Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Making in Progress

Keep up-to-date with all our amazing, projects, partnerships, and events throughout the district in our blog “Making in Progress”

Social Justice & Making: Building the future of Engineering with a Humanitarian Lens

September 25, 2017

Contributed by Sasha Grenier, MPH, CHES | she/hers pronouns
Health Studies Faculty, Portland Community College
Working collaboratively on a HECC-STEM Instructional Support Grant, Portland Community College and local partners implemented an innovative Summer Camp in June of 2017. The Humanitarian Engineering camp involved 19 middle school students and 4 high school counselors in an interactive, hands on 3 days of learning. Eight girls and eleven boys, aged 12-14, came from six Beaverton area high schools. The purpose of the camp was to engage young people of all backgrounds in thinking critically about global and local humanitarian challenges– and their roles in solving them.

Three co-facilitators from public health, civil and mechanical engineering, and environmental science designed and taught the course with an emphasis on experiential learning. During the camp, students worked together to learn about pressing humanitarian issues faced by communities worldwide, including poverty and inequality, environmental health and sustainability, forced migration and civil war, preventable diseases, food insecurity and more. During each day of the camp, students were supported to brainstorm and build solutions to solve challenges, specifically around food insecurity, access to safe drinking water, and maternal and child health. Activities were held in a PCC classroom, computer lab, the Maker Lab, and learning garden.

After the camp, students were invited to participate in a brief evaluation. Students found that the course taught “great human values, and allows you to know things about being a humanitarian, and engineer, in an interesting and thought provoking way!” The team intends on applying for a grant to replicate the camp in the Summer of 2018.

Exploring STEM and personal growth with Sigma Gamma Rho and the STEM Center

September 25, 2017

Contributed by Julia Betts, MST | she/hers pronouns
STEM Center Manager, Portland Community College

During Spring term, the PCC SE STEM Center hosted a fun-filled Saturday of hands-on activities as a portion of Sigma Gamma Rho sorority’s annual Youth Symposium. Rhonda Thomas, along with local sisters of the , led the event for the day which provided middle and high school students with Chemistry, Coding, and Leadership opportunities.