What’s the name of your organization?
We are Construct.
What’s your name and title?
I’m Gina Condon, President and Co-founder.
In which city (or cities) is your organization located?
Construct is located in Portland, Oregon at the heart of the Innovation Quadrant, with offices in the Burnside Bridgehead development. Our work takes us across Oregon, reaching students, teachers, and industry mentors with in-person and remote opportunities.
What are the ages and demographics of youth you work with?
Our primary youth demographics are 6-12th grade, majority under-represented, and majority from Title 1 schools.
Describe your organization and its mission.
Construct is an education non-profit that builds student-led Design Challenges, supported by local and regional industry partners. We surface and celebrate student “solutions” that have real impact in the world while developing curriculum and instructional tools that make Design Challenges fun and accessible for teachers.
What are the short and long-term goals for your organization?
Short-term, we’re prepping for our Spring 2022 KATU Innovation Challenge, sponsored by Intel, PGE, First Tech, and Daimler Trucks North America. In the second year of this statewide STEM design competition, we are particularly interested in helping students and teachers that have fewer STEM resources to be more competitive.
More than 200 students, from over 75 schools are expected to sign up for the Challenge that launches in January. We are also launching a rural Design Challenge cohort of schools in the Linn Benton Lincoln and Douglas County regions in early 2022. Longer-term–we are developing online courses for our teaching prototype in order to facilitate scaling and spreading our services to thousands more students–delivering all of the vital, future-ready skills that Challenges catalyze.
How can TAO and community members support your work?
TAO would be a marvelous resource to build more support and industry engagement for our work, including the upcoming Spring Innovation Challenge. We need mentors from the tech industry to coach our student entrants; promotion and visibility opportunities; meaningful gifts for young finalists; scholarship support; and opportunities to engage with tech businesses after the competition to extend the learning and impact.
This blog post is part of an awareness campaign about organizations working to advance STEM education opportunities for Oregon youth. A big thank you to Oregon Community Foundation for supporting STEM education!
Photo credit: PGE and Kim Oanh Nguyen/photosbyKim