“In the 21st century, scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important as we face the benefits and challenges of both globalization and a knowledge-based economy. To succeed in this new information-based and highly technological society, students need to develop their capabilities in STEM to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past.”
—National Science Foundation
According to the United States Department of Commerce, STEM-based careers are growing at a rate that is more than double that of all other occupations. As the global workplace changes, STEM knowledge and skills become increasingly important in in every field, not just those driven by technology.
Taft prepares students to not only meet the learning and workplace challenges of the 21st century, but to emerge as skilled contributors, thought leaders, and innovators. At Taft, STEM—courses in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics— is not a program, or a set of courses offered in isolation. Rather, STEM is the integration of courses incorporating multiple disciplines and linked learning opportunities both in and out of the classroom. It is hands-on, exploratory, and interdisciplinary. It emphasizes critical thinking, understanding, and engagement beyond Taft’s walls. Our students build robots, compete in international mathematics competitions, and create 3-D worlds using the latest technology. They conduct medical research at some of the nation’s top scientific institutions, intern beside college students and graduate fellows, and conduct and present research of their own.
What you know is only as important as what you can do with what you know. What Taft students do is extraordinary.
Opened in 2018, our state-of-the-art STEM laboratory incorporates three distinct but connected spaces: a hi-tech, digitally interactive classroom, a workshop or “makerspace,” and an advanced technology center. Each is large and open, with design elements and components built in to maximize both flow and function.
The advanced technology center is home to an Ultimaker 3 3D printer, which, when paired with our Tinkercard 3D modeling and coding applications, allows students to design and produce personally engineered components. Engineering students also use our CNC machine and laser engraver and cutter, and code using SAM Lab kits.
“These pieces are the cornerstone of learning for engineering students today, and are effectively incorporated into our engineering and technology program; our equipment will keep pace with advances in the industry, advances in our STEM curriculum, or with the addition of new projects to our build portfolio,” says Engineering Teacher Dan Calore.
The workshop space, or “build room,” houses tools and equipment found in traditional industrial arts spaces. The practical use is far from traditional: “We’ve designed the build room not to be a carpenter shop, but to be a space where all kinds of different types of buildprojects can be built and maintained. It’s designed to allow us to do different types of build projects all on a smaller scale. For example, we’ll build some of da Vinci’s machines, all scaled to table-top size.”
Taft's science facilities rival those at top colleges and universities. So does the work being done inside.
- Introduction to Engineering and Design
- Performance Engineering
- 3D Design and Prototyping
- Developing Mobile Apps for Android
- Introduction to Web Application
- Introduction to Computer Science
- Independent Tutorial in Computer Science
- Honors C Programming for Computer Science and Computer Engineering
- Afternoon ex: Competition Robotics Team
- TSA Tests of Engineering
- TEAMS Competitions
Taft’s STEM students routinely test their mettle against the best and the brightest student from across the globe, making their mark on the international competition circuit.