The EnvisionPDX summer immersive experience is an innovative, community-based approach to tackling real life societal challenges and faith issues. To allow for a deep dive experience, students will be assigned to a particular pathway and will be supported by mentors and parents throughout the process.
Incoming Freshmen Pathway
App & Game Design with Pixel Arts Game Education
Students entering ninth and tenth grades will participate in a Theological Game/App Design Challenge. After a lively discussion about theology as the thematic framework for games, students will learn the fundamentals of app, video game, and table top game design. Working in small groups, guided and supported by design mentors, students will create their own games and apps, as they explore creative ways to utilize technology for faith-rooted social change!
The design process will draw upon science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) skills, but will also challenge students communication abilities. Teams will be challenged to creatively approach their design by asking questions, imagining varied scenarios, and making decisions about how their themes will play out. Students will have the opportunity to give their game or app context, and explain how faith and Christian values influenced their designs.
The App & Game Design Challenge is offered in collaboration with Pixel Arts Game Education, a Portland-based non-profit organization specializing in STEAM programs for underserved youth. Their mission is to create safe, intergenerational learning spaces to play, build and design games together. Pixel Arts provides workshops, camps, game jams and leadership opportunities through the youth council to teens and pre-teens in Portland and throughout Oregon. Concordia faculty will facilitate the faith-based discussion and Pixel Arts will provide the technical and design instruction.
Incoming Sophomores & Juniors Pathway
Social Justice Community Project Breaker
For students entering tenth and eleventh grade, the Social Justice Project Breaker invites participants to practice faith in action. Combining critical thinking, collaboration, entrepreneurial design, and communication, Breaker challenges students to find better solutions to meet societal needs, address inequities or improve particular situations in meaningful ways.
EnvisionPDX will work with facilitators to create a Social Justice Project Breaker that calls on students to be agents for change, challenge their personal beliefs and values before their peers, and apply them to the social issue that has been assigned. By cultivating each individual’s own gifts and graces to serve our fellow humans, students will find ways to explore their own faith and exercise their compassion and love for others in tangible ways.
This project breakout will allow students to visit various organizations in the Portland area, interview experts in the field, learn about who they are helping, participate in intense peer-to- peer and cross-disciplinary brainstorming, and generate multiple ideas that can be “tested” for viability toward addressing the needs of the community. Activities culminate in the Closing Reception, where student groups of will present their final products, services, and/or outreach plans to friends, families, peers, and others interested in learning about new solutions to some of our world’s most complex problems. By reframing a social justice issue as a Breaker Challenge, students can reflect on who they are, what they believe, and how faith can inform their advocacy.
Incoming Seniors Pathway
Leadership Development Course (for college credit)
For students entering twelfth grade and those who have graduated high school, EnvisionPDX offers Christian Leadership Development through credit-bearing college level classes for students to explore the intersections of faith and life.
Classes will lead students through an engaging and broad academic look at Christian history, world religions and foreign policy, science and theology, and authorship research of theological texts.
Educators will facilitate open conversation on issues in science, society, law, social good, and religion by emphasizing class participation, critical thinking, writing, and reading comprehension. Such broad-based theological studies will give students an opportunity to examine their own values and develop well-supported arguments to lay the foundation for future undergraduate students in their academic, vocational, and faith development.
Varying perspectives, connections across denominations and diverse cultural backgrounds will enrich students’ understanding of their own faith. Many programs offer youth answers and guidance without asking open-ended questions or allowing for real life teachable moments. EnvisionPDX seeks to provide a foundation of Christian principles and assist youth as they develop spiritually and become leaders in seeking solutions to life’s challenges.