ExplorationWorks, Inc.

Discover. Imagine. Play.

aka ExplorationWorks   |   Helena, MT   |  http://www.explorationworks.org

Mission

Mission: Igniting a lifelong love for science to enrich Montana’s future. ExplorationWorks offers hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) exhibits, programs, workshops, classes, and camps for kids and families, as well as school and community groups. In 2017, we welcomed over 32,000 guests of all ages. More than 800 youth participate in our summer camps and after school classes each year. Our onsite Explore School program, in partnership with Helena School District, provides weekly formal science education for 90 home-school students, 1st-8th grade.

Ruling year info

2002

Executive Director

Ms. Kelly Posewitz

Main address

995 Carousel Way

Helena, MT 59601 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

81-0541491

NTEE code info

Science & Technology Museum (A57)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

IRS filing requirement

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

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2020, 2019 and 2018.
Register now

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

This profile needs more info.

If it is your nonprofit, add a problem overview.

Login and update

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Summer Camps

ExplorationWorks offers 60+ summer camps for K-8th grade across 10 weeks each summer, including our Kids Kicking Cancer Camp offered free-of-charge for young cancer patients, survivors and siblings. Camps topics include (but are not limited to) robotics and coding, chemistry, prehistory, natural science and natural history, outdoor exploration, space, scientific thinking, computer animation, and much more!

Population(s) Served

SciGirls Girls ages 9 – 12 build confidence by completing fun and fabulous challenges in this 7 -week program while working with other science-loving girls. Offered by ExplorationWorks twice a year, the award winning PBS KIDS series, website and national outreach initiative, is changing how millions of tween girls think about science, technology, engineering and math.
Girls work through weekly challenges, like designing a machine to measure the wind, or making a movie using stop motion technology? They visit places like a robotics makerspace and a biochemistry lab. With SciGirls, girls do all this and more, while completing fun and fabulous challenges with other science-loving girls. They also meet women working in STEM fields and learn what it takes to pursue a career in science.


SciGirls Junior: Young lady scientists don’t have to be a tween to be a SciGirl! In this program girls 7 to 9 years old learn how to apply the scientific method in fun, engaging challenges while meeting other science-loving girls. Female STEM professionals visit to be role models and to encourage the girls to pursue their dream science career.

Population(s) Served

Robotics Geared to students new to LEGO robotics, WeDo 1.0 is the perfect starting robotics platform. Simplified starting builds allow lots of time for robotics experimentation and play. WeDo 2.0 projects are designed to be fun and engaging while practicing science, technology, engineering, math, and coding skills. Students build their own robotic rover and wirelessly program it using Bluetooth.
NXT robots are found today in schools and competitions, on YouTube, and with hobbyists and artists of all ages. Students learn to manage the basics of building and programming these bots ¬ including ultrasonic, light, and sound sensors as they become a part of the techno¬wave of the future. EV3 is more powerful and complex than NXT, allowing for advanced builds and sensors. Interactive servo motors with built-in rotation sensors along with color sensor, gyro sensor, ultrasonic sensor, and touch sensors prepare roboticits for a whole new skill set.

Population(s) Served

ExplorationWorks Science Center’s Early Explorers education program gives preschool-age children an opportunity to experience interactive hands-on science activities led by skilled educators passionate about learning. Early Explorers classes are offered at 10:30 a.m. four days a week during the school year for pre-school children and their care givers. Preschool programs are free to members and free to non-members with paid admission. Early Explorers has offers a variety of classes including:
• Science Story Time (Tuesdays)
• Crafty Science (Wednesdays)
• Music and Movement (Thursdays)
• Sensory Science (Fridays)

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

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

Expanding STEM
Goal #1 To expand exhibits and programs, emphasizing early childhood education and Montana's place-based natural science

Accessibility
Goal #2 To ensure ExplorationWorks is accessible for all who wish to visit and participate in programs

Expand Awareness and Participation
Goal #3 To expand regional and state-wide awareness and outreach
Financial Growth

Goal #4 To achieve a sustainable financial status, with surplus revenue to re-invest in staff and capacity building

Staff and Board recruitment and retention
Goal #5 To recruit and retain qualified staff and board members who have fun working together

Expanding STEM
Goal #1: Expand exhibits and programs, emphasizing early childhood education and Montana's place-based natural science.
Strategies include increasing our preschool program offerings, introducing teen exhibit interpreters on weekends to interact with kids and families, adding Montana place-based science exhibit and education opportunities and re-introducing adult programs.

Accessibility
Goal #2: Ensure ExplorationWorks is accessible for all who wish to visit and participate in programs
Strategies include increasing the number of scholarships offered for summer camp and after school classes, offering 3 School Nights annual for families in Helena Title One schools, securing funding to help underwrite field trip admissions and transportation and introducing a membership affordable for low-income families.


Expand Awareness and Participation
Goal #3: To expand regional and state-wide awareness and outreach
Strategies include expanding our regional marketing plan and introducing state-wide marketing, increasing our annual marketing budget to support increased outreach, and continuing to reach out to Montana's family summer visitors.

Financial Growth
Goal #4 To achieve a sustainable financial status, with surplus revenue to re-invest in staff and capacity building
Specific strategies have been developed to address increasing paid admissions, members, continuing to increase program revenue, advertising nationally to tour our Women in Space NASA exhibit, building our operating cash reserve, broadening corporate and foundation sponsorships and support and
better defining board fundraising accountability

Staff and Board recruitment and retention
Goal #5 To recruit and retain qualified staff and board members and to have fun working together
Strategies include recruiting and retaining qualified board and staff, offering competitive salaries and attractive staff benefits and recruiting and maintaining sufficient volunteers.

Realizing that it's difficult envision the future, ExplorationWorks strategic plan is viewed as a living document. Created collaboratively by our board and staff, planning began by envisioning where we want ExplorationWorks to be in 2019.

Quantitative and qualitative outcomes have been created in a separate document for each objective and provide the broad framework for decision-making over the next three years. As we progress toward our goals, staff and board will review and adjust strategies and tactics annually as needed.

Incorporated in 1998 as a 501(c)(3) Montana corporation, CommuniityWorks was founded to create a community informal learning center and gathering place. Founders set out to develop an innovative, hands-on facility for educational opportunities, working in partnership with public schools and available for students of all ages and from varied backgrounds.

Adopting the name ExplorationWorks!, the science center model was determined to best fit the mission, providing a means to meet the goals and mission of the organization. ExplorationWorks has been a member of the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) since 2002.

From its beginning to its opening in 2007, ExplorationWorks was a volunteer-driven, collaborative and grassroots effort. Between 2000 and the 2007 opening, board members, a very small staff, and hundreds of volunteers worked to develop plans and build the new museum, located in the new Great Northern Town Center in downtown Helena, Montana.
ExplorationWorks was the recipient of three significant multi-year NASA and HUD grants totaling $1,352,628 that were essential sources of support in the four years after ExplorationWorks opened to the public in 2007. These grants substantiated ExplorationWorks growing reputation for excellence across Montana and at the federal level. Since 2011, the ExplorationWorks board has worked to eliminate dependence on federal grant dollars to support operational expenses. Grants are still sought, but only to support specific projects, which are undertaken when grant funding is received.

Independence from federal financial support was completed in 2016. ExplorationWorks 2011 $620,500 annual operating plan was supported by 39% earned revenue, 19% contributed revenue and 41% grant revenue. ExWorks 2016 operating plan was $614,437 as the remaining $15,000 in HUD funds were expended. In 2016, using year-end financial numbers, the per cent of earned, contributed and grant revenue had increased to 50% earned, 44% from contributions and grants were reduced to 6% of income.

Financials

ExplorationWorks, Inc.
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

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

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

ExplorationWorks, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 07/02/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Laura Clark

Opportunity Bank

Term: 2017 - 2019

Jeff Downhour

Moscai Architecture

Elizabeth Gundersen

Pediatrician, retired

Ellen Feaver

Employee Benefit Resources

Robert Thennis

Anderson-Zurmuehlen

Dennis Manalo

Fast Enterprises

Darren Chippianelli

Sabot Consulting

Sarah Scott

D. A. Davidson

David Morin

Tech entrepreneur

Brett Clark

Crowley Fleck, PLLP

Annie Hanshew

Northern Rockies Historical Research

Jesse Laslovich

St. Vincent Healthcare

Mary Kay Puckett

Leavitt Great West

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and 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? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes