I started out with a passion for teaching computer science because of the opportunity to really really get kids to THINK! However I had not much background in this field or how to teach it. There is no other venue that offers such quality teacher training in the technology, and more importantly, the pedagogy and classroom management of teaching technology in K-12. Now that I am retired, I have a great opportunity to continue and expand on TechStart's influence here in Oregon.
TechStart is a nonprofit that promotes wider access to technology education for K-12 students in order to strengthen the skills they need to thrive in the global economy. Their annual game programming contest is a fun, rewarding experience that encourages young people to form self-motivated teams to create educational games. This growing contest simultaneously promotes creativity, technical expertise, teamwork and leadership in a 100% positive environment. The first time I volunteered for this contest, I saw learning-disabled or economically disadvantaged young people working productively side-by-side with gifted or economically advantaged people in a spirit of camaraderie, sharing triumphs and supporting each other through setbacks.
We hosted the SuperQuest workshop here at Oregon State University this year. So, I got to work with Natasha MacDonald, Stevie Viaene, Kathy Zettl-Schaffer, and Ron Tenison on the planning. What a great group of people! So dedicated! So passionate about education! It was a real pleasure working with them. Then -- once the workshop actually arrived -- what an experience! Tech Start really does an amazing job of bringing educators together in a tremendous "watering hole" environment, where they all exchange ideas and teach each other new material and best practices. I was very impressed. I can see that tech Start fills a very important gap in our education system. -- Dr. Mike Bailey Computer Science professor Oregon State University
TechStart Education Foundation is a wonderful non-profit that helps promote technology education in Oregon K-12 schools through its programs, events, scholarships, grants, and donations. I donated my time to recruit, educate, and coordinate a group of over 40 volunteer judges for the annual Oregon Game Project challenge. The middle school and high school students that participated in this event were able to not only demonstrate their research and talent, but were also able to learn from 3-4 judge panels made up of industry experts who shared their professional experiences with the participating students. I was amazed by both the interest and participation at the middle school level as well as the diversity in terms of the student populations. In an environment where our leading technology educators are being laid off by schools (even winners of our Technology Educator of the Year award and grant winners for funds for their class rooms) these types of programs are critical for keeping our K-12 students interested in high tech pursuits.
TECHSMART HELPED ME WITH EDUCATION ON HOW TO BUILD ROBOTS, LEAD A GROUP OF 9 YR OLDS., AND HAVE FUN WHILE WERE ALL LEARNIG.
I volunteered at the Oregon Game Project Challenge this year and could not have been more impressed with the obvious enthusiasm and meticulous planning by TechStart in hosting that event. As a result, the students clearly enjoyed that opportunity to share and learn from the competition. I was amazed at the students' work, and grateful to be a part of the TechStart work.