Share |

MITS, Inc. (Museum Institute for Teaching Science)

 1354 Hancock Street, Suite 302
 Quincy, MA 02169
[P] (617) 328-1515
[F] (617) 328-1516
Sandra Ryack-Bell
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 22-3184415

LAST UPDATED: 01/30/2015
Organization DBA MITS, Inc. (Museum Institute for Teaching Science)
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No



Mission StatementMORE »

The mission of MITS is to promote high quality inquiry-based, hands-on science, technology and engineering education through collaborations of informal and formal education institutions.

Mission Statement

The mission of MITS is to promote high quality inquiry-based, hands-on science, technology and engineering education through collaborations of informal and formal education institutions.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2013 to June 30, 2014
Projected Income $462,274.00
Projected Expense $456,782.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Academic Year Professional Development Programs
  • MITS Professional Development Hybrid Course
  • MITS Summer Institute
  • Professional Development Seminars Series
  • SeaPerch Programs

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

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


Mission Statement

The mission of MITS is to promote high quality inquiry-based, hands-on science, technology and engineering education through collaborations of informal and formal education institutions.

Background Statement

MITS was at the forefront in recognizing the need to help teachers develop the skills to bring effective science education into the classroom. In 1983 our founder, Emily Vanderbilt Wade, united directors from seven prominent museums in the Boston region to meet with Paul Grey, then President of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to discuss the falling percent of students electing science and engineering majors. What emerged from those initial discussions and 5 years of federally-funded program development evolved into MITS’s incorporation in 1992 as a 501(c)(3).

MITS is invested in promoting and supporting inquiry-based, hands-on teaching as a key to instilling students' sustained interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects. Our courses offer educators unique combinations of science content and current educational methodology combining classroom and field experiences – a combination that is highly effective for teachers and unusual to find in graduate level professional development courses. Our programs stay current with both state and national educational standards and frameworks. We continuously evaluate and expand our programs to provide educators’ professional development opportunities that meet their needs and requirements, and invigorate their commitment to effective teaching. The value of the MITS experience continues to provide teachers with local resources that they can turn to for support and to enhance their teaching curriculum.

Providing professional development for both in-service and non-formal STEM educators is the most highly leveraged investment available.  MITS programs awaken an enthusiasm for teaching STEM subjects and provide teachers with the tools to create exciting, innovative and effective hands-on, minds-on STEM lessons reaching generations of students over the course of a teaching career. Early encouragement of a student’s natural interest in science, engineering, and technology provides the solid foundation to sustain their interest and provide a path toward a rewarding and satisfying career in a workforce increasingly driven by innovative technologies.

Our staff comprised of 3 full time positions, including an Executive Director, Associate Program Director, and Office Manager, and part time positions of Program Director and Development Director work with a streamlined efficiency. Ten volunteer board members drawn from the worlds of education, science, and business provide our leadership.

Impact Statement

Past Year

Summer Institutes

2-week graduate professional development courses in 6 regions in MA providing educators with inquiry pedagogy skills to teach literacy though science. 28 teachers participated in pilot graduate course for high school teachers developing inquiry-based skills and STEM content knowledge. Program evaluation process implemented with consultant from Ohio State University.

Professional Development Seminars

Seminar series provided content, skill development and program resources to educators from museums and other non-profits on science and engineering inquiry-based program development.


SeaPerch Workshops and National Challenge

2-day workshop for 30 teachers using National SeaPerch ROV kits and curriculum. Sponsored 4 student teams from low-income schools to participate in national challenge.


Organizational Infrastructure

Expanded BOD to strengthen financial /strategic depth of organization. Development staff position created.

Current Year

Summer Institutes

Held 1 and 2-week graduate level professional development institutes for K-12 educators focusing on inquiry-based methodology and STEM content on how science informs engineering design and how engineering can drive scientific research to prepare them for addressing new science/engineering standards.

Program Development

Developing hybrid graduate level institute integrating online with in-person instruction. Working with school districts to provide customized academic year PD programs to increase school districts’ capacity to provide inquiry-based instruction and STEM content.

Organizational Capacity

With consultant, develop strategic plan to strengthen programmatic/financial growth. Continuing to expand Board membership/skill set.

Educator Resources

Create interactive data base for teachers to support STEM curricula that meet state frameworks by linking field trips and in-class sessions offered by MITS’s partners.  Create on-line library of investigations developed by Summer Institutes participants.

Needs Statement

Program Support Schools have limited funds for professional development. To make our programs accessible and allow educators to also afford the graduate credit tuition fee, we offer them at a lower cost than actual expenses incurred. Our programs are not 100% supported by enrollment fees; additional program support is an on-going need. $195,000

Program Development: To have the capacity to develop new programs and adapt our programs to offer professional development to meet statewide educational initiatives.  Courses need to meet the time constraints of teachers. Examples are development of hybrid graduate level institutes combining online technology with face-to-face instruction and in-school professional development providing flexibility to meet school districts’ needs, providing more educators with inquiry based teaching skills. $8,5000

Organizational Capacity:  Consultant to lead in-depth strategic planning process to guide programmatic development/financial growth of MITS. Increase use of social media and internet resources. $7,500

Financial Development: Expand and broaden financial base of support among corporate, private and public foundations and individual donors. $38,000

Staff Development:  Professional development to support organizational growth $4,000

CEO Statement

MITS programs are unique because they tap the expertise of educators and scientists from research, cultural and educational organizations, and colleges and universities to model inquiry-based STEM curriculum. Students with a sound base in STEM subjects are more likely to pursue these subjects in their higher education and be better prepared to join the workforce. MITS strives to address the need to expand the STEM pipeline and support the educators who play a key role in preparing, inspiring, exciting, encouraging and nurturing our youth. Educators, both formal and informal must be trained in inquiry-based pedagogy as well as complex scientific and environmental issues to foster STEM literacy and increase the percent of students interested in pursuing careers in science, engineering, and technology so that there will be a work force able to provide the talent needed by the innovative, high tech firms in Massachusetts and other parts of the United States.

To be able to successfully teach inquiry-based science, teachers need to be immersed in model programs as both “students” themselves and educators. Through MITS’ programs teachers learn how to develop and implement an inquiry-based STEM curriculum. They investigate science, engineering, technology and environmental/community issues on a variety of levels based on the local expertise of educators, research and industry scientists and local policy makers. An important aspect of our programs is the links we create between content knowledge, pedagogy and current scientific research. Providing the opportunity to use scientific inquiry and develop the ability to think and act in ways associated with inquiry, including asking questions, planning and conducting investigations, using appropriate tools and technologies to gather data, thinking critically and logically about relationships between evidence and explanation, constructing and analyzing alternative explanations, and communicating scientific findings are essential elements of science education. MITS programs are all based on current scientific issues as well as current educational research and serve to advance the goals of the Massachusetts Plan for Excellence in STEM Education. They build upon recommendations of the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s science and literacy initiatives; and the Next Generation Science Standards developed by the National Research Council based on the Framework for K-12 Science Education. Many teachers return yearly to participate in the Summer Institutes, a testament to the success of our programs.

Board Chair Statement

I have been involved with MITS since its inception which occurred because of conversations that I had with Dr. Paul Gray, then President of MIT. Paul had spoken with me at dinners before MIT Executive Committee meetings about his concern about the decrease in percent of students electing science and engineering as majors. Knowing their potential for exciting audiences about science, my husband and I had a dinner to challenge the seven major science oriented museums in Boston to develop a plan to address this problem. The first Institute was held in 1986 with 84 teachers and seven museums. Since then MITS has had over 3,000 teachers participate and 40 or more different museums providing educators. After five years of National Science Foundation funding, MITS became incorporated as a 501c3 in 1992. The challenges over the years have changed as there are now more organizations providing professional development and the emphasis with the MCAS tests shifted to literacy and math. MITS, through our executive director, is a part of the state’s work on incorporating science standards into the curriculum which helps MITS to provide programs that address the needs of teachers and keeps us continually discussing and adjusting our programs. The challenge is to be sure that principals and teachers understand that our programs address their needs for literacy and math as well as science and engineering

In 2011 the theme was “Science Sleuths: Inquiry-based Science, Technology and Literacy” and this year it was “Explore! Investigate! Invent! How Science Inspires Engineering.”  I attended sessions both years in several different regions and was able to speak with the teachers. They were enthusiastic about both the content and the method of instruction. They liked being able to participate in activities that they could take back to their classes. They enjoyed the discussions as to whether it was an open or guided type of inquiry and how to change it from guided to open. They also enjoyed being with other teachers with whom they could discuss not only teaching methods and problems, but how they handled various aspects of teaching. The interaction of teachers from different school systems and their ability to talk together is one of the often mentioned pluses in their journals. MITS has always concentrated on helping teachers use participatory methods of teaching science and engineering believing the research that shows that by “doing” students learn more and retain more of what they are taught. We concentrate on teachers because, once they have changed and learned the new way of teaching, they influence 25 students each year for their whole careers. This is a tremendous multiplier which one doesn’t get when teaching a class of students.  It is so important to encourage the awe and curiosity which almost all first grade students have so that they retain this for their whole life. Everyone needs to be curious. Sitting a student down and telling them to read the book and answer the questions won’t help them to think through problems or to be able to solve questions that aren’t in the book.


Geographic Area Served


Programs are open to all K-12 teachers in Massachusetts. Our 7 regions include the Berkshires, greater Boston, Cape Cod, SE Massachusetts, greater Lowell/Lawrence, greater Worcester and the North Shore. Some of the institutes target diverse or low income populations, particularly those in the greater Boston region. The Professional Development Seminars are held in Worcester region, with wide participation. The MITS SeaPerch workshops are held in the Cape Cod, Worcester and/or Springfield regions.

Organization Categories

  1. Education - Educational Services
  2. Science & Technology - General Science
  3. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Museums

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

Under Development


Academic Year Professional Development Programs

Academic Year Professional Development Programs

MITS will begin to implement professional development program offerings designed to meet the specific needs of individual schools, school districts and other educational institutions and organizations to support statewide STEM and literacy curriculum through MITS’ expertise in inquiry-based pedagogy and the teaching expertise of our partners/consultants. MITS will work in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and educational groups to design and deliver workshops and teaching resources that meet their professional development needs. MITS plans to execute several pilot sessions for full day and half day sessions or an extended workshop series that includes modeling inquiry-based methods in the classroom. 

Budget  $20,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Educational Programs
Population Served Adults Adults
Program Short-Term Success 

This is a new program. We plan to launch programs in 3 school systems in 2012/2013. Success of these pilot programs will be an indication of short term success of the program.

Program Long-Term Success 

More STEM educators will benefit from a customized professional development program suited to their student population and school district requirements. Program will be economically attainable for low and under-served communities, inspiring their teachers with skill support and projects to be used in their classrooms. School Administrators will be involved in the professional development for their schools, participating in the PD design, development and delivery.

Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success  These will be identified and developed during the pilot programs.

MITS Professional Development Hybrid Course

Hybrid Course

In FY 2012-2013 MITS will pilot a new format of the Summer Institutes, offering a hybrid institute in two regions which includes both an online and a field/classroom component. Teachers will complete 10 hours of on-line instruction in science and engineering content and inquiry-based teaching methodology and attend a 1-week on-site session to participate in field and classroom sessions at partner institutions. This requires only one week on-site time during the summer months yet still provides an introduction to local resources available during the school year and the opportunity for teachers to network. In 2013, we also plan to pilot a second upper level institute in a different region of the state with a stronger focus on technology and math targeted for middle and high school educators. MITS is seeking to expand our programs to meet the current needs of teachers, use current technology and teaching formats, and provide the types of professional development educators are seeking.

Budget  $60,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Education, General/Other
Population Served Adults
Program Short-Term Success 

Increased participation in MITS programs will return more teachers to their classrooms with the skills and knowledge to engage their students in inquiry-based investigations Students learn about science, mathematics and technology first and foremost through their interactions with teachers. One teacher affects their classroom of 25 students who ideally will be more engaged and stimulated in STEM subjects by the inquiry-based, minds-on, hands-on activities we have provided.

Program Long-Term Success 

By developing and delivering a technology based course we will increase the number of teachers participating in our institutes and attract more young teachers to our PD programs. Ultimately this will lead to engaging an exponentially larger number of students and have a longer term impact on STEM education and outcome.  As an example, 50 teachers enrolled in one Summer Institute have the potential to engage over 2,500 students the first year following their participation. Over the course of a 10-year teaching career, hundreds of thousands of students have been touched by that teacher's enthusiasm for teaching science and technology.

Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success 

This is a new program. We will be implementing both a tracking system based on follow-up interviews with participants and evaluation matrixes similar to those used with our traditional Summer Institutes.


MITS Summer Institute

MITS Summer Institutes (SI’s) are 2-wk professional development courses for teachers taught by educators from science and cultural education institutions using inquiry-based, hands-on methodology. In 6 regions in MA SI's provide classroom teachers with exciting experiences and resources to bring science alive in their classroom.

The courses integrate field and classroom work as participants visit the partner institutions, building their scientific knowledge, inquiry-based teaching skills and ability to design inquiry lessons to use with students.Content targets grades K-12 aligning all activities with national and state educational frameworks. Teachers develop lesson plans using their new skills and are given a Teacher Resource Kit which includes materials based on activities and resources used during their SI.

Teachers earn PDP's and 4 graduate credits. Call back sessions provide a forum for teachers to share their successes and experiences, and gain additional support and resources.

Budget  $155,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Teacher & Faculty
Population Served Adults
Program Short-Term Success 

After one summer session of Summer Institutes, 100-150 teachers return to their classrooms with new inquiry-based teaching skills and a Teacher Resource Kit to engage their students in inquiry-based investigations to practice using these methods.  Students learn about science, mathematics and technology first and foremost through their interactions with teachers. One teacher affects their classroom of 25 students who ideally will be more engaged and stimulated in STEM subjects by the inquiry-based, minds-on, hands-on activities we have provided.

Program Long-Term Success 

Teaching the methods and content for inquiry-based STEM education to teachers we will ultimately engage an exponentially larger number of students and have a long term impact on STEM education and outcome.  As an example, 100 teachers enrolled in one Summer Institute have the potential to engage over 5,000 students the first year following their participation. Over the course of a 10-year teaching career, hundreds of thousands of students have been touched by that teacher's enthusiasm for teaching science and technology.

Program Success Monitored By  Two Call-Back sessions in the following fall and spring are held to support the teacher's development and skills in successfully applying inquiry-based methods in their classroom. This provides feedback for MITS program staff with teacher's direct experience and reporting on the effectiveness of their use of inquiry-based methods. Participants also complete a pre/post knowledge and skill assessment prior to the course and during the 2ndCall Back to determine changes in content knowledge and teaching skills. A program evaluation rubric is completed by all partner institutes and staff to determine if the program is meeting its goals and objectives.
Examples of Program Success 


We are in the process of completing analysis and creating an evaluation report on program effectiveness with Dr. Joe Heimlich, a consultant from Ohio State University’s Institute for Innovative Learning.


Professional Development Seminars Series

Professional Development Seminars Series (PDS) are full day sessions for educational staff of museums, cultural and scientific organizations covering current scientific concepts and educational methodology related to statewide educational initiatives. Designed as professional development opportunities to provide content and teaching resources for program development, they are also networking opportunities for professionals teaching in informal educational settings. PDS sessions are held in January, February, March and/or April. Mornings are devoted to exploring STEM content areas with visiting scientists and policy makers. Afternoon sessions are skill-based focused on educational strategies, available resources and activities that will be introduced during the upcoming Summer Institutes.The seminars are open to any interested individuals but are also required for partners who will be instructing during the MITS Summer Institutes, ensuring quality instruction during the summer course.
Budget  $10,400.00
Category  Education, General/Other
Population Served Adults
Program Short-Term Success 

MITS partners are fully informed about current scientific research and topics and have the skills to create exciting, minds-on hands-on programs for their institutions. These programs support STEM initiatives and are focuses on both school groups and the general public. For those partner institutions providing instruction in the upcoming summer institutes, the Summer Institute Educators have increased skills and current information to provide quality instruction for the course.

Program Long-Term Success 

Professional Development Seminars are designed to provide content and teaching resources for informal educators of museums, deepening their knowledge base and keeping them current with research and teaching methods. They can apply their knowledge in their work at their individual institutions for program development and delivery. The Seminars also provide training to prepare informal educators to teach in MITS Summer Institutes. The seminars create an opportunity for informal educators from across institutions to connect and share experiences and resources through networking opportunities during the day-long sessions.

Program Success Monitored By 

MITS staff attend each seminar to assess and evaluate participation by attendees. Evaluation tools such as surveys and knowledge /skill assessments are also used.

Examples of Program Success 

MITS' partners have expanded their knowledge and incorporated many of the lessons from the seminars into the programs at their institutions. Partner institutes have developed inquiry-based programs for their institutions and increased their STEM programs for school groups; many have introduced engineering and technology programs into their institutions which had not been the case prior to participation in the seminars, as well as identified new resources for their institutions through the PDS speakers.

SeaPerch Programs

SeaPerch Workshops are 2-day science and technology workshops for middle and high school teachers that provide the resources to implement the National SeaPerch ROV kit program and related curriculum in their schools. Teachers receive the kit, assemble the ROV and receive curriculum and training on use of SeaPerch in their classrooms. They also explore the MITS curriculum that includes investigations using underwater ROVs for scientific research, industrial uses, citizen monitoring projects and other applications. During the workshops teachers learn how the SeaPerch program supports state science and technology frameworks and provides a program to implement the national Next Generation Science Standards being released during the 2012/2013 school year.This year, MITS will sponsor the first state-wide Massachusetts SeaPerch Challenge convening other organizations in the SeaPerch program with students and teachers to share knowledge, network and to prepare for the national challenge.

Budget  $20,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Education & Technology
Population Served Adults
Program Short-Term Success 

Twenty five teachers will return to their classrooms following attendance at a SeaPerch workshop with kits and skills to engage their students. Students that become engaged in designing, building and redesigning the underwater robots in their classrooms will learn invaluable engineering and design skills. They will also become engaged in activities that will increase their awareness of careers available to them as they prepare for future studies or training.

Program Long-Term Success 


MITS developed and is pilot testing a curriculum that includes investigations using underwater ROVs for scientific research, industrial uses such as oil spill clean-ups, equipment recovery missions and citizen monitoring projects that compliment the curriculum currently available from the National SeaPerch program that teaches basic engineering concepts with a marine engineering theme. Ultimately we believe these programs will encourage students to consider the many career choices that are open to them through both science and engineering technology.


Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success 

Through MITS’s workshops teachers are exposed to a national program and become eligible to acquire a classroom set of the kits through grant funds. The number of classrooms in MA receiving the grants is an indication of the success of the program, MITS has been offering the Sea Perch workshops for 3 years and over 10 schools have received kit grants and implemented the program in their schools. Additionally MITS has sponsored 6 student teams to participate in the first and second National SeaPerch Challenges in Philadelphia, PA and Manasas, VA.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Offering programs to meet the professional development needs of educators is challenging and rewarding. Teachers seek both skill development and content knowledge. Content knowledge needs to be at a level they can comprehend (especially if they are elementary or middle school teachers without a science or technology background) and at a level they can easily adapt for use in the classroom. They also seek graduate credits for their own advancement in salary and licensuring. MITS programs meet all of these needs through our collaboration with 5 institutes of high education and our partnership network of museums, science organizations and cultural institutions. We hear over and over again from teachers who participate in the institutes that MITS’ programs are the most useful courses available to them. 


One of the biggest challenges for MITS is to take our highly successful PD model and adapt it to meet the current needs of teachers. As the demands on teachers’ time and the requirements for standardized testing in math and literacy have increased, the amount of time for STEM instruction and funds for professional development have decreased causing a nationwide concern over the decrease in students entering degree programs leading to STEM careers. Teachers are seeking training to meet this concern but many do not have the time or school support to commit to a 2 week course. They also want time to plan together or learning from one another’s experiences. During MITS Summer Institutes this networking/sharing takes place and we want to continue to offer this vital component of our programs. 


Finding a model that meets the needs of diverse teachers and school districts and provides both STEM content and inquiry-based pedagogy is challenging. We believe we need to find ways to shorten our course while providing both the quality content and personal connects teachers seek. In 2011 we pilot tested a 1 week institute for 8-12 grade teachers. It was successful and offered again in 2012. In 2013 we will pilot test a hybrid institute which includes 10 hours of on-line instruction and a 1 week on-site summer session, enabling us to take advantage of existing technology to meet this challenge. We also plan to offer customized full day, half day and after school PD programs for school districts which will include providing on-line resources and data bases as well as on-site programs. Since use of these tools is not a strength of our staff another challenge we face is providing the training and support the staff needs to create and sustain these programs.


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Sandra Ryack-Bell
CEO Term Start Aug 2008
CEO Email
CEO Experience

Sandi has 30 years experience in science education developing outreach and public awareness programs for organizations at the local, regional and national level. She has been Program Director for the University of Rhode Island’s SeaScope Marine Studies Center; Education Coordinator for the Lloyd Center for the Environment; Education Director for Save The Bay, (Providence, RI); Director of Education for the Dunn Foundation; and Director of WATERMARKS Education Consulting. During her tenure with the Dunn Foundation, Sandi traveled nationally delivering professional development workshops for teachers and assisting school systems with developing land use and community character curriculum that meet their state frameworks.

Currently, Sandi is co-chair of the MA Department of Education’s Math and Science Advisory Committee and serves on the Massachusetts Marine Educators Board. She sits on the Annual Massachusetts STEM Summit Planning Committee and the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council Teacher Development Subcommittee. She is a member of the MA State Advisory Committee for the Next Generation Science Standards and served as a member of the NAEP Science Achievement Level Setting Meeting for current ACT national testing. She annually helps select participants for the College Board’s STEM Teachers’ Academy.

Sandi has served as chair of the MA Secretary for EE Affairs’ Advisory Committee. She has served on the Board of Directors of the North American Association for Environmental Education and the National Marine Education Association. She has chaired national education conferences and presents workshops at national and regional science education conferences including NSTA, NEMA and NAAEE.

She has written numerous curricula and publications and developed curriculum kits for state and national science and environmental organizations. She serves as a trainer and facilitator for the NAAEE Trainer’s Bureau for the Guidelines for Excellence in Environmental Education.

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
Jane Heinze-Fry PhD Program Director --
Tim LaVallee Ph.D Associate Program Director --


Award Awarding Organization Year
Special Recognition of 2008 Summer Institute Pioneer Institute for Public Policy 2008
Published in their book "Exemplary Science in Informal Science Education Settings" National Science Teachers Association 2006
Emily V. Wade Mass Hall of Fame for Science Educators 2004


Affiliation Year
Chamber of Commerce 2012
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

The United States’ students rank far behind students in many other nations in STEM critical thinking skills.  This is especially the case in under-served and minority student populations. According to the Chairman of the National Science Board, “the nation faces a chronic shortage of qualified teachers who are adequately prepared and supported to teach STEM disciplines effectively.” Students’ early interactions with teachers are fundamental to engaging their continued interest in STEM educational disciplines.  MITS’ Summer Institutes strengthen teachers’ skills in inquiry-based, hands-on pedagogy which research has shown has a direct effect on students’ interest and performance in science, mathematics and technology and their future pursuit of STEM degrees and careers.

Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 3
Number of Part Time Staff 2
Number of Volunteers 1
Number of Contract Staff 2
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 6
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 1
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 6
Male: 1
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
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 Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Mrs. Emily V. Wade
Board Chair Company Affiliation Emeritus life member MIT Corporation
Board Chair Term July 1992 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Neil H. Gordon Director CEO the Discovery Museums in Acton MA. Voting
David Kazmer Treasurer UMASS Lowell Voting
Terry Kwan Director ; Member & former Chairperson,Brookline School Committee Voting
Rona Newmark Director EMC Voting
Virginia W. Packer Director Consultant, The Systems Thinking Collaborate; Trustee, Society for Organizational Learning Voting
Carlos G. Pena Director CLE Engineering Inc. Voting
Mrs. Nan Waksman Schanbacher Clerk Vice President and chairperson, Waksman Foundation for Microbiology; Voting
Emily V. Wade President Emeritus life member MIT Corporation Voting
Karen Worth Director Wheelock College Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 8
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 6
Male: 3
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 75%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

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

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

The governance and leadership of MITS’ is provided by a committed pool of board members from the worlds of education, science, and business. Emily Vanderbilt Wade, the founder of the organization continues to hold the position of Chair of the Board and participates in day-to-day organizational activities. Three new members have joined the board in the last year bringing fresh ideas and perspectives to the group dialogue as well as providing a broader representation from business and science. We anticipate that their insight will contribute significantly to the MITS’ strategic planning process and development of a reinvigorated vision and goals for the future of the organization.


While we have achieved 100% financial participation by all members of the board, we strive to expand our base of support through professional networking opportunities that may be available through board affiliations. A major step taken this year has been the establishment of a part-time staff position to support development and fundraising efforts which has been principally managed by the Founder and Board Chair. The position was filled in September of 2011 and cultivation of known potential prospects and qualification of new paths of support has begun. Breaking new ground is a slow and meticulous process yet we are committed to this building process. We are focusing on developing new corporate support from New England companies with a vested interest in STEM education because of their growing need for a future source of STEM educated employees.

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2013 to June 30, 2014
Projected Income $462,274.00
Projected Expense $456,782.00
Form 990s

2013 990

2012 990

2011 990

2010 990

2009 990

Audit Documents

2013 Audited Financials

2012 Audited Financials

2011 Audited Financials

2010 Audited Financials

2009 Audited Financials

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Total Revenue $550,643 $545,516 $543,200
Total Expenses $541,588 $539,554 $492,316

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $407,546 $422,687 $386,536
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $34,448 $22,328 $39,386
Investment Income, Net of Losses $6 $8 $18
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind $108,643 $100,493 $117,260
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Program Expense $376,518 $383,834 $361,801
Administration Expense $163,951 $155,720 $130,515
Fundraising Expense $1,119 -- --
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.02 1.01 1.10
Program Expense/Total Expenses 70% 71% 73%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% 0% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Total Assets $159,596 $168,178 $231,862
Current Assets $155,413 $161,545 $222,779
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $50,000
Current Liabilities $11,015 $28,652 $48,298
Total Net Assets $148,581 $139,526 $133,564

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
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? No

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 14.11 5.64 4.61

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 22%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

MITS has been fortunate to have successful programs that have existed for 25 years. We are committed to promoting high quality inquiry-based education in grades K-12 by encouraging and sustaining students’ natural curiosity by providing professional development and support of their educators.  We offer our programs at a significantly lower cost to participants than the actual cost of developing and running the courses to make them broadly accessible. The cost of our programs is not 100% supported by enrollment fees, thus it is a program that continually needs additional financial underwriting to sustain. Unfortunately many funders want to fund new programs rather than help support proven programs.  To increase the cost of our programs to cover all of the expenses would make the cost prohibitive to most educators.

MITS works on a model of collaboration with our partner organizations to provide our unique programs. Our partners’ costs are reimbursed to them and thus are reflected in the cost of our programs.  This allows us to meet the high standard for content of our programs and attract quality partners in our collaboration.

We believe that by teaching the methods and content for inquiry-based STEM education to teachers we will ultimately engage an exponentially larger number of students and have an effective and sustainable long term impact on STEM education. This perspective, however, poses a marketing challenge; for funders often seek a public relations benefit that student-based programs may provide. The "wow" factor of an educator enthused by their MITS experience is not as emotionally moving as the image of a child who will be newly inspired by that teacher's improved ability by his attendance at a MITS program. We work very hard to raise awareness that providing support and skills to educators will ultimately impact many more students.  This does pose a fundraising challenge amid an education funding pool focused on funding programs that impact students directly rather than professional development for their educators even though reaching a class of students has less impact than reaching an educator or who will influence hundreds of students.

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above are per the organization's audited financials.  Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.
Starting in the 2011 audit, the organization integrated the salary and benefit costs of programming into the programming expenses, which had previously been itemized under administration costs for 2009 and 2010.



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?


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?


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


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


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