Educational Institutions

Science from Scientists

  • Boston, MA
  • www.sciencefromscientists.org

Mission Statement

Science from Scientists' mission is to improve the attitudes and aptitudes of 4th through 8th-graders in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) to ensure that our nation's youth is competitive globally in STEM. We send real, charismatic scientists into classrooms during school, every other week during the school day throughout the entire academic year to inspire students and improve STEM competency by teaching hands-on, frameworks-relevant lessons.

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. Erika's life was strongly shaped by experiential science - winning the California state science fair three times on her way to choosing a career as a scientist and entrepreneur. As Erika likes to say, "Science from Scientists gives all students the chance to experience the joy of doing real experiments, making real discoveries and appreciating how amazing our world is."

SfS piloted its first programs in Boston in 2005 with five part-time staff. Since 2014, we have opened three additional offices - San Mateo, CA in 2014, Worcester, MA in 2015, and Minneapolis, MN in 2016. Each of our four offices has its own leadership team (including a Director) in place. Over the last 10+ years, SfS has grown to be an organization employing 53 staff (10 full-time staff, 41 part-time staff and 2 volunteers) who are bringing their love and knowledge of science to communities across Massachusetts, California, and Minnesota . Of this 53-person team, 94% are instructors for our In-School Module-Based (ISMB) program. This year, SfS instructors are teaching more than 5,800 students in 46 schools (42 in MA and 4 in CA). Since it's founding in 2002, SfS has worked with over 25,000 students across Massachusetts and California.

Main Programs

  1. 1. In School Module-based STEM Enrichment Program
  2. 2. Science Fair
  3. 3. Science Theatre
  4. 4. Vacation Programs
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

We currently serve the following communities in Massachusetts: Boston (including the communities of: Charlestown, Dorchester, East Boston, Roxbury, Roslindale), Boxford, Boylston, Easton, Everett, Hamilton-Wenham, Haverhill, Leicester, Lynn, Malden, Marblehead, Milton, Newton, Plainville, Revere, Salem, Weymouth, Winchester, Winthrop and Worcester. In California: Brisbane, Mountain View, Redwood City, and San Mateo.

ruling year

2004

Principal Officer since 2002

Self-reported

Dr. Erika Ebbel Angle

Keywords

Self-reported

science education, experiment, interactive, STEM, K-12

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EIN

20-0792574

 Number

2061852843

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

Single Organization Support (U11)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

At each partner school, we measure the success of our ISMB program in three ways. First, we track student scores on the state science assessments (e.g., Science, Technology, and Engineering (STE) Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System [MCAS]) to observe improvement in student scores after implementation of the program. For the 2014-15 school year, SfS observed an average 25% 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 42%. Second, we administer pre- and post-lesson quizzes to assess the effectiveness of each lesson as well as students' retention of the subject matter. Pre/post quizzes in Massachusetts and California showed an average 16% improvement (more than a letter grade) in STEM knowledge retention after SfS visits. Third, we collect semiannual teacher surveys to verify that our program is piquing students' interest in STEM and complementing teachers' STEM curriculum objectives. The most recent teacher surveys in Massachusetts and California showed that 90% of teachers surveyed indicated the SfS program has been 'very influential' on students' interest towards science.

During the 2014-­15 academic year, the ISMB program also 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 and 87% of students reported improvements in their perseverance and critical thinking skills.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

1. In School Module-based STEM Enrichment Program

SfS’ core program is the ISMB STEM enrichment program. In this program, SfS partners with elementary and middle schools that serve students in our target population of grades 4-­8. SfS sends 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 between September and June).

During each visit, SfS instructors coordinate with classroom teachers to select one of our 85+ engaging hands-­on lessons in STEM (topics include chemistry, physics, biology, computer technology, engineering design, etc.) to present that day. SfS leads all of the science classes for entire grade levels at the school. All SfS lessons are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and will be consistent with the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) standards.

By bringing our program to students during the school day, we reach every student, not just those who already show interest in STEM, whose parents sign them up, or who are able to participate in out-­of‐school programs. In many communities where we teach, students do not have access to after‐school programs or have parents who, due to many circumstances, do not engage fully with their children’s education. SfS is a firm believer that one of the most impactful ways to reach all children is by offering our programs during the school day so that all students have access to STEM enrichment.

Also, we assist classroom teachers, who may lack confidence in teaching science, by providing content specialist instructors, who bring challenging, relevant and exciting hands-­on STEM material into the classrooms. In addition to the lesson presentation, partner schools also have access to additional resources and support for teachers and parents. For teachers, SfS offers teachers “Teacher Prep” documents for each of its modules; those documents list the relevant MCAS standards and background vocabulary/concepts students should know to maximize the impact of the module. Importantly, many of the documents contain explanations or links to complementary resources that can help to get students excited about the topic or for teachers to utilize to increase their own personal content knowledge. SfS also supports teachers during the school science fair process.

For parents, SfS hosts a password-­protected webpage where parents can log on to view summaries of lesson presentations, pictures of their children, and activities for simple science experiments at home.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Budget

$1,000,000.00

Program 2

2. Science Fair

Science from Scientists co-runs the Boston Regional Science Fair with Boston Public Schools and Northeastern University. We are able to coordinate fundraising initiatives for student prizes, help tally and organize judging scores, and assist with overall judge recruitment from corporate sponsors.

Category

Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Other Named Groups

Budget

$9,950.00

Program 3

3. Science Theatre

Science from Scientists has developed a traveling Science Theatre show that features awe-inspiring, interactive science demonstrations for large (100+) groups. The audience is equipped with all necessary safety gear as our instructors reveal the science behind the extraordinary in this entertaining and engaging program. Since 2013, SfS partnered with Raytheon and the New England Patriots to host Science Theatre shows at "The Hall" at Patriot Place for 400 children. In February 2014, SfS was invited to Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida to perform our Science Theatre show at Epcot and in June 2016, the show was performed at the Andrew’s Air Force Base in Maryland. Shows are available in 20, 30 or 60 minute segments. Content can be tailored to the age of the audience.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Other Named Groups

Budget

$32,000.00

Program 4

4. Vacation Programs

SfS partners with leading research institutions to host week-long programs that focus on science enrichment. As one popular program example, Science from Scientists creates a comprehensive forensic science mystery for students to explore and solve. Students are guided through a fun and informative experience with hands-on activities and experiments grounded in a customized mystery storyline. These vacation programs are very popular and are often sold out within weeks. We also plan to scale our popular Vacation Programs. Currently these are offered at the MIT Whitehead Institute in four week-long sessions during winter and summer vacation. Our goal is to utilize vacation programs as a source of revenue for the organization by expanding our program offerings during summer vacation, winter holidays, and spring break across all of our geographies. We would eventually like for these programs to be scaled nationally.

Category

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Budget

$50,000.00

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    In the short-term (1-2 years), Science from Scientists (SfS) primary goal is to provide our 46 current partner schools with real, charismatic scientists to serve as role models for 4th through 8th-grade students across Massachusetts and California through delivery of our core In-School Module-Based (ISMB) STEM Enrichment Program. In 2014-15 we created a funding scalability strategy with the purpose of identifying local sources of funding/support to sustain our core program in currently served schools to help shift our resources towards our wait-listed schools thereby scaling the program. We currently have a waitlist of over 70 schools across the US. Our goal is to tackle the program wait list by having current partner schools participate in fundraising efforts through our scalability strategy in addition to scaling the program by adding new offices and science kits 'hubs'.

    Our long-term (3+ years) goal is to become the national go-to STEM solution for elementary and middle schools. We plan to expand our core ISMB program to more than 100 schools by 2020. We also plan to scale our popular vacation programs. Currently, these are offered at the MIT Whitehead Institute in four, week-long sessions during winter and summer vacations. Our goal is to utilize vacation programs as a source of revenue for the organization by expanding our program offerings during summer vacation, winter holidays, and spring break across all of our geographies. We would eventually like for these programs to be scaled nationally.

    In February of 2016 we were featured on the cover of the National Science Teacher's Association Magazine, and on WGBH's Innovation Hub National Radio Show. We have been receiving requests for the program from across the country. Our longer-term goal is to find new geographies where teachers express a desire for the program and to scale to these locations as our budget permits.

    Our organization is always looking for ways to further develop and scale our program offerings to elementary and middle school students and their families.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    SfS employs several strategies to deliver our STEM education program and achieve our desired outcome.

    The first strategy is to deliver our program DURING school hours. By bringing our program to students during the school day, we reach every student, not just those who already show interest in STEM, whose parents sign them up, or who are able to participate in out-of-school programs. In many communities where we teach, students do not have access to afterschool programs or have parents who, due to many circumstances, do not engage fully with their children's education. SfS is a firm believer that one of the most impactful ways to reach all children is by offering our programs during the school day so that all students have access to STEM enrichment.

    The second strategy is to bring real, charismatic scientists to be role models for students in our program. We are able to harness selectively chosen and trained real scientists with advanced STEM degrees, to deliver during school, state and national frameworks aligned 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.

    A third strategy is utilizing the academic calendar to collaborate with classroom teachers in a multi-touch-point model. Students and teachers are presented with new hands-on STEM lessons (developed by Science from Scientists to align with State and National frameworks) every other week (~18 sessions) throughout the year. This strategy allows our scientist instructors to build relationships with the students & teachers, and to ultimately increase student content interest and competency as well as teacher comfort with STEM topics.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    Scientists was founded in 2002 by Dr. Erika Ebbel Angle with the goal of getting students excited about science. In the last 14 years, SfS has grown to support 50+ SfS instructors, 200+ classroom teachers, and 7,000 +students per year. Our Founder and Executive Director, brings her passion as a science-driven entrepreneur to the organization as well as her diverse experience as Miss Massachusetts, CEO of a local biotech company, and STEM thought-leader. The executive team members each have a STEM background and skill-set in areas such as curriculum development, operations, development/fundraising. Additionally, our Board of Directors come from a variety of backgrounds to help guide and advise the organization as it scales to new geographies.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    In the short-term (1-2 years), Science from Scientists (SfS) primary goal is to provide our current partner schools with real, charismatic scientists to serve as role models for 4th-8th grade students through delivery of our core In-School Module-Based (ISMB) STEM Enrichment Program. In 2014-15 we created a funding scalability strategy with the purpose of identifying local sources of funding/support to sustain our core program in currently served schools to help shift our resources towards our wait-listed schools thereby scaling the program. We currently have a wait-list of schools across the US. Our goal is to tackle the program wait list by having current partner schools participate in fundraising efforts through our scalability strategy in addition to scaling the program by adding new offices and science kits 'hubs'. We will measure our progress by monitoring the number of school partners, students served, and new geographic locations.

    Our long-term (3+ years) goal is to become the national go-to STEM solution for elementary and middle schools. We plan to expand our core ISMB program to more than 100 schools by 2020. We also plan to scale our popular Vacation Programs. Currently these are offered at the MIT Whitehead Institute in four, week-long sessions during winter and summer vacations. Our goal is to utilize vacation programs as a source of revenue for the organization by expanding our program offerings during summer vacation, winter holidays, and spring break across all of our geographies. We would eventually like for these programs to be scaled nationally.

    In February of 2016 we were featured on the cover of the National Science Teacher's Association Magazine, and on WGBH's Innovation Hub National Radio Show. We have been receiving requests for the program from across the country. Our longer-term goal is to find new geographies where teachers express a desire for the program and to scale to these locations as our budget permits.

    Our overall goal is to improve students' attitudes and aptitudes towards STEM. We track the progress of this goal by monitoring the improvement in standardized test scores, conducting pre/post-quizzes, and collecting teacher surveys.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    In terms of reaching our organizational goals, our school partner list has grown to more than 40 schools and 5,800 students receiving our core In-School Module-Based STEM Enrichment program. This year, we are expanding our footprint to Minnesota and will begin programming in September 2016. We are working with teams across the country to expand our program to new geographies.

    In terms of reaching our programmatic goals, we have several metrics to track our accomplishments. First, we observed a 25% increase in the number of students scoring Proficient or Advanced on the 5th grade Science Massachusetts Standardized Test. Second, pre/post quizzes administered with each lesson have shown an average 15% improvement in STEM knowledge retention after SfS visits. Third, we collect teacher surveys twice a year, in January and June, to verify that our program is piquing students' interest in STEM and complementing teachers' STEM curriculum objectives. The most recent surveys indicated that 90% of teachers surveyed indicated the SfS program has been 'very influential' on students' interest towards science.
    Finally, a third party evaluator called PEAR (Program in Education, After-school and Resiliency study- a joint initiative of Harvard University and McLean Hospital) conducted pre/post student interest surveys and found that 82% of students in our program reported more interest in science-related careers and 87% of students reported improvements in their perseverance and critical thinking skills after a year in our ISMB program. Over 93% of our partner schools request us back year after year. We strive to maintain the quality of our programming by continuously updating our materials and lessons to ensure we remain a relevant resource for teachers and schools.
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

We currently serve the following communities in Massachusetts: Boston (including the communities of: Charlestown, Dorchester, East Boston, Roxbury, Roslindale), Boxford, Boylston, Easton, Everett, Hamilton-Wenham, Haverhill, Leicester, Lynn, Malden, Marblehead, Milton, Newton, Plainville, Revere, Salem, Weymouth, Winchester, Winthrop and Worcester. In California: Brisbane, Mountain View, Redwood City, and San Mateo.

Additional Documents

Social Media

photos


External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

SCIENCE FROM SCIENTISTS INC
Fiscal year: Sep 01-Aug 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Science from Scientists

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
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  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2014
  • Board Chair and Board Members
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Principal Officer

Dr. Erika Ebbel Angle

BIO

Erika Ebbel Angle received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 2012 from Boston University School of Medicine. She holds a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Erika is the CEO and co-founder of Ixcela, a Biotechnology start-up company aimed at developing diagnostic tests and natural interventions to improve gut microbiome efficacy and prevent neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases.
In 2002 Erika founded Science from Scientists. Erika currently serves on the Massachusetts STEM Council Legislator Education Work Group and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education STEM Advisory Council. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee at Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts. In 2014 the Boston Business Journal selected her as one of the “40 Under 40″ business and civic leaders who are making a major impact in their respective fields in the Boston area. Her accomplishments have also been recognized by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce's Pinnacle Awards for Emerging Executive. In 2013 the Boston Chamber of Commerce selected her as one of the “Ten Outstanding Young Leaders" in Boston. Selected by L'Oreal Paris as a 2007 Woman of Worth for her work with Science from Scientists, Erika has been featured on Lifetime TV and Nova Science Now on “The Secret Lives of Scientists and Engineers." She is the host of “The Dr. Erika Show," an educational science TV show for children.
Erika served as a Commissioner for the MA Commission on the Status of Women. Erika was Miss Massachusetts 2004 in the Miss America Scholarship program. At age 11, she became interested in isolating natural antiviral products from an herb. She continued to pursue this interest for the next 7 years, winning multiple state, national, and international science fair competitions.
Outside of work, Erika enjoys SCUBA diving, skiing and, a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, continues her lifelong passion for classical piano. She is married to Colin Angle, CEO of iRobot.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"Science from Scientists has been working in science enrichment for the last 13 years. We are unique in that we are the only year-long during school science enrichment program that sends real scientists into classrooms. Our 85+ lessons are informed by state standards and curriculum frameworks. On average, our partner schools see a 41% improvement in the number of students who score Proficient/Advanced on their STE MCAS exams. Additionally, many who visit our classrooms report that student engagement is incredibly high. We have been written about in the Boston Globe and other local media outlets for several of our programs. We have been endorsed by the State of MA for being one of the most scalable and impactful programs in the state in the ""@Scale"" initiative. Additionally, we are cleared by the Department of Education to provide professional development credits to classroom teachers partnered with us.We train our staff and evaluate them rigorously to uphold our high standards. After working with over 18,000 students and hundreds of teachers over the last 13 years we have matured as an organization.Several MA non-profit organizations offer STEM enrichment. We differ from them in numerous ways.First, our module-based instruction program offers STEM enrichment to ALL students in a partner school during the school day, not just to those whose parents choose to have them participate, thereby reaching a larger number and more diverse number of students who may otherwise not have shown an interest in STEM. Additionally, our field trips and presentations include all the students in the school's chosen grade(s), not just a select few.Second, our instructors are not typical ""educators,"" but are charismatic, real scientists who serve as excellent role models for the students. We require staff to hold a STEM undergraduate degree and be (at minimum) enrolled in an advanced degree program. Third, students in our programs score significantly higher on STE MCAS. We have an assessment system that allows us to track student MCAS performance and have shown significant test score increases after our programs.Fourth, students in our programs become so excited by the visits from SFS scientists, they have asked SFS instructors for their autographs. When the SFS instructors have asked why, the children have replied excitedly, ""Because you're a REAL scientist"". Many students choose not to pursue STEM because it is ""uncool"". Our staff contradict this stereotype."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Colin Angle

iRobot

Term: Sept 2015 -

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?