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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Tech Museum

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Education, Educational Services, Fairs, Science & Technology Museums, Sports

Mission: Our mission is to inspire the innovator in everyone. Our vision is that The Tech Museum, in partnership with others, will invigorate innovation and inspire learning, locally, nationally, and globally.

Results: More than five million visitors since opening its new facility in 1998. Annually welcoming more than 140,000 children who visit on field trips, of which more than half are from Title 1 schools. Growth of The Tech Challenge program. This signature competition has seen an increase in participation every year since it began in the 1980s. The challenge has also grown in depth, with in-house trainings for team participants and advisors, test trials, and online assistance. The Tech Challenge is now a months-long program that provides extensive scientific training to participants and includes significant participation from girls and low-income students. Growth of The Tech Awards. This signature program to honor people who use technology to benefit humanity has seen an increase in applications by 20 percent. The museum has implemented interactive programs for young people to expose them to it, and the pool of judges has grown, representing an array of universities, organizations, and former Tech Award Laureates.

Target demographics: Children and adults.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 400,000 visitors experience our hands-on exhibits.

Geographic areas served: Northern California; The Tech Awards serves worldwide

Programs: The frontiers of human imagination and knowledge converge at The Tech Museum of Innovation, where visitors explore modern technology through interactive exhibits that captivate while they inform. With the mission of inspiring the innovator in everyone, this hands-on science center engages visitors to learn about the technologies affecting their lives. More than 400,000 guests visit each year—140,000 as part of a school field trip. An expansive variety of exhibitions covering 132,000 square feet showcase not just how technology works, but how it influences our identities and how we live, work, play, and learn. The Tech also features the Hackworth IMAX Dome Theater, Northern California's only domed IMAX screen. Signature programs include The Tech Challenge, an annual student engineering design competition founded in 1988, and The Tech Awards, honoring people around the world who use technology to benefit humanity.

Community Stories

29 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Disneyland is the place to play and amuse your self. The Tech Museum of Innovation is the place to "Technically" play and amuse yourself while learning and "Volunteering"!

I have been a volunteering at different places most of my life because I believe in "giving back" to the community.

I have been volunteering for over 16 years at the Tech. I have gained knowledge and made new friends! I always feel welcome! The volunteer management is pleasant and genuinely interested in you. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable. I feel "at home while at The Tech Museum"!

There are many perks that the volunteers receive. Including free parking in downtown, free fountain drinks and popcorn, free educational IMAX movies, awards ceremonies and sometimes even free food on special occasions.

You feel "Cared for, and appreciated!

Come, Volunteer!

Sincerely,

Virginia Rose

gratefulone

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I continue to learn and be amazed at the wealth of knowledge in one building! I brought three generations of my family to visit The Tech Museum. My mother visited Portugal on Google Earth (her native land) and a journey through the Genomic Exhibit put her at peace with life changing decisions. We never stop learning. I am grateful for The Tech Museum and its contributors, every nook and cranny-Thank you!!

1 jferrier7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer at The Tech Museum for almost ten years as an exhibit innovator, office help and now an exhibit technician. One of the greatest characteristics of the museum is the ongoing equality between the staff and the volunteers; we all are equal partners in keeping this museum a great place to be involved with.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Tech Museum is an outstanding place that will appeal to the whole family. And it's a great place to be a volunteer at!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wow! I've volunteered here for over 2-3 years. And my enthusiasm for the visitors (especially the children) increases each week. I've noticed the TECH stepping up its commitment noticeably to children and the community since I arrived. Where else can you learn that it takes 5 generations of monarch butterflies to migrate south from New York to Mexico with the last generation magically growing several times larger because they have to fly nonstop across the Gulf of Mexico? Or build a video of your ideal roller-coaster ride and watch the ride? Or finger paint without getting your hands dirty? Or (for non-Californians) experience a 7-level earthquake just as the sensors measured it? Or have someone show you on Google Earth where they were stationed in Iraq? Or, Or, Or... But seeing kids get so excited about what they are experiencing is beyond any money value. It easily takes 20 years off my real age. Go TECH!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love technology, so volunteering here was a no brainer. Little did I know that the volunteer coordinator was so lovely, which added up to the whole experience. I met others inside the Tech and I can say that they're all great people. Besides, the exhibits are great I can see that they're always pushing for innovation. It's an awesome environment to be in!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a member at The Tech for more than 20 years. I also began volunteering once a week 3 years ago. I love this museum. The exhibits are both very interesting and many of them great fun. The staff is very dedicated and enjoyable to work with.

Seeing school age kids excited about experimenting at the various stations is quite rewarding. It is really nice that San Jose has a museum that teaches adults and young people about technology and it is done in interesting ways. What a great combination, to learn and to have fun!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a great place to visit and to volunteer. To visit - it has great displays (constantly renewed). To volunteer - it provides great interaction with kids and adults. The staff encourages interaction with guests in explaining the exhibits and encouraging their innovation.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The museum is just a half block from the light rail in downtown San Jose. They are always active in creating new exhibits or hosting events. You can not leave without learning something. It's not just for kids, although if you bring one they may surprise you by what they know or have learned. Almost everything is hands on, touch and feel which enhances your experience. Where else can you enjoy an earthquake, or simulate an astronaut using a jet pack? The IMAX theater has cheap, but great educational films and also features full length releases in IMAX format in some evenings. And yes they have a snack bar for the movies. There are three floors to explore, with hidden gems all over.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a former teacher and school district official I am impressed by what the Tech Museum of Innovation has to offer, not only school children but adults. Creative displays, interactive experiences and a genetics activity that is probably the most sophisticated activity I have seen. The museum also has an earthquake and jet pack simulator and displays on astronomy and sustainable energy. The museum also updates activities and displays regularly and houses an iMax theater that is very popular with all.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Tech Museum has been a great place to volunteer and I've been doing this for about 1 year now. I have been very impressed with the consistency of focus on mission ("Inspire the Innovator in Everyone") that this non-profit organization has maintained. The Tech Museum makes every effort to always understand the needs of their audience and does a great job executing on meeting these needs. And they also do a great job at recognizing the contribution of their volunteers--a nice plus!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This museum stands apart from the others in its class. It is very hands-on; guests are invited to touch and experience each exhibit - it enhances learning to a great degree. The school field-trip program inspires hundreds of children each day to learn more about their world. The museum keeps it's exhibits on the edge of innovation, so is never the same experience one visit to the next.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Can't give enough accolades to the Tech Museum as a non-profit organization as well as a wonderful environment to volunteer. I am retired and have volunteered for them for 6 years. The people and projects that I work on have kept me in touch and continually provide me the appreciation that each individual needs when out of the work force.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Tech Museum is a great combination of entertainment and information for kids and adults. Their hands-on approach to learning is prefect for making lasting impressions. The fact the museum also has an IMAX dome theater and space for fun traveling exhibits (recently Star Wars and MythBusters) are both icing on a really, really good cake. I highly recommend it for families; for adults at their monthly After Hours on first Thursdays; and as a site for corporate events, weddings, you name it.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Before I retired, I happened to teach 8th grade Science locally and would bring my class each year so that they too could experience this hands-on-Science establishment. They thoroughly enjoyed themselves and coincidentally learned a lot too. I decided then that when the opportunity occurred that I would become a volunteer. It has been well worth my time to be a participant in the process of enlivening the experience of Science that The Tech offers every day. I highly recommend visiting as often as you can.
You will have a fabulous time and learn some science too!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Are you looking for a place to volunteer? This is the place. Staff and volunteers are friendly, supportive and we are one big happy family. It is good to see young and old be inspired, and to be learning of new innovations. i am glad to be a volunteer here.
velw

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a member of the Tech for over 20 years and also became a volunteer almost two years ago. I love working with the school age children, visiting adults and families. The Tech Museum has very interesting technological, scientific exhibits as well as being great fun. What a perfect combination for both children and adults.

The staff members are very professional, well organized and really nice to work with. They honestly value volunteers as well as making the Tech a great place for the public to become involved.

Everyone can have lots of fun while learning about various technologies! Come visit!

Sharon Teeter

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have always liked to visit the Tech museum long before I became a volunteer there. It has something for all ages and invites visitors to learn through interactive exhibits. The museum management is always looking for ways to improve the visitor’s experience using visitor feedback. It is very active in the community and sponsors a tech challenges competition as well as workshop labs for local school groups. It has special after hour’s events for adults 21 and older. The staff and volunteers enjoy there work and it shows.


2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for around 10 years, and have never had a problem with the Staff, they are always fair an helpful. During school days they will get over a thousand kids a day, this is harder than herding cats. The kids enjoy themselves and learn many things about science and technology. The volunteers not only work in the gallery, but they also work behind the scenes in finance, maintenance, computers, etc. Many are retired Silicon Valley and contribute valuable talent that keep things going. Lots of families visit. It is interesting that often we see the children explaining to their parents how things work.
I current work behind the scenes, but occasionally enjoy a shift in the gallery, or special events.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great experience. Staff is excellent to work with. Always welcoming and very appreciative of our time and work.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Best volunteering experiences with the Tech Museum. The staff is extremely friendly, knowledgeable, engaging, accommodating and helpful!! They appreciates our time and effort, and made me feel like I am contributing!!