Diversity at SOTA

Diversity at SOTA

I’ve been to eight different schools since elementary school, in different states, but SOTA is the only school that I have attended that has no separation no matter gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, and ability. Often in schools today, students with a disability, or any form of being different, are put in different classes. Even though they are working on their developmental skills, being put in these classes they are deprived of the ‘social experience’ a kid should have. Not only does this affect their social skills amongst peers, this can also affect their social life during adulthood.

Bees at SAMI

Bees at SAMI

Behind the portables at Camp Six in Point Defiance Park, there sits a small, roofless, wooden shed. Inside of this shed is where SAMi’s newest neighbors are hard at work: Three individual hives are home to a grand total of around 150,000 bees, each playing their part in contributing the hives’ success. This apiary began as the senior project of Max Mayo, a graduate from the class of 2016. SAMi teacher Lauren Anderson lent a hand in the development of Max’s project by leading a spring A&A course on beekeeping, where students helped to construct the hives and to introduce its inhabitants.

SAMI's Orientation to Point Defiance

SAMI's Orientation to Point Defiance

We all know that Tacoma is a beautiful city. Its proximity to a large body of water, and flare for both the new and the old-fashioned make it a dynamic place to live. Here at the Science and Math Institute, 400-plus students are attending classes amidst the grandeur of arguably one of the most beautiful places in Tacoma – Point Defiance Park

Beginning Guitar with Dustin Blatnik

For those who don’t know, SAMi is currently going through a transition of location and its portables are now hidden in the woods of Camp 6 at Point Defiance Park. To get there one must get on a big yellow school bus at the park entrance and bump along 5 Mile Drive to the hidden site. Here, in portable G, Dustin Blatnik’s Beginning Guitar class meets on a Thursday. It’s a small room, hot and crowded with students holding guitars, cases, papers, and chairs spread out over every square foot, and the cacophony can be heard from either end of the camp. There’s method to the madness, though; while Blatnik listens to students play individually, lessons of every kind are being learned simultaneously throughout the room. Some work solo, others in groups, all of them supporting each other. They share tuners, sheets of music, and advice. “Life’s too short to not have capo” one student is heard saying.