Educational Institutions

RiverQuest

  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • www.riverquest.org

Mission Statement

RiverQuest engages students and people of all ages in hands-on science learning experiences that develop critical thinking skills and promote awareness of our river ecosystems.

Main Programs

  1. RiverQuest Formal School Programs
  2. RQ Short Studies and School-Site Visits
  3. RiverQuest Public Tours & Camps
  4. RiverQuest Charter Programs
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

ruling year

1992

Principal Officer since 2012

Self-reported

Shayna Pitt and Jeffrey Jordan

Keywords

Self-reported

environmental science education, river-based science education,

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013.
Register now

EIN

25-1669347

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

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

Accomplishments (2012-13)RiverQuest served 7,083 students in school programs onboard Explorer. 68% of the total number of students served represent the most financially distressed districts based on state aid ratios. Of the total served, 32% represented City students. RiverQuest academic outreach programs served an additional 7, 854 people in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. A total of 7,105 people were served in non-school programs that include camps, education programs, business rentals, public programs, higher education, and RiverWorks Discovery programs. Educational program clients included Tickets for Kids, AJAPO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh, Girl Scouts WPA, Boy Scouts of America, Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, Pittsburgh Zoo/Middle School Apprenticeship, Pittsburgh Zoo/KidScience Program, Pitt-Arts, Pitt-STEER, Cancer Institute Scholars Program, Duquesne University, Waterways Association of Pittsburgh, C-Mites, Washington/Greene County Job Training Agency, University of Dayton, Carnegie Science Center/SciTech, Alcosan/Pittsburgh Pipeline, Alcosan/Open House, Head of the Ohio Regatta, Innovation Works, Hill House Association, PA DEP Watershed Celebration, Venture Outdoors, Creek Connections/Allegheny College, Goals for the current year: Serve 8,000 students in school programs during the 2013-13 school year. Integrate RiverQuest programming into the science curriculum in a targeted Pittsburgh Public School District schools to be named, integrating multiple hands-on and site-specific learning experiences into a school curriculum over several school years Provide scholarships to local and regional schools, prioritizing those with the most need, by raising $500,000 in corporate sponsorships. Continue strategic partnership with Carnegie Science Center as part of a river science themed phase of capital expansion.

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

RiverQuest Formal School Programs

Since 1995, RiverQuest has served more than 85,000 elementary, middle and high school students who have participated in one of the organization's standards-based science curricula for a hands-on science learning experience on the rivers of western Pennsylvania. RiverQuest school-age graduates come from 70 school districts in 14 counties across the region. To date, nearly 100,000 have participated in other programs conducted by RiverQuest, including camps, education charters, scout days, group tours, and community landside events. Participation and involvement in RiverQuest activities averages 10,000 people per year. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE ON THE 3 RIVERS (ES): Students in grades 4-12 become scientists as they travel Pittsburgh's three rivers, using sampling equipment and test kits to analyze living and nonliving indicators of water quality. Results are correlated with industrial history, historical and current land use, and serve as a springboard for exploring issues of sustainability and green design. MARCELLUS SHALE + RIVER ECOSYSTEMS: Students in grades 4-12 become scientists as they travel Pittsburgh's three rivers, using sampling equipment and test kits to analyze living and nonliving indicators of water quality. Students explore the geological and biological origins of shale gas and learn about the opportunities and challenges present in the processes used to extract shale gas.

Category

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Adults

Budget

Program 2

RQ Short Studies and School-Site Visits

RiverTales School Visits -- Standards-based 45-minute classroom activities for grades K-5, exploring river-themed topics. Titles include Bridge City, USA; Dive into Mammals; Pittsburgh Fish Stories; Mountain, River, Sea & Sky; Pittsburgh's Biodiversity Basics. Adventure Voyages for Schools & Groups -- Short studies engage groups of all ages. Titles include It's Alive; Bridges of Pittsburgh; The Nautical Road; Pittsburgh's Human/Nature

Category

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Adults

Budget

Program 3

RiverQuest Public Tours & Camps

Public tours and summer programs provide a way for the public to engage with the rivers and the environment on weekends and during summer months. Public tours typically serve about 1,000 people per year. Summer Camps serve 100-200 students per year, in day camp and residential versions.

Category

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Adults

Budget

Program 4

RiverQuest Charter Programs

RiverQuest Charters incorporate an educational component with celebrations, business meetings or retreats, client cultivation events, reunions, fireworks nights, sports events and more. Explorer has a 149-guest capacity and features climate controlled cabins with abundant daylight, ADA compliant restroom and elevator, and a catering set-up galley. Furniture and A/V can be arranged to meet the needs of a variety of group needs.

Category

Population(s) Served

Adults

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Budget

Service Areas

Self-reported

International

Funding Needs

Current Needs School Scholarships- Scholarships to benefit school districts or schools to offset program expense for education programs for K-12 that explore environmental science, ecology, and sustainability. Programs include: Environmental Science on the Three RiversMarcellus Shale & River EcosystemsSpecialized offeringsBudget $925,000 3) Public Programs- One-hour programs provide a way for about 1,000 members of the public to engage with the river ecology on weekends and during summer months. Summer Camps serve 100-200 students per year, in day camp and residential versions. Budget $125,000 4) Boat Maintenance Fund Budget $50,000 5) General Operating Funds- Support administrative expenses such as rent, telephone, office and dock utilities, advertising, parking and travel. Budget $180,000

Accreditations

photos


External Reviews

Source: greatnonprofits.org

The review section is powered by Great Nonprofits

Financials

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

THE PITTSBURGH VOYAGER, INC.
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone and website
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Get all this now for free
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

Operations

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

RiverQuest

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone and website
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

Principal Officer

Shayna Pitt and Jeffrey Jordan

BIO

Co-Executive Directors: Mr. Jeffrey Jordan and Ms. Shayna Pitt. Before assuming the co-directorship, Mr. Jordan functioned as the RiverQuest's director of education and operations for 10 years. He holds a BS in Biology and a professional teaching certificate from the University of Pittsburgh. A professional educator, Jordan's work before RiverQuest included classroom teaching, as well as program development and staff coodination of Carnegie Science Center's live science theaters, and work with the Science on the Road program. Mr. Jordan's other duties at RiverQuest include program development, evaluation, and marketing, program and staff management, financial responsibilities and communications. Before assuming the co-directorship, Ms. Pitt served as director of development for 7 years. She holds a BA in Education and Psychology from the University of Rhode Island, an MS in Communicative and Learning Disabilities from Johns Hopkins University, and an MS in School Pschology from Southern Connecticut University. In 2005, Ms. Pitt joined a fundraising counsel firm and served as counsel to RiverQuest. In 2008 she joined RiverQuest as Director of Development. Ms. Pitt's duties also include program development, marketing, and financal responsibilities. Ms. Pitt is a Pennsylvania-certified school psychologist and has taught with Balitimore City Schools, worked as a school psychologist in the Branford, Connecticut School System. She also and managed federal, state and local workforce development projects at LifesWork of Western PA where she also served as Director of Development.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"RiverQuest provides one of our region's most extensive hands on educational experiences through its various program opportunities. The centerpiece of RiverQuest's programs and infrastructure is Explorer, the first ever hybrid-electric ""green"" boat that is a floating laboratory used for science education. Explorer is docked on Pittsburgh's North Shore, making it highly accessible for residents and visitors alike. Explorer has been strategically designed to provide interactive science programs for groups as large as 90-120 individuals. An experienced and interactive staff of educators, certified boat captains and crew successfully implement a creative curriculum to enable us to serve close to 8,000 students per year including Pittsburgh Public Schools, and schools across the region, regardless of financial status. A large segment of students participating are considered minority audiences who lack opportunities to participate in science education programs. The curriculum for students fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation for the region's river habitats and directly addresses recognized national needs in education by focusing on the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) as critical tools of learning and discovery. For other audiences, specially designed interpretive river education and adventure programs provide unique opportunities for residents to personally experience the wonders of Pittsburgh, one of the nation's largest inland ports, and develop a passion for the greatest of our regional assets - our rivers. "

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

The Honorable James Roddey

Senior Consultant, Parente Beard

Term: July 2009 - June 2013

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

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?