TECHSTART EDUCATION FOUNDATION

Rating: 4.92 stars   26 reviews

Issues:

Location: 111 Sw 5th Ave, Suite 120 Portland OR 97204 USA

Mission: TechStart is a 501(c)3nonprofit that promotes wider access to technology education for K-12students in order to strengthen the skills they need to thrive in theglobal economy.
Geographic areas served: Oregon
Programs:

Our flagship program, SuperQuest, is an innovative, affordableprofessional development series for technology teachers and teachersinterested in integrating technology into their curriculum.  We offer adiversity of courses at various skill levels in three broad categories:

  • computer science
  • information technology and
  • pre-engineering
Through this program, we reach thousands of students by educating and inspiring their teachers.
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

TechStart continues to support technical education in a time when budgets are strained and class sizes growing. This past year, I received a grant for music creation software that helps enhance the programs my students are creating. The grant enabled students who otherwise might not be interested in the coding aspects to engage in class projects by creating sound effects and music to go along with the action or storyline in programs coded by their peers. As a teacher, I continue to receive low cost education in Alice and GameMaker (as well as other available courses) that allows me to enrich my student's knowledge as they explore these programs.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Class attendance, grant recipient

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Somehow make it more well known. These heroes who help support technical education in a time when budgets are crunched don't seem to get much recognition!

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

TechStart has been a great help in helping me create an engaging curriculum in my Middle School computer application classes. In addition to providing opportunities at low (and sometimes, no) cost to learn about programming and technology, the organization also hosts a GameMaker programming contest in the Spring. My students love the opportunity to show what they have learned to different panels of knowledgeable adults, and they also gain valuable insight into various technology fields when they get the opportunity to meet with professionals in the field - and at least 2 of these opportunities are scheduled into their day when they go to the competition. The classes have allowed me to become a confident enabler of various software programs and it is a joy to watch the students explore the programs we use and explore ways to go beyond the lessons I teach.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

HS/MS Game Maker programming competition Summer classes for teachers

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I learned about Techstart from a colleague in Eugene. This organization sponsors outstanding educational events for teachers and support persons working in Northwest schools. In addition, the organization spearheads opportunities for young people working with technology. My daughter participated in Techstart's computer programming competition for high schoolers, held yearly on the campus of Willamette University, and through this participation she gained confidence working on a team of dynamic students, taking on supremely difficult programming tasks. Her experience was very positive. It helped her grow in skills to the extent that she was prepared to take on a summer internship at the University of Oregon's computer science department, something that would have been beyond her without the preparation of working on the programming team. My two experiences attending SuperQuest, the summers of 2009 and 2010, afforded me the opportunity to learn skills essential for the teaching of technology I do. I teach at Kennedy Middle School in Eugene, and while my assignment is teaching mathematics, I have developed two additional elective courses for students, one in Lego robotics, the other a mix of electricity, animation, and music. I gained exposure to the software needed for animation that first summer. Attending that event, held at Western Oregon University, I was astounded at the expertise the Techstart people had assembled for the conference. A broad range of topics were presented in the CS4HS program at that conference, many of particular interest to multi-level instruction, such as "Computer Science Unplugged" and discussions of equity issues. I settled in to a workshop introducing me to GameMaker, taught with skill, precision, and helpful flexibility. Leaving that conference I knew what my next steps would be to get started with setting up experiences for my middle schoolers. The summer of 2010 event held at Oregon State University once again brought many new topics to my attention, including a fascinating talk on cryptology. All speakers at that conference were exceptionally well-prepared. I particularly enjoyed the various experiences we were given to see the work done at that campus "up close" through talks by those teaching computer science and engineering, through tours of the robotics areas, and up-close talks with students at Oregon State working with robotics. The robotics workshop was extraordinary! Our instructors were first-rate, absolutely bursting with information and helpfulness. I couldn't have asked for a better introduction to programming in Robot-C, and building the robots, right down to the nitty-gritty of which parts to buy, how to troubleshoot potential difficulties, and insider tips on competition using this technology. Beyond the workshop, I've set dates for further attendance at Techstart events. It is convenient that these are scheduled at times I am able to come, and that various locations in Oregon are utilized. In the busy life of a teacher this scheduling and location choosing is crucial. Finally, those who staff Techstart clearly go out of their way to provide an exceptional experience for conference attendees. We had everything we needed, including great food, fun breaks in the action, and a really personal feeling between participants and staff. I especially liked the banquet opportunities, the chance this gave me to hang out with some people I'd not yet met, including a fabulous robotics team from Philomath, Oregon called the PHRED. Leaving Corvallis this summer I felt like I had been treated to a most wonderful event. Techstart absolutely "has its act together" when it comes to bringing us great experts in a delightful setting at a convenient time. I now know why others speak of attending SuperQuest events many summers in a row. I'll definitely be back next time.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my improved teaching, my daughter's fine programming competition experience, and my chance to meet others who share my passion for teaching technology.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the quality of its conferences: excellent in every way!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

helpful, ready to share knowledge, fun people to get to know, and exceptionally hard working!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change the world of education in a profound way.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I traveled more than 6000 miles to receive a 30 hours of the best training that I have been in touch in my 30 years of professional career. Not only the administrators of the event but also the trainers and volunteers gave the maximum of their strenghts to help participants. Now, I am more confident about to use technology and teaching Discrete Mathematics. I would like to have the opportunity to participate in a similar event again.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

SuperQuest 2010 at OSU.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-8-01

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Rating: 4 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

TechStart does an amazing job of bringing in the best people who really know their stuff, and who are willing to share and guide other teaching professionals to greater successes in the classroom. I left wanting more and added many tools to my classroom toolkit! I am excited to incorporate the ideas and techniques into my daily lesson plans!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The week long SuperQuest class.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

Techstart put together a computer programming game competition for middle school through high school students. This was my first year in the competition. Techstart did a fantastic job from inception in February to the final prize awarded in May. My students were thrilled to be amongst hundreds of like-minded students. Their parents and myself were impressed with the scope of preparation and organization of the competition. My teams presented to 2 separate groups of professional programmers and game designers and also presented and listened to peer presentations as well. Techstart brought all of this together for a very reasonable participation fee ($50 per team). My students were inspired and excited to be part of such a great competition. Winning two awards was icing on the cake.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

See above.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-5-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

The SuperQuest TechStart training was wonderful! I went into the training knowing nothing to very little about FLL, gamemaker, and the Lego robotics. I am an after school educator that needed new ideas and cirriculum. I came out of the training with a new and positive mind-set, as well as the tools to grow and succeed in the after school programs.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the Wasco County 4-H after school and in school programs.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have been teaching for 3 years and just when I thought some of my initial interest and experience began to wain I was reinvigorated. Never before had I thought Robotics could serve our students in so many manners. When it comes to workplace skills, subject matter engagement, personal growth and exploration, interaction with difficult science content, and the overall hands-on technology education Techstart is supreme! I have grown as a teacher, as a person and as a learner of science. School has not even began and I have parent volunteers who are calling me! I have a list of 18 students who searched for me during registration because they are so excited about my new curriculum (and we have not even began school)! This was a huge benefit and I will be sure to come to every Techstart Superquest I can from now on! Thank you for the opportunity! --Stacey Johnson Science Teacher at Junction City High School

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I do not have to seek out students, they seek out me. I do not have to beg for parent support, they offer it. The students are engaged, excited and WANT to be here! Who could ask for more?

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-8-01

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