Impacting the Greater Community
“As principal of a regional Governor’s School, I value sharing TJ’s mission with the many schools in our six participating school divisions, particularly those which are underrepresented at TJ. Students who come to TJ receive a unique education, but they also have a responsibility to give back to their communities.”
Dr. Evan Glazer, Principal
Through service clubs, numerous weekend events, and our STEMbassador outreach program, as well as by creating their own non-profit service organizations, TJ students bring the joys of learning and their special inspirational chemistry to the broader community, especially younger learners.
Community Service is Integral to the TJ Experience
Service is a year-round and near-universal pursuit at TJ. Through eighth period and after-school clubs, students mentor and tutor youngsters in several nearby schools. Students have founded numerous other service and outreach clubs and have also started their own service-based non-profit organizations. Partnership-Fund sponsored “One Question” grants are most often used to support service work. Over 75 percent of TJ upperclassmen are members in the National Honor Society, which requires completion of service hours in addition to a 3.7 GPA.
- LIFT Mentors (year-round): Students mentor LIFT Scholars — middle-school students identified by testing and need and supported by a grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation — encouraging them to apply to TJ, helping them prepare for the TJ exam, and serving as virtual older siblings throughout the application process and beyond.
- STEMbassador Program (school year and summer): Student STEMbassadors and adult liaisons (including parents, representatives from our corporate partners, and alumni) work with over 100 elementary and middle schools to strengthen existing educational programs and launch new ones.
- Intermediate Math Open (Spring): The math team hosts this contest for metro area middle school students.
- “HackTJ” (Spring): TJ’s Coding Lady Colonials hosts students from TJ and other area high schools for an overnight hackathon modeled on similar college events. Students code apps and websites, which they then pitch to the judges.
- “Techstravaganza” (Spring): Dozens of students volunteer at this hands-on science and technology event hosted by TWIST (Tomorrow’s Women in Science & Technology).
- TechMUN (Spring): TJ’s Model UN hosts mock UN sessions for high school and middle school competitors.
- TJCTF Cybersecurity Competition (Spring): Computer Security Club hosts this online “capture the flag” (CTF) computer security puzzle competition for high school students, including those new to computer science.
- Science & Engineering Festival (Spring): Several clubs rotate to staff a table for the entire weekend at the largest STEM education event in the US. In addition, select students participate on panels or make presentations.
- WISE (Women Interested in Science & Engineering) Club partners all year with girls from nearby Weyanoke ES, helping them practice the scientific method and nurturing their enthusiasm for the world of STEM (featured in tjTODAY).
- GEMS (Girls in Engineering, Math, and Science ) mentors girls at Glasgow MS (little GEMS) by exposing them to hands-on science experiments and providing encouragement.
- Other 8th Period TJ Clubs — including Bren Mar Park ES Tutors, Columbia ES Tutors, Holmes MS tutors, and Weyanoke ES Language Arts Tutors, reach into the surrounding community to inspire, tutor, coach, mentor, and serve as successful role models. Tutoring and inspiration focuses on, but is not limited to, STEM subjects.
Student-Founded STEM Education Non-Profits:
In recent years, TJ students have founded several non-profits, including ProjectCSGirls (conferences, workshops), GIVE (tutoring), Reboot for Youth (expanding computer access), and NeuroInspire (neuroscience classes).
Summer Middle School Tech Institute:
Hundreds of kids, including dozens receiving corporate-sponsored full tuition & transportation scholarships, attend TJ’s summer Middle School Tech Institute where they can sample such courses as “Got an App for That?” and “It IS Rocket Science.”
The Supportive TJ Community:
- Partnership Fund (PF): The PF is the non-profit foundation that raises funds from parents, alumni, corporate partners, and friends to support TJ’s unique research facilities and programs, including its outreach initiatives.
- PTSA: The exceptionally large and active PTSA lends its enormous support to virtually every activity at the School.
- Booster Groups: These devoted parent groups support athletics, music, drama, and academic teams and activities.
- STEMbassador Liaisons: Parents and other adults from the broader TJ community work with elementary school representatives, assist with logistical and administrative details, and otherwise facilitate the work of student STEMbassadors.
- Alumni Association: The alumni arm of the Partnership Fund connects alumni with each other as well as with the school and broader community for networking, mentoring, fundraising, and outreach purposes.