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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: To connect people to their environment through river education experiences. Riverquest is an award-winning not-for-profit education organization offering river-based educational programs for students, teachers, and the community. Riverquest also provides a range of public programs, including interpretive cruises and private charters for businesses, organizations and the public.

Programs: Riverquest ("rq") programs:school programs:the new hybrid vessel explorer allows rq to serve up to 90 elementary, middle and high school students per trip through the use of pittsburgh's ohio, monongahala and allegheny rivers. All school programs are aligned with pa education standards. Environmental science on the three rivers programs: 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 serves as a springboard for exploring issues of sustainability and green designs.

environment, energy & economy programs: incorporates a pre-trip project and three onboard stations on environment and economy, alternative energy sources and energy conservation technology, and human impacts on the natural environment for students grade 6-12. Hands-on activities and group discussions include local environmental and socioeconomic history, ecological footprint and the climate change debate; and hybrid diesel-electric engines, biofuels and other renewable energy sources.

rivertales school outreach program: 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; and 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 ecoadventure;" "bridges of pittsburgh; traveling the nautical road;" "otters in the water;" "world environment day: pittsburgh's human/nature. " teacher workshops (6. 0 hours act 48 -teacher continuing education): teachers board explorer, to explore the world of freshwater ecology. The session's agenda includes hands-on activities that provide rich and locally relevant content in environmental science, and teaching strategies that emphasize guided inquiry as a tool for classroom implementation. College programs: colleges and universities can arrange for a specialized education program to enhance undergraduate and graduate courses, laboratories and research projects. Public tours and summer programs:provides a way for the public to engage with the rivers and the environment on weekends and during summer months. Summer camps serve 100-200 students per year, in day camp and residential versions. Accomplishments:since launching programs in 1995 as pittsburgh voyager, rq has served nearly 85,000 individuals through onboard education programming. More than 64,000 elementary, middle and high school students representing 239 schools from 66 school districts in 11 western pennsylvania counties have participated in standards-based learning programs, with themes ranging from environmental science and regional history to physical science and mathematics. Along with students, more than 2,500 teachers and college students and 17,000 members of the general public have participated in riverquest programs. During june 30, 2010 riverquest served 4,632 students and 8,189 people in the community. Rq service area includes a 10-county region of southwestern pennsylvania and extends to eastern ohio and northern west virginia. Since 1995, more than 80,000 people have experienced riverquest's unique floating classrooms during school and public programs. Goals:-help students and the public understand issues of sustainability as it relates to the carrying capacities of the earth's linked natural systems. -inspire students to think of their communities, the environment and the entire pittsburgh region from new perspectives. -challenge children and adults to be responsible stewards of the regional and global environment. -offer opportunities for a diverse cross-section of the community to enjoy and celebrate the region's renewed interest in its rivers as a source of economic strength for the future and a source of regional identity for current and future generations.

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