Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences

Founded in October 1983 with 62 students in rooms rented from Temple De
Hirsch Sinai, Seattle Academy has always believed that an innovative, creative,
and entrepreneurial education was the best answer to the question, “How do we
prepare our young people for college and for life?” The school’s survival and
growth, which now includes 730 students and ownership of a full city block, has
been fuelled by the enormous learning power and achievement of fully engaged
young people in a learning environment with a “Culture of Performance” that
emphasizes Project- based and Problem-based work. In 2012-13, the school
offered to seniors a new elective course on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. In
2013-4 the school expanded the offering to two courses, one focused on economic
innovation and one on social innovation; and added a Pilot Project, in which
students worked with three Seattle-based companies to find solutions to specific
problems that the companies sought help in solving.
Seattle Academy will use its Educational Leadership Grant to combine the
Innovations program with other current offerings in Sustainability, Robotics, and
Programming in order to develop The Seattle Academy Lab for Innovation and
Entrepreneurship. The Lab, with a curriculum modeled after the collaborative,
interdisciplinary approach of the Stanford Design School, will enhance the
school’s proven ability to prepare students to solve the real problems of the world
by giving them real-world problems to solve. The Grant will allow the school to
develop a Lab that will include partnerships with area non-profits and for-profits
that will advance the public purpose of private education; a teaching lab that will
offer internships to teachers interested in learning how to more effectively “coach”
students in project-based work; and online partnerships that will extend the
school’s successful outreach program to underserved populations.