 square foot Lady Ivy Kwok Wu Science and Mathematics Center sits on the edge of Potter’s Pond in the heart of campus.

We Call It Wu

Wu is physically connected to the Hulbert Taft Jr. Library.

Wu Atrium

The Wu atrium is a gathering place for students both before and after classes. It is a bright space, which is open from the ground floor to the top of the building.

What’s in Wu?

Wu comprises four stories, a ground floor and three upper levels of classrooms, offices, and laboratories.

Recalling History

Wu’s modern architecture is balanced by décor that recalls the rudiments and history of mathematics and science.

Tech Lives Here

The Courtney C. Camp ’98 Computer Lab is at once a traditional classroom and an advanced tech facility.

Camp Lab

AP Computer Science students disassemble and rebuild computers in the Camp Computer Lab.

Let’s Study!

In addition to classrooms and laboratories, there are study rooms for individual and small group work on every floor of Wu.

Room to Collaborate

In addition to classrooms and laboratories, there are study rooms for individual and small group work on every floor of Wu.

Opportunity Abounds

Many Taft students take advantage of the tremendous scientific resources available to engage in high-level, independent tutorials, studying things like quantum mechanics, neuroscience, and human echolocation.

We’re High-Tech

Wu houses a wide range of high-tech equipment, including a fluorescent microscope, as well as traditional tools used in hands-on learning.

Science Rocks!

An overwhelming majority of Taft students graduate with at least four years of science, with many completing the equivalent of five years.

Genetics

Taft students have done work on plant genetics, both in the laboratories at Taft, and at those of our educational partner, the New York Botanical Garden.

Enhanced Learning

Small class sizes and combined lab and classroom areas consciously designed to be easily reconfigured for maximum flexibility enhance the learning experience at Taft.

It’s 3-D!

Students produce a variety fun and innovative projects using Wu’s 3-D printer. Go Rhinos!

Math Team

If it’s Friday, you’ll find the Math Team in Wu prepping for their next competition.

A Competitive Edge

Taft students routinely out-perform large fields of international competitors at math and science Olympiads.

Our Faculty Is Awesome

Behind all of the work in Wu is a faculty that challenges students with the goal of cultivating independent, scientific thinkers.

Aquatic Science

Led by Science Teacher Carly Borken, aquatic science students, work with the Sustainable Aquaculture Initiative out of Woods Hole, MA, to develop a small scale tilapia aquaculture model to benefit upland Haitians by growing fish to an edible size with little time or resource input.

Collaboration is Key

Small class sizes and a focus on collaborative work allow students to challenge themselves and each other.

The Scientific Process

“It’s what science is all about—you have an idea, you try it, it fails, you rethink it, you try again. Science is not a collection of facts. It’s a process.” Science Teacher David Hostage

Global Experience

Science Teacher Mike McAloon brings a world of experience to Watertown. As a highly regarded entomologist, he has studied parasites in India, chigger mites in Southeast Asia, was awarded a National Science Foundation grant to work collaboratively with the University of Shanghai.

Intellectual Curiosity

Evidence of intellectual curiosity and academic achievement is evident throughout Wu.

A Formula for Success

“The end goal is to give students self-motivation, creativity, persistence. We give them the framework and resources to do their work.” Science Department Head Jim Lehner

Bees!

Taft’s active honeybee colony

Constant Dialogue

The Peter R. Fink ’51 Memorial Faculty Center is a group office for our math and science teachers. The arrangement encourages constant dialogue among faculty members, allows for a sharing of teaching strategies, and provides space for evening Math Table sessions.

We’re Good at Math

“I love teaching ninth graders, and instilling in them the confidence that they are good at math, and then following them to the end of senior year and seeing how much they’ve changed.” Mathematics Department Head Jen Kenerson

Stargazers

Our rooftop laboratory not only offers beautiful views of Taft’s campus, but is an ideal setting for solar and velocity studies by day, and star-gazing through our telescope at night.

Research Rules

One of the more important aspects of scientific study at Taft, students report, is exposure to the world of research.

A World of Opportunity

Science Teacher Jim Mooney’s objective is to “take students as far as they can go in science.” He does so in the classroom, and through independent tutorials, Taft’s extracurricular robotics team, and by preparing students for international physics competitions.

Ms. Monti Loves Science

In additional to traditional classroom duties, Laura Monti ’89 has worked closely with students on a number of in-depth independent tutorials, including a study of the genetic makeup of fireflies at a look at the effects of inbreeding on the reproductive fitness of wild and captive fruit fly populations.

Science is for Everyone

“Part of the strength of the Science Department is that there is great care paid to teaching the lower mids, mids, and the students whose primary focus is not just science—it’s not just the science superstars who are taught well here.” Science Teacher Dr. Amanda Benedict

Top-notch Facilities

“We have upgraded all of our facilities so that we rival or surpass many small colleges…” Math Teacher Al Reiff.

The Sky’s the Limit