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Science from Scientists

 1 Deangelo Drive, Suite C
 Bedford, MA 01730
[P] (617) 314-7773
[F] (617) 432-0053
www.sciencefromscientists.org
[email protected]
Dr. Erika Angle
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INCORPORATED: 2002
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 20-0792574

LAST UPDATED: 09/07/2017
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years Yes

Summary

Mission StatementMORE »

Science from Scientists’ mission is to teach and inspire the next generation to identify and solve real-world problems by improving STEM literacy. Our vision is to inspire students, ignite interest, and improve STEM competency with the goal of filling the workforce pipeline with talented, competent individuals.

Mission Statement

Science from Scientists’ mission is to teach and inspire the next generation to identify and solve real-world problems by improving STEM literacy. Our vision is to inspire students, ignite interest, and improve STEM competency with the goal of filling the workforce pipeline with talented, competent individuals.


FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Sept 01, 2016 to Aug 31, 2017
Projected Income $1,594,850.00
Projected Expense $1,590,447.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • 1. In-School Module-Based STEM Enrichment Program
  • 2. Scientist-Teacher Partnership
  • 3. Vacation Programs
  • 4. Science Theater

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

Science from Scientists’ mission is to teach and inspire the next generation to identify and solve real-world problems by improving STEM literacy. Our vision is to inspire students, ignite interest, and improve STEM competency with the goal of filling the workforce pipeline with talented, competent individuals.


Background Statement

Science from Scientists (SfS) was founded in 2002 by Dr. Erika Ebbel Angle, an MIT graduate with a doctorate in biochemistry from Boston University School of Medicine. As Erika likes to say, "Science from Scientists gives all students the chance to experience the excitement of doing real experiments, making real discoveries and appreciating how amazing our world is." At SfS, we offer a variety of programs throughout the year designed around our mission to teach and inspire the next generation to identify and solve real-world problems by improving STEM literacy. SfS piloted its first programs in Boston in 2005 with five part-time staff. Our vision is to inspire students, ignite interest, and improve STEM competency with the goal of filling the workforce pipeline with talented, competent individuals. Focusing philanthropic efforts on increasing STEM literacy amongst elementary and middle school students will encourage passionate, competent individuals to pursue careers in STEM and progress through the STEM workforce pipeline, helping the U.S. to improve its global competitiveness in STEM.


Impact Statement

This year, SfS instructors are teaching more than 6,000 students in communities across Massachusetts, California, and Minnesota. Since its founding in 2002, SfS has worked with over 30,000 students across the United States.

 
Our In-School Module-Based program goals are to improve the attitudes and aptitudes of 3rd through 8th graders in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). At each partner school, we measure the success of the program in three ways: by tracking student scores on the state science assessments; by administering pre- and post-lesson quizzes; and by conducting teacher surveys.
 
Every year, we compare the student scores on the Science, Technology, Engineering (STE) Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS), which is administered in 5th-grade, before and after each school’s participation in the ISMB program. In Massachusetts, SfS observed an average 17% improvement in the number of students scoring Proficient/Advanced on the 5th-grade STE MCAS. For schools performing below the state average, the average percentage increase in STE MCAS scores after the ISMB program was 22%.
 
Each module we present to students contains a pre- and post-lesson quiz that allows us to assess the effectiveness of each lesson, as well as students’ retention of the subject matter. During the 2016-17 academic year, SfS collected quiz results that demonstrated a 14% score improvement from pre- to post- quiz overall.
 
We also collect teacher surveys to verify that our program is piquing students' interest in STEM and complementing teachers’ STEM curriculum objectives. The most recent surveys reported that 89% of teachers surveyed indicated the SfS program improves students’ interest towards science and related careers. Over 93% of our partner schools request us back year after year.
 
We hope to maintain and/or exceed the above assessment scores and teacher feedback this year.

Needs Statement

1) Increasing sustainable revenue: To address the growing number of school requests, we ask our partner schools to contribute towards the cost of the program at their school, thus helping us shift our resources towards our waitlisted schools and scale our program. 

2) Driving down program costs: In order to become the national go-to STEM program for schools and districts, SfS is focusing efforts on bringing down program costs so that donations can help bring STEM education to more students. As we increase our footprint, we’re increasing our staff sustainability by offering instructors full-time work within our ISMB program, enabling them to teach at many more schools.
 
3) Increase volunteer projects: To drive down the cost of building our hands-on STEM kits for SfS instructors to bring into schools, generous corporate volunteer groups are helping SfS build and maintain kits. We’re also building our infrastructure in order to effectively scale our program and impact.
 
4) Expand Teacher Professional Development: SfS is piloting our Scientist-Teacher Partnership model, which lowers the cost of our program as only one SfS instructor is needed in the program partnership. We hope to expand this program offering to new schools/districts in Massachusetts.


CEO Statement

I try my best to make science cool. This is something desperately needed by our state and nation. With our work founding and scaling Science from Scientists (SfS), we have been able to positively impact the lives of tens of thousands of children. I founded SfS 15 years ago with $119 and a staff of one (me). Now SfS employs more than 50 staff, has a budget of more than $1.6 million, and has worked with over 30,000 students nationwide. We have been endorsed multiple times by the State of MA for our impact and scalability. We have helped to increase Science, Technology, and Engineering MCAS scores by more than 20% (over 40% in schools that perform below the state average). We are running programs in 48 schools around the country with more than 5000 students this year.

My vision is to create a metrics based, scalable STEM program that provides high quality, curriculum relevant lessons to students in grades 3 through 8 that lead to measurable results and inspire children. Our goal is to take this model and continue scaling it nationwide, in a controlled, but aggressive, fashion. In the last year, we have received dozens of requests for SfS programs from across the nation (and the world). We have a 40+ school waiting list, and grassroots initiatives in certain communities are bringing SfS programs to locations such as California, Minnesota, and Florida.
 
The goal is to create a classroom teacher centric program that teaches children how exciting and relevant STEM is, teaches skills that are critical no matter what career students choose (such as teamwork, critical thinking, and perseverance), and prepares students to be competitive in the global marketplace. Finally, I am proud that SfS staff encounter a unique phenomenon when they go into these classrooms - they are routinely asked afterward for their autographs by the students. Why? Because they are real scientists. If all children finish our program with the sentiment that scientists are “rock stars,” we have truly succeeded!


Board Chair Statement



Geographic Area Served

NATIONAL
In Massachusetts, we currently serve schools in: Beverly, Boston (including Charlestown, Dorchester, East Boston, Roxbury, Roslindale), Boxford, Brockton, Easton, Haverhill, Hopkinton, Lynn, Malden, Milton, Peabody, Quincy, Randolph, Revere, & Worcester. In California, we currently serve schools in Brisbane, Menlo Park, Pacifica, Redwood City, & San Mateo. In Minnesota, we currently serve schools in Bloomington, Minneapolis, Forest Lake, & St. Paul.

Organization Categories

  1. Education - Elementary & Secondary Schools
  2. Science & Technology - Single Organization Support
  3. Youth Development - Youth Development Programs

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

Yes

Programs

1. In-School Module-Based STEM Enrichment Program

Our core In-School program is our innovative, award-winning In-School Module-Based (ISMB) STEM Enrichment Program. In this program, SfS partners with elementary and middle schools that serve students in our target population of grades 3 through 8. SfS sends the same two real, charismatic scientists into each of these partner schools (during the school day) to see the same group of students every other week throughout the entire school year (~18 visits). Prior to each visit, the SfS instructors coordinate with classroom teachers to select one of our 90+ hands-on lessons in STEM (topics include chemistry, physics, life science, earth science, engineering, etc.) to present that day. All lessons are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and state frameworks.

Budget  --
Category  Education, General/Other
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Program Short-Term Success 
Short-term outcomes of the ISMB program are as follows: First, that there will be measurable, positive increase on the science state examination scores for 5th grade students. Second, we expect to see positive increases in pre/post quiz scores for all students. Third, we expect that classroom teachers will report increased student interest as a result of our program.
 
In the mi­d‐term (2‐5 years), we believe that repeated positive experiences with STEM content and mentors in the critical years between 3rd to 8th grade will spark students' interest and build their confidence to choose challenging STEM courses in high school (such as AP courses) that better prepare them for success in college.
Program Long-Term Success  Longer-term outcomes of the ISMB program are as follows. First, students will have improved proficiency and interest in STEM subjects and continue electing STEM subjects in their education path. Second, students traditionally underrepresented in STEM (e.g. female students and students of color) will see themselves as capable of tackling a STEM career in the future, thereby increasing diversity within STEM fields. Third, students actively choose a future career in STEM, due to exposure to a variety of career paths in our program. Fourth, students graduating from our program will fill the many vacancies in the STEM workforce in the US, and will be competitive with their international counterparts.
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success 

In Massachusetts, SfS observed an average 17% improvement in the number of 5th grade students scoring Proficient/Advanced on the 5th-grade Science, Technology, Engineering (STE) Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) after participating in the ISMB program. For schools performing below the state average, the average percentage increase in STE MCAS scores after the ISMB program was 22%.

Each module we present to students contains a pre- and post-lesson quiz. During the 2016-17 academic year, SfS collected quiz results that demonstrated an overall 14% improvement from pre- to post-quiz.
 
We collect annual teacher surveys to verify that our program is piquing students' interest in STEM and complementing teachers’ STEM curriculum objectives. The most recent surveys reported that 89% of teachers surveyed indicated the SfS program improves students’ interest towards science and related careers. Over 93% of our partner schools request us back year after year.

2. Scientist-Teacher Partnership

Our second In-School program is our new Teacher Professional Development program called the Scientist-Teacher Partnership (STP). In this twist on the ISMB model, instead of the team of two scientists as the lead presenters of SfS lessons, the classroom teacher is the primary presenters. Classroom teachers attend professional development workshops where SfS staff train and prepare teachers to deliver SfS content, including learning the core STEM concepts and the relevant science and engineering practices. During the school year, SfS supports classroom teachers as they go to implement the SfS lessons they’ve learned by providing “boots-on-the-ground” support of a single SfS staff member. At the close of the 2017-18 school year, teachers who participated in the pilot will report back to SfS on their success with implementation.
Budget  --
Category  Education, General/Other
Population Served Adults Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Program Short-Term Success  Teachers participating in the program will deliver the lessons they learned in the workshops in their classrooms with the on-site assistance of SfS instructors, and they will receive credit for doing so. In addition to providing professional development to classroom teachers, this program will provide 3rd - 8th grade students with high quality, hands-on, frameworks-relevant lessons in STEM.
Program Long-Term Success  Our desired outcome for classroom teachers participating in this program is to improve their confidence in their ability to deliver high-quality, standards-relevant STEM lessons. We intend to bring about this outcome by providing teachers with the opportunity to see high-quality STEM content delivered in their classrooms, so teachers can see lessons modeled in the most realistic setting possible, and then transferring ownership and responsibility for lesson preparation and delivery to classroom teachers. Our desired outcome for students is to improve students’ attitudes and aptitudes in STEM.
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success 
Classroom teachers participating in our pilot workshop during the summer of 2017 took pre- and post-quizzes for the lessons they were taught by SfS instructors. Overall, the teachers improved their scores by 46%, demonstrating that their participation in the STP program increased their knowledge of STEM concepts.

3. Vacation Programs

Vacation Programs are part of our Out-of-School programs, through which we engage larger audiences in STEM-based activities. Vacation Programs are week-long programs that focus on developing research skills and project-based learning. These are done in collaboration with research facilities, STEM corporations, and community youth centers.
Budget  --
Category  Education, General/Other
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Program Short-Term Success  In the short-term, students participating in our vacation programs will improve their research skills and ability to work collaboratively on projects.
Program Long-Term Success  In the long term, students participating in our vacation programs will have improved attitudes and aptitudes in STEM.
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success  Past venues that have hosted our vacation programs include the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, MA and the Andrews Air Force Base in Bethesda, MD. Our vacation programs sell out within weeks, indicating their popularity with students. 

4. Science Theater

Science Theater is part of our Out-of-School programs, through which we engage larger audiences in STEM-based activities. Science Theater is our live, interactive science-themed stage show that brings the excitement of science to families and young children. Past performances include the Ecotarium (Worcester, MA), Andrews Air Force Base (Bethesda, MD), Epcot (Walt Disney World), and the America’s Cup Sailing Race (Bermuda).
Budget  --
Category  Education, General/Other
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Families
Program Short-Term Success  Through seeing the excitement of science in a fun format, audience members' interest in STEM will be ignited.
Program Long-Term Success  Audience members will have improved attitudes toward STEM, and students in the audience will be more likely to elect STEM subjects in their education path.
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success 

During the summer of 2017, we partnered with America's Cup Endeavour, the America's Cup youth education and sailing program, in Bermuda to introduce students to the sport of sailing through a STEAM curriculum. Our instructors led fun, interactive lessons on the geometry of sailing. Students learned how to sail in different directions by adjusting the angle of a boat's sail.


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Management


CEO/Executive Director Dr. Erika Ebbel Angle
CEO Term Start Mar 2002
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

Erika Ebbel Angle earned her B.S. in Chemistry from MIT and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Boston University School of Medicine. Erika is also the CEO/co-founder of Ixcela, an internal fitness Biotechnology company. Erika founded Science from Scientists in 2002. Erika is a member of the Board of Trustees at Endicott College in Beverly, MA. She received the Boston Business Journal’s "40 under 40" award and a Pinnacle Award from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, and was selected by L'Oreal Paris as a 2007 Woman of Worth. She hosts "The Dr. Erika Show," an educational science TV show for children. She is married to Colin Angle, CEO of iRobot. Erika was Miss Massachusetts 2004 in the Miss America Scholarship program. From age 11 - 18, she won multiple state, national, and international science fair competitions.

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Dr. Alicia Bielik Director, Boston Operations Alicia earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Boston University in 2007. While at BU, her research focused on the quantification of sulfated carbohydrates in healthy and osteoarthritic cartilage using the technique of mass spectrometry. Alicia currently works for New England Biolabs, Inc. as the Group Leader of Glycobiology and Proteomics Production. She focuses her efforts on the production of carbohydrate modifying enzymes, as well as proteomics reagents and protein expression products. Alicia oversees Operations in Greater Boston in addition to co-ordinate instructor recruitment efforts and communication with school partners.
Karlene French Director, Minnesota Operations Karlene has Bachelor’s degrees in Geology and German from the College of St. Thomas, a Master’s degree in Geology from the University of Muenster (Germany), and a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of St. Thomas. She has close to 30 years of industry experience in the field of environmental compliance and cleanups. Karlene manages the instructors and school partnerships in Minnesota and assists the development team with fundraising and networking.
Dr. Patrice Geraghty Director, California Operations Patrice oversees the CA office in addition to partnerships within this region. Prior to her role at SfS, Patrice was in the semiconductor industry, most recently at Lam Research as senior director in the Mergers and Acquisitions group where she assessed the technology of potential target companies.
Lauren Koppel Outreach Director Lauren earned her Bachelor degree in Biology & Psychology at Clark University, where she researched the neurodevelopmental and genetic phylogeny of annelids. She received her Ed.M from the Harvard Graduate School of Education; her studies focused on developmental and educational psychology. Lauren oversees outreach programming, including special events and vacation programs.
Yasmin Kroll Development Manager Yasmin earned her B.S. in Microbiology from the Ohio State University and researched cancer cell signaling pathways at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Yasmin manages fundraising efforts including generating revenue from corporate/foundation grants, private donations, and assisting schools/district with Fund Local.
Dr. Payal Patel Director, Worcester Operations Payal is a physiologist by training. After earning a Ph.D. in Biomedical Science, her postdoctoral research investigated a link between dietary fat and cardiac stress. Dr. Patel manages the instructors in Worcester in addition to school partnerships within this region.
Amanda Schutt Chief Operations Officer Amanda earned her MS in Environmental Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University where her research focused on bioassessments of aquatic ecosystems. Amanda oversees operations, finances, and programs for all SfS offices and manages strategic initiatives within the organization.
Cortney Wieber Director of Education Cortney earned her MS in Tropical Ecology and Conservation Biology from James Cook University in Australia where her research focused on the role of flying foxes as hosts for zoonotic viruses. Cortney oversees the curriculum development team.
Beth Zylinski Director of HR & Corporate Communications Beth earned her BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts where her research focused on characterizing nitride semiconductors through photoluminescence. She earned her MS in Engineering Management while working in the semiconductor industry. In addition to her HR responsibilities, Beth also manages the website and social media channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Vimeo.)

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
@Scale Endorsement Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development 2013
ELP Selected Project Sponsor (1 of 4) UMass Boston Center for Collborative Leadership Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) 2013
Recipient of Consulting Services Community Consulting Teams (CCT) 2013
Showcased Charity at 7th Annual Tech Charity Wine Party Technology Underwriting Greater Good (TUGG_ 2013
Cited Science from Scientists as one of four examples of best practice in MA MA Governor's STEM Council 2010

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

--

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Foundation Comments

--

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 12
Number of Part Time Staff 39
Number of Volunteers 2
Number of Contract Staff 28
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 2
Caucasian: 48
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 44
Male: 8
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers N/A
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration Yes

Risk Management Provisions

--

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Quarterly
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Bi-Annually

Governance


Board Chair Mr. Colin Angle
Board Chair Company Affiliation iRobot
Board Chair Term Sept 2015 - Sept 2017
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Colin Angle CEO, iRobot Voting
Dr. Erika Ebbel Angle Executive Director & Founder, Science from Scientists Voting
Brian Cali Ironwood Pharmaceuticals --
JD Chesloff MA Business Roundtable Voting
Jim Ellard CEO, New England Biolabs Voting
Dr. Kerry Healey President, Babson College Voting
Jill Milne CEO, Catabasis Pharmaceuticals Voting
Judd Rottenberg Long's Jewelers Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Joanne Curley Gilead Sciences --
Patricia Haddad MA State Representative --
Doron Markus M.S. San Mateo Department of Education --
Dick Merrill Retired --
Josh Seftel PBS Children Network --
Isa Kaftal Zimmerman IKZ Advisors --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 8
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 3
Male: 5
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths --
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 100%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions --
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Finance
  • Nominating

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Foundation Comments

--

Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Revenue $1,154,668 $756,383 $505,834
Total Expenses $1,124,144 $757,832 $485,845

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $746,056 $496,952 $452,281
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $408,612 $259,431 $53,553
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $763,781 $478,673 $322,021
Administration Expense $260,341 $220,835 $114,723
Fundraising Expense $100,022 $58,324 $49,101
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.03 1.00 1.04
Program Expense/Total Expenses 68% 63% 66%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 13% 12% 11%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $251,740 $144,527 $89,153
Current Assets $240,133 $126,775 $79,383
Long-Term Liabilities -- -- $0
Current Liabilities $155,837 $79,148 $22,325
Total Net Assets $95,903 $65,379 $66,828

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value $0.00
Spending Policy Income Only
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 1.54 1.60 3.56

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above are per the organization's reviewed and audited financials.

Please note, the organization had a change of fiscal year in fiscal year 2011; therefore, a partial year Form 990 covering January 1, 2011 - August 31, 2011 is posted above for your reference.
 

Documents


Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

The number of career opportunities in STEM across the U.S. is consistently rising; however, the number of students (especially those from low-income and underserved populations) graduating with STEM degrees is decreasing. Research has shown that between grades 3 and 8, students of all backgrounds are evaluating what subjects they want to study and what they want to become when they grow up. Within the ISMB program, SfS specifically focuses on introducing students in this age range to STEM topics. The goal is to boost student confidence and proficiency during elementary and middle school and to encourage students to pursue STEM in high school, college and beyond.

 
Short-term outcomes of the ISMB program are as follows: First, that there will be measurable, positive increase on the science state examination scores for 5th grade students. Second, we expect to see positive increases in pre/post quiz scores for all students. Third, we expect that classroom teachers will report increased student interest as a result of our program.
 
In the mi­d‐term (2‐5 years), we believe that repeated positive experiences with STEM content and mentors in the critical years between 3rd to 8th grade will spark students' interest and build their confidence to choose challenging STEM courses in high school (such as AP courses) that better prepare them for success in college. Longer-term outcomes are as follows. First, students will have improved proficiency and interest in STEM subjects and continue electing STEM subjects in their education path. Second, students traditionally underrepresented in STEM (e.g. female students and students of color) will see themselves as capable of tackling a STEM career in the future, thereby increasing diversity within STEM fields. Third, students actively choose a future career in STEM, due to exposure to a variety of career paths in our program. Fourth, students graduating from our program will fill the many vacancies in the STEM workforce in the US, and will be competitive with their international counterparts.
 
Ultimately, our vision is to inspire students, ignite interest, and improve STEM competency with the goal of filling the workforce pipeline with talented, competent individuals.

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

We employ several strategies to deliver our STEM education program and achieve our goals, including providing programming DURING school hours. Our year-long programming is offered during school so we can reach all students, no matter what their STEM background and level of achievement have been. Other programs offer single-touch models or cater to students in afterschool programs who have already self-selected for interest in STEM.

 
Over the course of multiple sessions, we hope to increase the appreciation of math and science amongst men and women and be positioned to provide special encouragement to those who find math and science challenging. SfS has also created take home activities to engage parents and students at home. We offer a multi-touch model (~18 sessions per year), taught by knowledgeable and passionate science professionals, with measurable results.
 
SfS works constructively and collaboratively with partner schools and teachers to achieve the goals classroom teachers desire (improved MCAS test scores and increased teacher comfort with STEM), that students crave (STEM role models, exciting STEM content, and less fear about STEM) while keeping costs low and metrics high. Our strategy is to work alongside classroom teachers to complement and enhance their curriculum with hands-on lessons taught in an engaging, discovery-focused manner.
 
Another strategy we employ is to bring in real, charismatic scientists to be role models for students in our program. We selectively choose and train real scientists with advanced STEM degrees to deliver hands-on lessons in a collaborative program that is cost effective, scalable, and measurably impactful. Because our program takes place during school hours, teachers work alongside our scientists to select and deliver the sequence of lessons to their students. As a result, our program provides embedded professional development for teachers, so that they may feel more competent and confident teaching hands-on STEM lessons to their students.

3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

The crisis of STEM education in the United States has reached noteworthy levels, and our organization is prepared to tackle various facets of the challenge, including improving the attitudes and aptitudes of those we serve. We’re able to execute our ISMB program successfully in part because we provide a metrics-based approach to our during-school program, including tracking state examination test scores over time and measuring improvement in pre/post quiz scores. Our program reaches all students, not just those who self-select for after school programs.

Our ability to harness real, charismatic scientists also supports our strategy of delivering engaging hands-on STEM lessons in order to carry out our longer-term goal of igniting students’ interest in STEM and filling the workforce pipeline. SfS employs selectively chosen and trained real scientists, to deliver during-school, hands-on, lab-based lessons, in a collaborative program that is cost effective, scalable, and has shown measurable impact. SfS instructors are charismatic, real scientists. Our definition of ‘scientist’ is an individual who holds an undergraduate degree in a STEM field and is at a minimum, enrolled in an advanced degree program in STEM or education (MD, Ph.D., MS, DMD) or has comparable industry experience. All instructors undergo a rigorous selection process, training, and regular evaluation.
 
The development of our organization over the past 15 years has also allowed us to develop a program that integrates intimately with classroom teacher curriculum needs. All of our modules are tied to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and specifically present STEM content that classroom teachers have expressed a need for.
 
Our hope is that the schools we partner with prioritize STEM education by allocating learning time within their school week and making a financial investment. This will translate to more STEM professionals in the U.S. pipeline.

4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

SfS measures the success of our program in several ways. First, for the science state examination scores, SfS compares scores before our program entered the school and after the school’s participation in the ISMB program. The before score is calculated using a two-year average of the percentage of 5th-grade students scoring Proficient/Advanced on, for example, the STE MCAS prior to SfS implementation. Once the program begins, we start tracking the percentage of 5th-grade students scoring Proficient/Advanced and compare it to the two-year baseline. For schools where we have a long-running partnership, we take a running average of the percentage every year since the program began. Scores are released in September, following the conclusion of the academic year.

 
Second, each module we present to students contains a pre- and post-lesson quiz that allows us to assess the effectiveness of each lesson, as well as students’ retention of the subject matter. Each quiz includes two multiple choice questions. The quiz is first administered as a pre-quiz before the lesson is taught, and then the same quiz is administered as a post-quiz two weeks later, prior to reviewing the material.
 
Third, we collect teacher surveys at the end of the academic year to verify that our program is piquing students' interest in STEM and complementing teachers’ STEM curriculum objectives.

5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

To date, we have measurably improved students’ scores on the Science, Technology, Engineering (STE) Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS), which is administered in 5th-grade, before and after each school’s participation in the ISMB program. Results are released in September, for the previous academic year. In MA, SfS observed an average 17% improvement in the number of students scoring Proficient/Advanced on the 5th-grade STE MCAS. For schools performing below the state average, the average percentage increase in STE MCAS scores after the ISMB program was 22%. We are currently developing similar metrics for our partner schools in California and Minnesota.

 
We have also observed improved quiz scores. E each module we present to students contains a pre- and post-lesson quiz that allows us to assess the effectiveness of each lesson, as well as students’ retention of the subject matter. During the 2016-17 academic year, SfS collected quiz results that demonstrated the following percent improvements from pre- to post- quiz by region: 13% for Massachusetts, 19% for California, and 20% for Minnesota (or 14% improvement overall across all states). These positive outcomes in STE MCAS and module quiz scores demonstrate that our program is working effectively towards our long-term goal of improving students’ aptitudes in STEM.
 
In recent years, we’ve also measurably sparked students’ interest and built their confidence to continue studying STEM, thus helping us reach our long-term goal of improving students attitudes toward STEM. This statement is supported by a third-­party evaluation of the ISMB program completed in the 2014-­15 academic year. The ISMB program was evaluated by a third-­party group called PEAR (Program in Education, After-­school, and Resiliency), a joint initiative of Harvard University and McLean Hospital. The PEAR pre-­ and post-­program student interest surveys found that, after one year in our ISMB program, 82% of students reported more interest in science-­related careers, 87% of students reported improvements in their perseverance and critical thinking skills, and 85% of students reported improvements in relationships with their peers and adults. Over 93% of our partner schools request us back year after year.
 
We make an effort to mitigate risks, but the following could be areas of improvement. First, it would be extremely valuable to be able to track student career choices after they have gone through our program. Due to student privacy issues, it has not been possible for us to do this to date. However, we have had numerous students who have gone through the program return to us while in high school, stating that they have decided to pursue careers in STEM because of their experiences with SfS. We hope to be able to work with schools and districts in the future to better track student career choices in the future. Second, beyond funding, our greatest challenge is that of staffing. Based on our rigorous interviewing process, it can sometimes be challenging to find the right charismatic scientist(s) to join our team of instructors. Many scientists are not used to explaining scientific concepts at the 5th-grade level. We are working on tapping into various communities to find appropriate candidates for our instructor position openings. We are also working to improve the training process for our staff by bringing teachers with experience working with students in to assist with pedagogical techniques.