FINALIST SPOTLIGHT: Tualatin, Oregon

Tualatin, Oregon is thrilled to be in the top eight teams to advance to the ABC Finals! We’ve had much press coverage, and even more community pride, knowing that we can advance our innovative Mobile MakerSpace (MMS) project on a much faster timeline with the $100,000 prize.

Our ABC Team started immediately planning for the creation and deployment of the Tualatin MMS. We’ll be purchasing our trailer in July, have the interior retrofitted, design the exterior logo/artwork through a community-wide contest, and have it stocked with equipment by the end of September for use in the schools and throughout our community!

Oregon has one of the shortest school days and one of the shortest school years nationally. Tualatin has changing demographics, too. As a community — businesses, government, schools and non-profits — we want to spark an interest and make STEAM-related learning opportunities accessible to all, especially for lower income children.

Obstacles faced to dateTualatin Facebook (1)
Because we’re involving multiple entities (school district, city, library, and businesses) in the creation of the MMS, one of our challenges has been coordinating and financing these efforts. We decided to change our team structure to include two teams instead of one, and to transition from a consultant to a part-time project manager for cost and scope reasons.

Course changes to date
We’ve discovered that instead of a classroom-on-wheels, it would be better to use modular carts (made mobile by a trailer) that can be rolled into schools, libraries, parks and neighborhoods. We feel this would provide more flexibility with projects and be more fiscally sustainable.

Opportunities identified and momentum gained
Our Core Implementation Team has been working hard to make new contacts — both financial and for volunteers. Our larger Steering Committee is working on assisting with the making of our MakerSpace, curriculum development, creating online scheduling tools, marketing and media outreach. We’ve identified a bilingual MMS staff member and delivered our first public Maker event in June. There is a tremendous amount of STEAM momentum in Oregon and nationally. It’s an exciting time to be working on this project!