The Future of Learning tasked students
with building “bridges” between school
and work by re-imagining where and
how we learn.


breakers in action

Click here to see the full 10 day journey of The Future of Learning Breaker Design Challenge, 2017.

Human Centered design begins with empathy. Curious to find out how and where we learn, Breaker's divided into teams and fanned out across the city to investigate the real needs of real people. Breaker's continue with investigative interviews asking generative questions followed by active listening.

Every Breaker design challenge resembles a “sprint” as facilitators impart a “bias toward action” mindset. While continuing to be mindful of process students move through: Empathy, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Test, Business Modeling, and Pitch.

Breaker formed 3 design teams:


This group’s goal was to increase the number of teacher candidates who are people of color in order to create reflective representation in k12 education. They designed a recruitment campaign focused on young people of color who would participate in a an educator bootcamp at the beginning of the summer. After successful  completion of the bootcamp, students would be eligible candidates for a 4 week paid internship teaching and assisting in a summer school program with local elementary school students.


This group’s goal was to increase empathy between teacher’s and students. They designed a digital platform that could be used to build empathy outside the classroom. The digital tool would provide teachers insights into their student’s home lives, personal interests and responsibilities. Also, it would provide students a way to make informed decisions when it comes to understanding teaching styles and teacher personalities as well.



This group’s goal was to give students an opportunity to solve a real-life community problem utilizing a hands-on skill. They were aiming at the idea that students could learn 21st Century skills like the 4 C’s (communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking) through hands-on project-based learning. They designed an after school program wherein students would tackle a community problem identified by the program (different problem each year). Working throughout one school year students would design and implement a solution.

Meet Our Student Breakers

Funds ensure scholarships for all our “Breakers”--high school participants, students aged 14-17--so that they can attend the 10-day challenge at no cost (including food and transportation.) Our partnership with College Possible helps us recruit bright young minds from our east county high schools.

View the 10 Day Journey

In our rapidly changing world, one institution remains static: our schools. The industrial era model of education has been largely unresponsive to the drivers of technology and globalism and left students unprepared for a highly unpredictable future. Employers struggle to find qualified talent and students of all kinds, from every socioeconomic group, finish school uncertain how and where they will make their mark, develop a career, and earn a living wage. 

The Future of Learning tasks students with building bridges between school and work by reimagining where and how we learn.

In every Breaker challenge students learn to apply a ‘design thinking’ methodology as they uncover opportunities for innovation. They learn fundamentals of entrepreneurship and are tasked with creating triple bottom line products and services. Good for the people, good for the planet, good for the business- students emerge from Breaker with new confidence in their ability to uncover opportunities and add value in the world!

Meet our Industry Partners

Breaker design challenges catalyze a rich eco-learning system, dismantling barriers between industry and education and building social capital for underrepresented students.

Meet Our Facilitators

Facilitators are MA level educators who become experts in the Breaker design challenge method able to bring their training into schools across Oregon.