Educational Institutions

RESET

  • Washington, DC
  • www.resetonline.org

Mission Statement

RESET is a volunteer organization of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professionals whose mission is to motivate children to discover and explore the worlds of science and math, and to encourage them to consider education and career choices in related fields.

The RESET volunteer program has operated successfully in the Washington, DC metro area since 1988. Through hands-on science lessons, interactive experiments and related field trips, RESET volunteers teach children in ways that are engaging, relevant, and fun, helping them to make important connections between life and learning.

The majority of the children RESET serves are from low-income households in Washington, DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland, as evidenced by the high percentage participating in the Free and Reduced cost Meal (FARM) program. RESET provides students with enriching, positive, and motivational learning opportunities with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), opportunities that are rarely available in their regular class work.

Main Programs

  1. RESET In-School Program
  2. RESET Out-of-School-Time (After-School) Program
Service Areas

Self-reported

Virginia

Washington, D.C.
Virginia
Maryland

ruling year

1995

Executive Director

Self-reported

Mr. John Meagher

Keywords

Self-reported

STEM, science, engineering, math, technology, working and retired science professionals, early childhood learning, Kindergarten through 8th grade, underserved, low-income, volunteers in education

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EIN

52-1913594

 Number

6565710180

Physical Address

10866 Hampton Road

Fairfax Station, VA 22039

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Education N.E.C. (B99)

Community Improvement, Capacity Building N.E.C. (S99)

Professional Societies, Associations (O03)

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

RESET reaches approximately 1,900 PreK through middle school students each year with engaging and motivating science-technology-engineering-math (STEM) learning. Through hands-on, inquiry-based experiments and related field trips, RESET volunteers teach children in ways that are relevant and fun, helping them to make important connections between life and learning. An emphasis is placed on the scientific method--students are encouraged to behave and think like scientists in a laboratory setting. RESET programs are delivered without charge to schools and learning centers, many of which are located in low income neighborhoods, reaching many underserved students. Assessment data show that students like and enjoy science better after a RESET program, are more likely to study science in high school, and have a better understanding of what scientists, engineers and mathematicians do on the job.

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

RESET In-School Program

RESET’s In-School Volunteer Program (Mon–Fri) operates in numerous PreKindergarten and elementary schools throughout the Washington, DC area, and serves many economically challenged neighborhoods, as indicated by the percentage of students in the Free And Reduced Meal cost Program.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

Program 2

RESET Out-of-School-Time (After-School) Program

RESET's after-school programming is delivered after regular school hours to schools and learning centers throughout the Washington, DC metro area. This includes summer and weekend programs.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

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?
    1. To improve student attitudes, motivation, and literacy in STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math) subjects.

    2. To provide expert and educationally valuable inquiry-based STEM programming to underserved children, with a particular emphasis on children who are low income and/or culturally/linguistically diverse.

    3. To establish connections between students and STEM professionals, providing children with role models and examples of career pathways.

    4. To improve the classroom teaching of science to PreK, elementary, and middle school students in the Washington, DC metro area, including Northern Virginia and Maryland.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    RESET provides students with enriching, positive, and motivational learning opportunities with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), opportunities that are rarely available in their regular class work.

    Familiarizing students with science vocabulary, concepts, and behaviors in ways that encourage curiosity and critical thinking also eases apprehensions and motivates future learning, both academically and professionally. RESET volunteers also serve as role models for teachers—as professional scientists they are dynamic examples of how scientists think and behave. One teacher wrote recently: “Dear RESET: The contributions you have made have helped create and foster a love of science and engineering. This has made a difference in our students' educational experience this year. Having volunteers who have worked directly in the field share hands-on activities with students has really opened a door for our students."

    Each RESET volunteer or team of volunteers establishes a partnership with a teacher in one of the 30 schools or education centers served by the organization. In a given school term volunteers lead students in six classroom sessions where they present STEM learning through hands-on, inquiry-based exercises and experiments.

    These experiments reinforce and enhance the classroom teaching of STEM subjects and are developed in collaboration with teachers and in consultation with existing volunteers. For example, one volunteer has students use pulleys, inclined planes, levers, wheels and axles to learn the fundamentals of simple machines. Another volunteer has students mix liquids of different densities that create a colorful liquid column. Pre-Kindergarten students learn the effect of magnifying glasses on the size of images.

    Because many students, especially those in low-income neighborhoods, have limited exposure to STEM professionals, RESET volunteers also share their motivation and inspiration for pursuing science and math, their educational background, and their career experiences. Among RESET's 120 active volunteers are professionals from the fields of physics, statistics, medicine, environment, biology, computer science, anthropology, chemistry, neuroscience and civil, aerospace and mechanical engineering. By sharing what first got them interested in science and math, what education is involved, and what kind of work they do, volunteers open students' eyes to possible options for their future. Principal Brandon Davis of Cora Kelly Elementary explains: “Our children rely on programs that you are providing them to give them a sense of hope and purpose."

    Whenever possible, RESET volunteers follow up their six classroom sessions with a field trip to a science laboratory or museum. Examples include the Udvar-Hazy Aerospace Museum, an environmental science cruise on the Anacostia River, DC's Koshland Science Museum, and the Baltimore Aquarium.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    • A 28-year history as a successful nonprofit in the Washington, DC area, with established best practices in program delivery, branding, volunteer recruitment, and nonprofit management.

    • RESET is a dynamic organization, finding and implementing innovative ways to achieve its mission. Its numbers of volunteers and students reached have grown substantially in recent years, using new approaches to recruit working professionals, expanding to out-of-school- day offerings, developing partnerships with non-traditional organizations, and upgrading its volunteer training program.

    • RESET is supported through a stable of community, family, and corporate foundations, an individual giving program, online giving platforms, fundraisers and charitable giving campaigns.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    1. Each term RESET tracks the number of volunteers, schools, classroom programs and students impacted by the program.

    2. RESET collects program assessment data from students.
    through a post-program questionnaire that measures program impact. This questionnaire, which uses questions asked of students nationwide for "The Nation's Report Card," measures attitudes toward science and science learning. Data from "The Nation's Report Card" provide a benchmark for RESET to use in comparing its results.

    To measure RESET's effectiveness in achieving its goal of sparking children's enthusiasm for STEM, RESET surveys students who have completed one of its hands-on science programs on their attitudes towards science learning. The survey instrument measures attitudes towards science learning, and uses questions developed by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in preparing “The Nation's Report Card." With these metrics RESET is able to compare the responses of students in our programs with those of students nationwide who completed the NCES assessment.

    3. Another tool used to measure program effectiveness is a questionnaire completed by the RESET classroom teacher after each program. This feedback helps volunteers to continuously improve program offerings.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    The RESET program is an innovative teaching model based on the premise that children must enjoy engaging and meaningful experiences with STEM subjects as early as possible to sustain interest, motivation, and performance in these subjects throughout their educational career.

    • RESET is a featured nonprofit in the 2016/17 Catalogue for Philanthropy. Selected from nearly 200 applicants in a rigorous vetting process, RESET was designated “one of the best small charities in the Greater DC area." Organizations were chosen for their impact, fiscal soundness and overall management.

    • RESET is a 2017 “Top Rated" nonprofit by Great Nonprofits.com, a stakeholder review site that rates national nonprofits.

    • RESET has reached more than 15,000 students with hands-on science programs since it was founded in 1988.

    • More than 500 scientists and engineers have volunteered with RESET since its inception.

    • RESET volunteers represent more than 20 different Science-Technology-Engineering-Math (STEM) fields, including aerospace engineering, energy science, forensic anthropology, geology, and neuroscience.

    • RESET has been endorsed by a Chancellor of the District of Columbia School System (DCPS), who wrote: “RESET's objective of showing students that science is exciting, as well as its longer term goal of inspiring students to consider careers in Science-Technology-Engineering-Math (STEM) fields, aligns to the goals of DCPS' vision for STEM education."

    • In school year 2015/16, RESET placed 120 volunteers in 30 schools in DC, Maryland and Virginia, providing hands-on science programs to 1,933 students, an increase of 10.9% over last year and the most ever in a school year.

    • RESET had partnerships with 17 schools, 10 out-of-school time learning centers, and 3 PreK child development centers. RESET has codified 90% of these partnerships with signed Memoranda of Agreement that spell out partner responsibilities.

    --Due to funding limitations, RESET has not yet replicated the program outside of the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
Service Areas

Self-reported

Virginia

Washington, D.C.
Virginia
Maryland

Social Media

Blog

Funding Needs

RESET's most pressing funding needs are related to establishing new school partnerships, recruiting, training, and placing volunteers, and various costs associated with program delivery, such as classroom supplies, science equipment, and field trips.

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.

RESET Retired Scientists, Enginears and Teachnicians
Fiscal year: Aug 31-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.

RESET

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2015 and 2014
  • 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.

Executive Director

Mr. John Meagher

BIO

John Meagher worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for 32 years and served as Director of its Wetlands Division from its inception in 1990 until 2005. Mr. Meagher is a former member of the Federal Senior Executive Service, the topmost cadre of federal agency executives. At EPA he supervised a staff of 35 and managed a nationwide program with a budget of $35 million a year. Mr. Meagher started volunteering at RESET in early 2007 and later that year accepted the position of RESET Executive Director. Mr. Meagher has presented hands-on science curricula to elementary school classes in Washington, DC, Annapolis, Maryland, and Arlington, Virginia. He holds a B.S. in civil engineering and an M.A. in environmental engineering, both from Manhattan College, New York.

STATEMENT FROM THE Executive Director

"RESET's success as an enduring Washington institution for
28 years is a tribute to our visionary founder and to
the cadre of talented volunteers who have contributed their time and
expertise.  As we prepare for to carry
this legacy into the future, we must have the ability to adapt to trends in
education, society, and technology.

Today, RESET works within an education environment that
emphasizes standards of learning and testing, and demands quantitative assessment
of the impact of RESET programs. 
We also face great disparities in the learning proficiencies of students
among the schools in which we work.

In the
volunteer recruitment arena, the historically sharp line between working and
retirement has blurred.  At the
traditional age of retirement many of today's workers remain in the workforce,
often changing careers and reducing their number of hours.  Corporations and government agencies are increasingly interested in connecting more with the communities in which they are located, which expands our recruiting pool to include active professionals. 

Our task ahead is to respond
successfully to change while remaining true to our core mission."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

John Meagher

RESET, Executive Director

Term: Jan 2017 - Dec 2018

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?