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#STEMSpotlight: pdxOpenTech

pdxOpenTech

What’s the name of your organization?
pdxOpenTech

What’s your name and title?
Francesca Frattaroli, STEAM Coordinator

In which city (or cities) is your organization located?
Portland, OR

What are the ages and demographics of youth you work with?
Middle & High School Students (12 -18), Young Adults (18-21), BIPOC Youth

Describe your organization and its mission.
pdxOpenTech is a community-centered STEAM education program focused on providing free technology courses for all ages. Guided by community input, pdxOpenTech creates courses that strive to honor the experiences, insights and contributions of people of diverse backgrounds. pdxOpenTech works with local educators and creatives to design introductory tech courses and workshops centering on accessible topics such as art, music, games, and storytelling. Our mission is to make technology tools & concepts more accessible and approachable by providing open-source learning materials and free classes to the community. 

What are the short and long-term goals for your organization?
Through collaboration with the NE STEAM Coalition, we’ve prioritized small-group, mentor-supported learning opportunities for BIPOC youth. Presently, we are looking to further develop & strengthen our community network to ensure BIPOC & underrepresented creators and students are included as we develop further programming. Long-term, we hope to serve as a sustainable repository of free curriculum and a community hub for Oregon students and educators interested in tech and the arts.

How can TAO and community members support your work?
To date, we have been able to provide all of our workshops, both virtual and in-person, at no cost to students. We rely on grant funding, equipment donations, and community partnerships to do so. Visit pdxopen.tech/support-us to learn how you can support our goal of low-barrier tech education.

pdxOpenTech is always open to collaborating and connecting with educators, students and community groups. Reach out to us personally at hello@pdxopen.tech or visit pdxopen.tech/contact to be alerted to new events and opportunities.


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: Caleb Johnson

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