A couple of decades ago the Math Department became conscious that its focus on mathematics and on building mathematicians was causing it to turn its back on the community outside its doors. This was not a healthy state of affairs, so we got to work on it. One result was Math Day, begun in 1991 and still very much alive today. It annually brings some 1,200 high school students and their teachers from around the state to our campus for a day of mathematical activities and topics ranging from boomerangs to astronomy. With Jim Morrow at the helm and the Extension Office assisting, it looks (but isn't!) nearly effortless. Since then we have been reaching out in an ever-increasing set of ways and directions. In the mid-nineties we joined the College of Education for a pair of NSF projects (Creating a Community of Mathematics Learners and Expanding the Community of Mathematics Learners) that worked intensively with teachers at all levels in six school districts around Lake Washington. Meanwhile, under the guidance of Jim King, a group of teachers from around the state began attending the Park City Mathematics Institute, another NSF project. That group got a month of very exciting mathematics at an institute attended also by researchers and graduate students. They came back and put together another annual event, the Northwest Mathematics Interaction. That one runs for two weeks on the UW campus and brings in yet another group of teachers to work and learn together. The PCMI connection has recently produced yet another sub-project, TM 3, about which you can expect to hear a lot next year.
Another joint venture, this one with Applied Mathematics and an independent school, University Child Development School, is the GK-12 Project. Also supported by the NSF, this project takes graduate students and UCDS teachers into several elementary schools to be a resource for teachers who are in the process of learning to teach mathematics as a set of concepts rather than a set of procedures (generally those who are adopting one of the new curricula).
On the home front, and quite without NSF funding, we have been running a series of quarter-long special topics courses designed to be of interest to in-service teachers, and accessible to them both in content and in scheduling.
And most spectacularly, thanks to an anonymous donor, we run an annual summer event called SIMUW (Summer Institute of Mathematics at the University of Washington) that brings 24 bright, lively high school students to live on campus for six weeks and immerse themselves in mathematics. They have six two-week mini-courses run by different mathematicians, mostly from the UW faculty, and a bunch of special lectures and events. It's hard to tell for whom it is more exciting – the kids or the mathematicians working with them!