Apply to IDEA


Enroll in your neighborhood school anytime during the school year.

Enroll A New Student Online

Choice Enrollment for Grades 1-12

Apply to attend a school other than your neighborhood school for the 2022-2023 school year. The application window open October 25, 2021 and close January 21, 2022.

Learn More & Apply

Join the Waitlist for 2022-2023 School Year

The application for the Class of 2026 at SOTA, SAMI, and IDEA is now closed.

If you were not able to submit an application to the regional lottery before December 17, 2022 you can still complete an interest form and apply once a spot opens.

Learn more & Apply on Elements of Education Website

IDEA Information Night

This virtual event included introductions from school leaders and staff, academics, our school culture, unique programs we offer, and information about the enrollment process.

Who Can Apply?

We accept applications from students who live within and outside of Tacoma Public Schools boundaries. Students who live within the TPS boundaries are given priority enrollment. Acceptance is based on a regional lottery.


IDEA is a collaborative creative environment centered around industrial design, engineering, and the arts. Our community is made up of high school students, non-profits, professional organizations, and for-profit businesses of all sizes. Our goal is to form a collaborative learning environment where our partners can work alongside our student in design-and-build studios, forming public to private partnerships and giving both students and teachers access to professional opportunities as well as giving our partners direct access to students and teachers to inform their work.

Programs & Activities at IDEA

students working at table

The creative act of determining and defining a product’s form and features takes place in advance of the physical act of making a product, which consists purely of repeated, often automated, replication.

IDEA student working on project

The branch of science and technology is concerned with the design, building, and use of engines, machines, and structures.

IDEA student at graduation

The mission of our schools is to partner with community resources to change public education, emphasizing creativity, and utilizing a fully inclusive model that educates the whole student through core values. 

IDEA in Action


Project-Based Learning

iDEA students learn through projects, with teachers acting more like guides for students, posing challenging questions and working to embed learning targets within the context of student-driven, real-world projects. The curriculum aligns with common core standards in math, science, English, and social studies and follows the gold-standard project-based learning framework outlined by the Buck Institute. Any time you walk into iDEA, the students are excited to show you their latest creation, whether it’s made of wood, metal, or on a computer screen.

“Content” learning is applied and utilized during project-based learning that bridges classrooms with the real world. All students are exposed to experiences that stimulate the imagination, provoke inquiry, and create avenues for invention. They gain access to the kind of learning that inspires the desire to dream and achieve. They gain the confidence to follow their passions and to transport their ideas into the future.

IDEA student at graduation
IDEA student at graduation
IDEA student at graduation
IDEA student at graduation
IDEA student at graduation