RiverQuest science education program stays afloat with foundation support
The RiverQuest science education program plans to take thousands of students on field trips aboard its 90-foot boat for at least one more fall semester, thanks to foundations committing $160,000 to help the cash-strapped nonprofit.
The support came shortly after RiverQuest leaders signed an agreement in mid-June to explore a merger with Rivers of Steel Heritage Corp., a Homestead nonprofit formed to preserve Western Pennsylvania's heritage and spur redevelopment across eight counties.
That merger awaits the results of a consulting study due by the end of October, RiverQuest President Jim Roddey said.
Yet news of the potential partnership proved enough to bolster confidence among donors in the future of RiverQuest, which Roddey had warned in April was in dire financial straits. He did not want to disclose the sources of new funding until transactions are finalized. He's hoping to raise $20,000 more to hit his target.
“If we are going to go forward, it would be much more advantageous to the organization not to interrupt the program,” Roddey said. “I think that they felt it was worth the risk.”
North Side-based RiverQuest, formerly known as Pittsburgh Voyager, has served more than 100,000 students and another 100,000 members of the general public for two decades. Students on the floating science lab collect water and mud samples and analyze the contents under microscopes.
Roddey expects to host another 3,500 to 4,000 students this fall.
“It's getting to do things hands-on, so that they really feel like they are learning — not sitting in a classroom looking at a book,” Roddey said.
RiverQuest hired Cosentino Consulting LLC to identify the type of merger or “strategic partnership” that could work best.
Meanwhile, the two nonprofits have some collaborative efforts in the works, such as sharing use of RiverQuest's boat to expand Rivers of Steel's tour offerings.
“It gives us another tool in our arsenal to market Pittsburgh,” Rivers of Steel CEO August Carlino said.
Natasha Lindstrom is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Court attire can have impact, Allegheny, Westmoreland public defenders say
- Newsmaker: Katherine A. Davoli
- Closures planned for Parkway West
- Tiny black weevils booming in W.Pa.
- Man fatally shot in East Liberty; police investigating 2nd shooting
- Independence Day festivities scheduled
- Homewood woman accused of card game stabbing
- Higher school taxes prevail in Western Pennsylvania, Trib finds
- Fireworks displays costly, but W. Pa. communities feel obligated
- Pitt researchers using grant to find cures for viruses from mosquitoes
- Public implored to avoid iPhone cases that resemble guns