Teaching young people about how to work on bikes and ride them with confidence is the bread-and-butter of many cycling-related nonprofit groups. At the Community Cycling Center, they take that idea one step further by using bicycles as the centerpiece of a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum.
The CCC has led a STEM bicycle mechanic program since 2015 at two local alternative secondary schools: Rosemary Anderson Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center (POIC) in north Portland and Helensview High School in northeast. In keeping with the CCC’s mission, they focus on schools that serve low-income youth and students of color who face barriers in traditional educational environments. The classes use hands-on lessons that give students confidence and training they can apply to life beyond high school. So far over 65 students have participated.
Now the program is set to expand even further afield with a new class in Woodburn. CCC will add Lord High School at McLaren Youth Correctional Facility to their STEM education program.