Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2007)|
|Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science|
|Denton, Texas, United States|
|Dean||Dr. Richard Sinclair|
|Grades||11th and 12th|
|Campus size||869 acres (3.3 km²)|
The Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS) is a two-year residential early college entrance program serving approximately 380 Texans at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. It is a member of the National Consortium for Specialized Secondary Schools of Mathematics, Science and Technology.
The Texas legislature enacted law establishing TAMS at the University of North Texas to offer challenging educational opportunities to high school juniors and seniors. To date, the university has failed to establish a program for seniors. As a result, Texas has no solution for high school seniors who have completed the math and science courses offered by the local high school.
The school functions similarly to the charter school system. It is a high school located on and run by the University of North Denton. It has separate classes, but the students can take UNT classes when needed. In this role, TAMS has had remarkable success. However, this success obscures its failure to meet its state mandate and leaves Texans without a comprehensive early entrance policy.
Each year TAMS admits approximately 200 new students following their 10th grade year of high school. These students are entered into full-time college studies and proceed to earn two years of college credit that is transferable in most situations while at the same time earning a high school diploma. Typical TAMS students receive both a high school diploma and more than 60 college credits, allowing them to potentially enter university with enough credit to qualify as a junior.
Core subjects required for graduation with a TAMS diploma are biology, chemistry, physics (mechanics and electromagnetism), mathematics (precalculus and calculus), English literature, US history, and political science. Students are also required to attend a biweekly seminar, which includes presentations covering academic topics like research opportunities and nonacademic topics.
All core courses must be taken at TAMS/UNT during the fall and spring semesters. All courses, including electives, must be taken in standard format – that is, none can be taken on-line or by correspondence. The minimum cumulative GPA required for graduation is 3.0. Students whose GPA drops below this threshold are put on academic probation, and if they do not bring their GPA back above a 3.0 they are dismissed from the Academy, and the number of elective courses that a student may take in a given semester is dependent upon his or her GPA during the previous semester. They get no electives during their first semester. If a student's GPA is a 3.1 to a 3.5 then he/she is permitted one elective, if it is between 3.5 and 4.0 he/she is permitted two.
Tuition and fees
TAMS students are responsible for paying for room and board in McConnell Hall and a TAMS "program charge" (which amounted to $1,300 during the 2007–2008 academic year). The program charge was deleted for year 2009 to 2010. However, budget cuts led to the reinstatement of the charge for the 2012–2013 school year. Tuition and all other fees are paid for by the TAMS program. Textbooks are lent to the student for free for the duration of the relevant course. Certain books, such as lab manuals, are kept by the students after the completion of a course.
Research, scholarships, and awards
Students at TAMS are encouraged to take the opportunity of conducting research under the guidance of a professor either on or off-campus during the school year as well as the summer. The TAMS Summer Research Scholarship is offered to about 60 students per year to fund these research pursuits. In the past, amounts up to $4000 have been granted, though due to recent budget cuts the scholarship for the '05–'06 summer was reduced to $3000. Students' research may be recognized by professors listing a student as co-author of a papers or by awards at competitions such as Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Science and Technology and the Intel Science Talent Search. A number of students also compete for the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.
Clubs and events
TAMS students participate in the UNT community through activities such as community service projects and tutoring. TAMS has a number of student activities and events, ranging from academic clubs like Mu Alpha Theta and Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS) to performance groups like Academy Players (theatre) and Dull Roar (music), to cultural groups such as FACES (Fellowship for the Advancement of Cultural Education for Students). There are also many community service activities available in which students can participate, like HOPE (Helping Other People Everywhere). In addition to clubs, the McConnell Hall Association functions as a part of the UNT Residential Hall Association. Also, one student is voted to represent TAMS in the UNT Student Government Association each year.
In addition, TAMS has several career-oriented clubs as well. As mentioned earlier, TAMS has JETS (an engineering society), TBO (a business society), and TMS (a medical society). TAMS students come from several different backgrounds and hope to pursue several different paths. Having these clubs facilitates these goals.
TAMS is also one of the few high schools in the nation to have an internationally recognized Muggle Quidditch team.
Students may also participate in yearly or more frequent events such as proms, school dances, coffee houses, and an annual talent show.
A list of the present clubs are as follows:
- Academy Players
- Amnesty International
- Computer Science
- Dancing for a Cause
- Dull Roar
- Ignite Bible Study
- Judicial Board
- McConnell Hall Association
- Model United Nations
- Mu Alpha Theta
- Research Organization
- Sports Club
- Student Council
- TAMS Business Organization
- TAMShams (amateur radio)
- TAMS Medical Society
- Teach and Learn
- The Supply at UNT
All TAMS students live in McConnell Hall. The hall consists of three floors, segregated by gender. The hall is furnished with a kitchenette, multiple meeting rooms, and two common rooms. One of the common rooms, the Smitty Study, serves as a public recreation room when it is not functioning as a study area during quiet hours. The other common room, Mac Café, aptly named because it once was home to a university cafeteria, hosts various student activities and serves as a gathering place for both academic and social interaction.
- Texas Education Code, Title 3, Subtitle F, 105.301 (http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/SOTWDocs/ED/htm/ED.105.htm)
- Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science
- TAMS Alumni Association
- Early Entrance College Programs
- Full List of TAMS Clubs