Joseph High entrepreneurs tour top Portland companies

By Observer staff July 03, 2013 12:23 pm

Most things can be learned in books, but the best knowledge can be gleaned by living it. Last month, the The Joseph School Entrepreneur Class got a sampling of some of Oregon’s most prominent businesses.

On the trip the students and their teacher, Liza Butts, visited Daimler Trucks of North America, the Rose Garden Arena, Elemental Technologies, Intel and Cinetopia.

At Daimler, Butts said they got to see all of the tests that they run on trucks. Highlights included seeing the first truck prototypes for Optimus Prime and the Phantom for the new “Transformers 4” movie.

The prototypes were designed and built in Portland in a secret project. They had just released the information and design the week before. The students also got to see their wind tunnel, which is where they test trucks for miles per gallon.

“It is the only wind tunnel of its kind in the world, and it was pretty cool,” Butts said.

At the Rose Garden, they were able to tour the Trailblazers Sound Studios and see what happens behind the scenes to make a Blazers broadcast for TV. They also got to sit on the set of the Blazers pre- and post-game shows and visit the Blazers locker room and their training rooms.

At Elemental Technologies, the kids got a tour of their facilities and talked with one of the founders of the company. The start-up company writes the code for turning movies and television into a format that can be viewed on any computer, TV or mobile device.

Elemental is the fastest growing company in Portland and has won several national awards. It is responsible for making the 2012 Olympics available for streaming on any Internet-connected device.

At Intel, the students were able to play with a bunch of new computers and tablets that have just hit the marketplace or will soon.

The final stop on their tour was Cinetopia, a small theater chain that offers an upscale experience at all of their theaters. Since the kids held Movie Nights at Joseph School to earn money for the trip, they decided to get the behind the scenes tour of a real movie theater. The class got to see the largest theater screen on the West Coast.

Butts said for fun, the class dined at the downtown Portland food carts, went to the zoo, hiked up Multnomah Falls, and went to a trampoline park. “I think the kids had fun and learned a lot,” Butts said.