Deal Watch: OMSI adds millions to the equation

Deal Watch: OMSI adds millions to the equation


By Robin Doussard

Problem for the day: $2.9 million + X = Y.

If you’re afraid of algebra, you’ve just turned the page. Maybe your fear began as a kid in school, and it ended your math interest and sent you straight into the arms of a career that didn’t need higher mathematics. Like waiting tables or journalism. Those dreams of being a scientist or architect were squelched by algebra anxiety.

The $2.9 million in the equation is the grant amount awarded by the National Science Foundation in mid January to OMSI, the popular Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland, to further the daunting cause of teaching algebra to youngsters. It’s the largest award ever received by OMSI in its 64 years. Over the past 10 years, NSF has awarded OMSI more than $10 million.

The exhibit, Access Algebra, will debut at OMSI  in May 2010, where it will stay for six months before traveling the country for five to 10 years. The exhibit is expected to reach more than 3.5 million visitors nationwide.

The X in the equation is the project’s ambition. “Algebra is a difficult topic, and for most people hard to visualize that they could learn it in a large exhibit,” says Marilyn Johnson, OMSI director of research and development, adding that this is a new area that advances the field of informal math education.

Access Algebra targets middle-schoolers and includes a “training package” for volunteers and staff at other museums. Johnson says this undertaking is one of the most complex they’ve tackled. OMSI is also going to partner with middle-school students from the Blazers Boys and Girls club in Northeast Portland to help conceive the exhibit, along with Oregon State University’s College of Education and TERC, a Boston-based nonprofit math and science research center.

And the Y in the equation? More math literacy for more kids that leads to more choices.

Now, about those polynomial functions.


Jan. 2 1Q ‘08 Barrett Business Services (Vancouver, WA.) First Employment Services (AZ) $5m (cash + earn-out)
Jan. 15 1Q ‘08 Harry & David Holdings (Medford) Wolferman’s (KS) /Williams Foods ND
Jan. 16 1Q ‘08 Universal Systems (Baker City) 5,000-mile-long submarine cable (offshore)/Darrell Throckmorton $102m (convertible debenture)
Jan. 22 1Q ‘08 Art Technology Group (MA) CleverSet (Corvallis) $10m (cash)
Jan. 5 Meadow Wood Associates (Portland) Meadow Wood apartments (Vancouver, WA ) / Orchards Retirement $26.6m
Jan. 5 Vancouver Prairie View (WA) Prairie View apartments (Vancouver, WA) / Prairie View Associates (WA) $26.7m
Jan. 5 12000 SW Pioneer Lane (Portland) Scholls Terrace apartments (Beaverton) / Scholls Terrace $14.5m
Jan. 9 The Ashforth Co. (CT) Pacwest Center (Portland) / Mitsubishi Estate and Meiji Yasuda Realty $161.5m
Jan. 15 PNWC-Continental Continental apartments (Portland) / Kai and Lily Chow $1.17m
Jan. 16 BPG Properties Ltd. (PA) two apartments (Wilsonville) / Boston Capital Real Estate Investment Trust ND
Jan. 18 Water Tower (Portland) Water Tower retail (Portland) / Water Tower Associates (Portland) $19.7m
Jan. 21 GM Wyndham Preston’s Crossing apartments (Beaverton) $26.2m
Jan. 21 Highland Rentals (Portland) Larch Drive Townhomes (Beaverton) / Larch Properties (Portland) $1.75m
Jan. 23 Carson Oil Co. service station (Wilsonville) / Horizon Oil $1.97m
Jan. 23 Bayshore Apartments Oregon The Bayshore apartments (Astoria) / Gryphon Enterprise & McCardle 1991 Family Trust $3.85m
Jan. 24 Sloy Dahl & Holst office condo (Portland) / One Jefferson Partners $1.5m
Jan. 28 Guardian Management (Portland) San Remo apartments (Beaverton) / Fairfield Residential (CA) $24.2m
Jan. 28 Briar Lane Properties Canby Place retail (Canby) / JCR Resources $6.3m
Jan. 28 MRV Property Vermont Village apartments (Portland) / ND $3.75m
Jan. 28 Jorken Oregon 7.6 acres of land (Canby) / Ray L. Burden estate $1.68m
Jan. 28 Davis Properties industrial building (Canby) / Pioneer Properties $1.055m
Jan. 28 San Rafael Group industrial building (Gresham) / Anson R. Baker $2.6m
Jan. 28 SVF Hedges Creek Tualatin / American Realty Advisors (CA) Hedges Creek apartments (Tualatin) / Monadnick Property Trust (CO) $55m
Jan. 28 Church of Scientology (Portland) Stevens Building (Portland) / OCF Joseph E Weston Public Foundation $5.38m
Jan. 28 Phillips Edison & Company (MD) Hermiston Plaza retail (Hermiston) / Kimco Realty ~$15m
Jan. 30 Vocational Development Foundation (Portland) Goodwill building (Portland) / Carlyle Investment Co. $4.5m
Jan. 17 Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (Portland) / Nancy Stueber, president National Science Foundation $2.9m (grant)
Jan. 21 Nautilus (Vancouver, WA.) / Gregg Hammann, chairman & CEO Bank of America $100m (line of credit)
Jan. 23 Calypte Biomedical Corporation (Portland) / Roger I. Gale, CEO Fusion Capital Fund II (IL) $8m (cash)
Jan. 25 Umpqua Community Development (Roseburg) / Betty Tamm, executive director Northwest Area Foundation (MN) $100k (award)
Jan. 31 VirtenSysTM, Ltd. (Beaverton) / Ahmet Houssein, president & CEO Scottish Equity Partners, Celtic House VP & GIMV (U.K.) $12m (series B)

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