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26 Reviews
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August 27, 2010

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August 27, 2010

The worthiness of the mission of TechStart Education Foundation (TEF) is clear to see. We need to raise the quality of technical education in Oregon and SW Washington to support economic growth and quality of life. Board Members and the many friends of the TEF have incredible passion to fulfill this mission. Their vision for programs and coordination of resources is bounded only by one thing, restriction of funds. Joining the TEF in passion to drive improvements is a collection of technology teachers who deliver training and mentoring to other teachers. This group drives the curriculum of SuperQuest, the teaching training "camp" that teaches robotics, programming and other technology curricula. TEF is the primary funding of this training and mentoring program. Don Domes, at Hillsboro High School, epitomizes the vision and selfless dedication to drive something much bigger than themselves. Several board members and other friends have done an outstanding job of creating vision and specific messaging to promote the story of TEF. Great work has also been done to connect the structure of their most important fundraiser, UncorkED, to their mission.

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The Great!

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

1. Delivery of SuperQuest training events 2. Key sponsorship of ORTOPS robotic competition 3. Willamette Programming Contest 4. UncorkED Fundraising Event

Ways to make it better...

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

1. Improve visibility of the TEF to networks of donors. 2. Improve grant awards by improved grant writing activities. 3. Improve funding by state legislature & state agencies in tech ed funding 4. Improve school district awareness of TEF and Superquest

More feedback...

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

The passion of the board and friends to address the challenges of improving technical education

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

Visionary, generous, hard working, creative, collaborative, skilled in business, bright, and motivated

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

1. Drive teacher training for hundreds of technical teaching 2. Equip classrooms with robotics kits 3. Fund the grant writing team to optimize a continual flow of funding 4. Fund lobbying to state legislature to provide funding for technical education

Ways to make it better...

We had focused more on developing a team with more members to increase the work capacity and members who had better networking with donors who had a passion for our mission.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

1. Quantity of board members & friends to accomplish the work. 2. Expertise in grant writing 3. Expertise in lobbying for state funding

One thing I'd also say is that...

This cause requires a champion with funding. The power of having world class technical education is pretty apparent, but other causes can draw off the funding. TEF is uniquely positioned to make this case and drive success.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

August 27, 2010

more

August 27, 2010

TechStart (formerly the Software Association of Oregon) has to be one of the most effective, efficient non-profits in Oregon, despite its modest size. It focuses on awakening a passion for technology within Oregon students and does so largely through teacher professional development as well as student engagement programs. It fills a key, previously untended niche and leverages its industry affiliation as a supporting entity to the Software Association of Oregon. With a laser-focus on program delivery, heavy involvement of committed volunteers, and a can-do attitude, TechStart makes a substantive difference for Oregon students every day. It also represents a great blend of public and private partners, working together on behalf of Oregon students. It was a pleasure to serve this committed group.

The Great!

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

I attended every one of its major programs during my time on the Board, spoke to numerous students and many teachers. All reported on the unique value and high quality of their experience with TechStart while also noting the importance of its work.

Ways to make it better...

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

It needs to keep growing to scale so it may further influence the educational system in Oregon in positive ways.

More feedback...

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

Its effectiveness and focus on meeting unique needs.

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

Passionate and committed

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

Enrich the educational options, and personal development opportunities, for even more Oregon students.

Ways to make it better...

We had to spend less time on fundraising, but that is life in a start-up non-profit.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Sustainable, reliable revenue sources.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

August 27, 2010

more

August 27, 2010

From all-girl robotics competition teams making global impact to ESL students who accelerate their language skills to young game programmers who found a place to fit in and put their talent on the line, TechStart is sparking the curiosity, creativity and critical thinking in young students that is the key to our future technology innovation. It's evident the minute you talk to any teacher or student involved - and there are so many more demanding it that can be reached.

The Great!

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

I have witnessed first hand the dedication of the teachers and the enthusiasm of the students who benefit from the programs thet TechStart provides by volunteering at several events and talking directly with constituents.

More feedback...

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

seeing the engagement and satisfaction of the teachers and students who benefit.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

August 26, 2010

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August 26, 2010

I've seen first-hand the results of TechStart's teacher education and student immersion offerings in the area of computer science and technology education in K-12. My son has had the opportunity to participate in statewide game programming and puzzle solving competitions, as well as participate in helping to develop new curriculum to blend discrete mathematics with computer science.

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The Great!

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

measured growth in the number of students in Oregon that have direct access to technology and computer science curriculum and after-school programs.

More feedback...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

August 26, 2010

more

August 26, 2010

At a time when many are wondering if kids in our country have what it takes to compete in the global workplace, if they have the 21st century technology skills required to succeed, I take solice in TechStart's work in Oregon. At the Oregon Game Project Challenge (OGPC)run by TechStart, I saw firsthand in May the culimination of months of work of students that programmed games to address biohealth. Not only did they work in teams to accomplish a goal, but their energy was electric. That's the energy that TechStart can create -- the kindling of the technology fire in OR kids.

The Great!

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

Hundreds of kids coming together to celebrate their achievement for the Oregon Game Project Challenge (OGPC).

More feedback...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2004

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