Oregon Game Project Challenge

Promoting digital literacy and collaboration through game development.

aka OGPC   |   Mcminnville, OR   |  www.ogpc.info

Mission

The Oregon Game Project Challenge hosts an annual competition for Oregon middle- and high-school students, challenging them to create games while developing their skills in teamwork, programming, art, audio, game design, business and research. Our goals are to get students excited about technology, help them realize potential tech careers, and to let them have fun while doing it. Games as a medium provide a unique opportunity for collaboration across various digital disciplines, as well as valuable experience in project management, decision making and communications.

Ruling year info

2015

Principal Officer

Andrew Scholer

Main address

1917 NW Meadows

Mcminnville, OR 97128 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

47-5440436

NTEE code info

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

OGPC has experienced a huge growth this year, especially for such a small organization with limited resources. Our Main Event, held this year on May 11th, had about a 50% higher team registration than any of our previous 12 years. Last year just over 50 teams came and competed for trophies (for their schools), metals and gift cards (for the student team members); this year we had 78 teams. Increasing in both high school and middle school teams, we had 58 high school teams and 20 middle school teams competing at our Main Event. Thirty schools were represented from Oregon and southwest Washington, plus 8 community and independent organizations had teams representing them. This year we hosted over 300 students, of which about 25% were girls. We are very near capacity for our location at Western Oregon University, in Monmouth, Oregon, and definitely using nearly all of our donated resources to run this event. Our "good" problem is how to continue to grow successfully.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Game Jam

Season kickoff and workshops

Population(s) Served

The main competition/judging event for teams to showcase their original games. This is where teams compete for trophies and awards based on how well they followed the theme, their artwork, game design, and professionalism.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We have always had goals, but they obviously a line with our long term goal - to continue to grow and include more students. We especially want to encourage those who do not have tech programs in their schools. We don't want to hold fundraisers; it would reduce the volunteers we would have for the Main Event, and would add another, comparably expensive and complicated event to our schedule for our volunteers. From our beginnings, our focus had been on our students, and we do not want to do anything to diminish this focus.
We are looking for options that help us grow, like exploring larger venues and/or organizational expansion options. Part of this growth challenge is the expense and the large number of volunteers needed for any event. We are a totally volunteer organization, having judges, speakers for workshops, organizational staff, and leadership, all donating their time and efforts.
Having 75 volunteers this year, it was our biggest event, and a challenge to make sure they each feel appreciated, and equipped to do what we ask of them. Many of our volunteers return each year, so we believe they understand and enjoy contributing to the event. We pay no one for helping or attending any of our events (not even mileage); it is all voluntary.
This means all of our donations, from big tech companies to individual or personal donations, they all go directly toward giving students the opportunity to compete and share at our events. We rely on these donations strictly; we have tried to stay within our a small budget, but our need is growing with our student attendance.
This year was more challenging, because of the number and amount of expenses for the students. This included renting extra tables for the event, providing more T-shirts for competitors, providing meals for volunteers while they work during the day, awarding trophies, metals and gift cards to the student of each winning team; we even had to pay for more options for power and Wifi support .

We are already looking at what next year's growth might look like, and trying to find a venue that can handle our event, and which we can afford to reserve for next year. One venue we have already looked at and decided against is a conference center in a near-by city. Reservations for the venue would be nearly $14,000 for our one day event, so we are still looking. This cost would kill our abilities to do anything besides provide a space to hold the event.
Western Oregon University may still have an option we are unaware of; we will start discussion with their staff after graduation next month. Their location is attractive because of the ease of getting to it from southern and eastern Oregon, as well as the metro area of Portland-Vancouver. Add to this the staff at WOU, who are phenomenal in their support and investment in tech education, also, and we have a winning combination.

Finances being the primary deciding factor, we may have to limit registration because of expenses, which we really do not want to consider. We may also have to consider limiting student participation to Oregon residents only. Having leadership exploring the idea of starting a Washington Game Project Challenge for the students in Washington, has been talked about, but not seriously. The time and personal costs for volunteers doing this level of investing and engaging to expand into Washington is problematic. Most of our charity's leadership works full time, and have families and other time investments, besides their time with OGPC.
We could, but really do not want to reduce the recognition and awards to the students. We could, but don't want to charge extra for T-shirts, ect.; this seems unfair to us in leadership. And it is something students often take home and wear proudly; the investment of their time and energy in learning, developing, and then competing is substantial.
In the 12 years we have had OGPC, we have not raised the flat registration fee of $50 per team, no matter how many students are included on the teams. We hesitate raising it because of the difficulty some schools have just bringing their students to the event; transportation is expensive and not always easy to arrange. And we have had requests for support from students who attend under represented populations in schools across our area, also. This is a recent addition to our goals, but directly in line with our growth plans.
If we could count on a regular location, that we know could handle the power and technology requirements of our students' projects, and have funding we could count on to help pay for these facilities and services, and support for OGPC, it would go far to helping us succeed in in our efforts to support and grow STEAM education, outside the classroom, in the northwest.

We have had a slow, steady growth the last few year, until this year. Reaching out with other tech education organizations, communicating with schools and organizations in our areas that have not heard of OGPC before, and being able to create a multimedia presence, recognition, and support structure, has all helped us grow. This year we grew from about 55 teams to 78 teams, nearly a 50% growth. With teams averaging 4 students on a team, we had around 300 students attending. And with volunteers that enjoy talking with students, and encouraging their team and tech development, we only need more resources to continue to grow and make this student population more successful.
We continue to look for volunteers that can use their professional skills to help support some of our overhead tasks, and to help improve our recognition.
We continue to expand our training options for our fall workshop; a half-day of planning with students and coaches, with no tech needed. Students come together to begin the brain-storming process, learn what the theme is for the year, and get inspired to compete. Coaches often meet and brainstorm how to support a team, the tasks a team has to do, where information can be acquired, and how the Main Event functions.
We have coaching videos online, to support new people who have never coached a student team before. And we offer live-online group meetings to help with questions and support for coaches, hosted by tech professionals who themselves have coached teams before.
We have implemented suggestions from past coaches and competitors, also, to make OGPC more responsive and students more successful.

We have expanded our small organization into a Main Event that is becoming popular and even a driving force for STEAM education. We recently received an email from a teacher in Forest Grove, thanking OGPC for help develop the tech program at their school:

Just wanted to let you know that all of us at Forest Grove appreciate what you have done with OGPC. Having OGPC to look forward to every year has certainly not only impacted our students, but our staff and administration in what we teach and how we teach it, as my students that compete in OGPC come back every year with more interest in demand for more complex and involved in all aspects of Computer Science.

In just the three years our school has been in OGPC we've gone from having me be part time CS (3 classes) to full time Comp Sci and us needing a second part time teacher to teach one ore more introductory courses. For OGPC, we had students this year use Construct 2, RPG Maker, GameMaker, and Unity, none of which I actively teach (I do a short unit on Construct 2 in my Game Design class, but it's only a couple weeks and self-taught through youtube videos).

I just wanted you to know that your contributions make a difference in students' lives here, that it's important, and that on behalf of all of us at Forest Grove, thank you for your time and energy in making OGPC fantastic and making our school's CS department better in order to keep up with what kids are demanding because of what they see and do as part of it.

Gregory Scott
Forest Grove High School
Computer Science

We know there are other success stories that we don't know about, but this one seems pretty indicative of what we are about with OGPC.

Financials

Oregon Game Project Challenge
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Oregon Game Project Challenge

Board of directors
as of 10/8/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Andrew Scholer

Chemeketa Community College

Term: 2019 - 2022

Arian Kulp

Central Reach

Duncan Millard

Oregon State University

Damian Kulp

Oregon State University

Jake Brownson

Brainium Studios

Jonathan Hagar

Nike

Jan Boley

OGPC (Retired Teacher)

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/07/2019

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/07/2019

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.