SAMI

Adventures & Applications (A&A)

Adventures & Applications (A&A)

Fridays at Sami, Sota and Idea are host to two one-of-a-kind classes: Mentor group, and Adventures and Applications. A&A works to broaden the individual student’s perspective by offering a deeper look into a topic of their choice. 

After lunch ends at 1:20, we make our ways to our chosen A&A classes where we will stay until school lets out at 3:20. (However, seniors , juniors in their second semester, have Junior/Senior Breakouts in place of an A&A.) While it is much like mini and microterm, this Friday-only class takes place almost exclusively at the student’s home school. Popular SAMi A&A’s include Makerspace, creative shop class lead by Johnny Devine, Superbridges, a mentorship program for high school students to get to know elementary school students, and any one of the political science or psychology courses taught by Matthew Sherls. A number of other classes are one shots with students who fit into a certain niche in mind. These include topics such as video game design, mathematical art, and exploration of the outdoors. Even if none of the descriptions on the course catalogue appeal to a student, there is always the chance to expand your horizons.

The Importance of Mentor Groups

The Importance of Mentor Groups

I first met my mentor group (Carol Brouillette’s “Brouilletians”) at camp of my freshman year. All of the older students intimidated me at first. While almost none of us are very big in size, every one of the upperclassmen I saw looked so much more mature, in one way or another, than the students I’d met in middle school. Some were loud, some were quiet, some seemed gentle and others abrasive. They all formed a cast of characters of a type I’d never seen before. By the end of those three days of camp, however, I felt included. I did not share the same memories and experiences as the upperclassmen did, but I began to connect with them. In my cabin were the two other freshman girls in my group plus a sophomore girl, and I got to know them more by talking with them during cabin readings and before bed. I left for home still feeling anxious about the upcoming year. However, I left feeling just a bit less alone. 

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