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The fight for Roosevelt STEM
[Science, Technology, Engineering and Math]

At a community meeting at Roosevelt on Nov 6, the moderator opened the meeting acknowledging that planning for Roosevelt had fallen short – including inadequate space for STEM.  Space needs for STEM - ideally, 6,000 square feet; at minimum, 4,500 sq ft. This is based on the district’s own Educational Specifications. [P 51. Note: Makerspace is separate from STEM.]


Solution A. Community advocates came up with a solution in 2014. We suggested that the building be expanded west about 30’. That would give STEM about 6,000 sq ft. of space. Great idea, PPS thought! They expanded the space and…put in a second gym.


Solution B. After two years of community advocacy on behalf of STEM, in the spring of 2016, the PPS Board passed a resolution to build a 10,000 sq ft addition to the remodel: one floor for STEM and one floor for CTE.

PPS is now taking this solution away. The don’t want to use the building for STEM!


At this point, RHS has a second gym, and will have a CTE space, neither of which would have existed but for our community’s advocacy. PPS has TWICE taken [or plans to take] space away from STEM that the school ONLY HAS BECAUSE OF COMMUNITY ADVOCACY FOR STEM!


PPS should acknowledge what the community has given in terms of RHS improvements. PPS should also look at its own Educational Specifications for guidance. 


PPS owes the community a proper STEM space!


The advocates are planning to meet with Dr. Kregg Cuellar, Deputy Superintendent, Instruction and School Communities. If you would like to support this effort, please contact him with a short message indicating that you stand in favor of his working with us to achieve the goal of a quality facility for STEM at Roosevelt:  503-916-3440


What is STEM

STEM is about solving real human problems through hands-on designing and building of real solutions. Through integrating Math, Science and a multitude of Technologies – low-tech, high-tech, and everything in-between – real objects are created. This is the process called “Engineering”. To accomplish this, a space large enough to contain the wide variety of tools and technologies must be available to students.  

STEM is so important. It opens up vistas for a huge variety of good careers – careers that require post-secondary education ranging from apprenticeship to community college to university degrees and beyond. The engineering teacher at Roosevelt is doing a terrific job, and the courses are popular. But, if RHS had the space and tools it should have, the program would be even that much more awesome!


Donna Cohen, MEd [Vocational Education], former Technology Education Teacher     

Joseph Purkey, Architect, RHS parent   

Mike Verbout, former PPS Principal       

Paul Anthony, former member, Board of Portland Public Schools 

David Crandall, President, The NETWORK Inc. [educational consultancy]

Dennis Phillips, MBA, Mechanical Engineer [retired]     

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