Portland IQ Partner: BREAKER

Every BREAKER challenge is a refactoring of an educational platform that resembles a “sprint” as facilitators impart a “bias toward action” mindset. While continuing to be mindful of process, students move through: Define, Prototype, Test, Business Modeling, and Pitch. The last day is demo day, with prototypes and slide decks in place, students pitch their concepts to an audience that includes industry and civic leaders, friends, family, and the general public.

Thought Leaders frame the challenge — real people doing the real work — provided problem context, information, and the wisdom of experience, sharing both the successes and the 'pain points' commonly hit by industry problem solvers. Thought leaders presented a high-level overview of Type 2 Diabetes and what does and does NOT exist in the healthcare landscape to inform, support, and reduce incidence rates.

In 2019, Portland BREAKERs responded with concern and urgency to Kathy Schwab’s reminder, “We're approaching a near global epidemic, with 1 in 3 Americans with Pre-Diabetes."

And the BREAKER experience? Let’s hear from the participants.

“School is kind of like being in a factory. It becomes tiring. There’s not a lot of spark. What are we doing to help the world sitting in a classroom and doing Algebra? Walking into the Breaker room and having to find a solution to the Diabetes epidemic was really challenging. How could we find a fresh idea? We had to get really creative. We improvised a bunch of insane ideas. In the end, our OG Truck offered a lot of solutions: targeting low income families by going to apartment complexes, helping people create local gardens, giving out healthy food bags, helping people find good food resources, and creating job opportunities for working on the truck. My big Breaker memory? I think it was having that confidence, when we were interviewing people out on the streets, and for me it just felt so natural. When my team called me the ‘leader.’ I was, like, wow. I did that.” - Florance, Centennial HS

“The experience was definitely nothing like our experience at school--it’s a lot more. We went on field trips, and met real people. We got to ask critical questions. It made me more passionate to find a solution for a real problem impacting people. To be able to create something new that can actually help your community! I’ll also take away the community we created here. Even though it was setup like a professional environment, I felt like I could talk, express my ideas, and that I was in a safe environment. Design is actually a very interesting concept to learn about. I can even see it as a possible career for me. Breaker’s shown me how cool design can be.” - Oscar, Parkrose HS

For more information, visit Construct Foundation.

Rick Turoczy