The Citizen Scientists League Inc dba Suncoast Science Center
4452 Beneva Rd
Sarasota FL 34233
To provide people of all ages the opportunity to actively engage in the world of science, technology, arts, engineering and math, and to encourage life-long learning in a fun, educational, and hands-on environment. 
CEO/Executive Director Ping Faulhaber
Board Chair Andrew Economos
Board Chair Affiliation Retired
General Info
Organization DBA
Suncoast Science Center
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 2012
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Nov 2018
State Registration Yes Dec 2019
Financial Summary
Note: Revenue includes the value of in-kind contributions/donations
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS Letter of Determination (new name)View
Impact Statement

Suncoast Science Center inspires people of all ages to challenge, experiment, and explore our physical world. Through hands-on learning and real life applications, we aim to build confidence, encourage innovative and out-of-the-box thinking, and spark passions!


In past years, we have:

-Invested more than $300,000+ in cutting-edge equipment, including a CNC Router, 3D Printers, Laser Cutters, CNC Mills & much more.

-Reached over 5,300 kids from 26 different schools with our Lending Library, while serving 62% of Title 1 schools in Sarasota County

-Offered extensive support (staff, mentors, equipment) has been provided for students competing in state and national competitions such as FIRST Robotics, rocketry, science fairs, and other STEM tournaments.

-Reached over 6,800 students with our fun, entertaining yet educational outreach programs, of which nearly 50%  were taught at Title 1 schools in Sarasota County.

-Six STEM-related businesses have been incubated inside the FabLab

-Hosted our first hands-on STEM-based competition (RC Custom Car Open) resulting in 52 workshops with 60 teams of K12 students from 15 different schools

-Recruited over 130 volunteers, all of which have been trained to use the equipment in the FabLab

Needs Statement
Philanthropic gifts of any size are greatly appreciated and needed. Your gift will make a difference!
  1. $35 will provide a 1-month scholarship/$105 will provide a 3-month scholarship for a local student in need, giving them unlimited access  to the state-of-the-art Fab Lab. 
  2. $150 will buy one new science kit for the Science Lending Library which is provided at no cost to teachers and can be used by multiple teachers for many years and serve thousands of students.
  3. $1000 will send a Title I student to 4 weeks educational workshops/courses during the 2017-2018 school year; $2500 will send an all-student team to a national competition.
  4. $5000 will sponsor a student club (such as the Prosthetic and Boat Building Clubs) and help them accomplish their goals!
  5. $10000 for Innovators Fund to support our innovative students and adult entrepreneurs to take their dreams to the next level. 
Background Statement

The roots for Suncoast Science Center began more than ten years ago when Dr. Fritz and Ping Faulhaber saw the need to bring hands-on science into classrooms so students can learn through experience instead of reading text books. They officially launched the Science Learning Library in partnership with forward-thinking educators in the Pinellas, Hillsborough and Sarasota County School Districts. The success of the program was immediate, and after a few years operating out of the family business’ warehouse, the Science Learning Library accepted a proposal to move to Tampa’s renowned Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI).

After the success of the Science Lending Library, the Faulhabers wanted to evolve their initiative to bring science to life for future innovators for the community. They wanted to create a space for innovation outside the realm of conventional learning. Thus, the Faulhaber Fab Lab was born. The mission of the Fab Lab was to provide state of the art equipment, such as 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC routers, etc., to allow any person to fabricate their dreams. Soon, Fab Lab and Science Leading Library naturally merged together to form the Suncoast Science Center, a hub of experiential learning for all ages. 

Today, Suncoast Science Center offers a variety of STEAM workshops and camps as well as providing cutting-edge equipment that supplements science classrooms. With a strong focus on hands-on experience, the ability for future innovators of all ages to build their dreams is now a reality. When guests and new members first visit, they often rave about the limitless possibilities and exciting opportunities to start businesses, have fun and make lifelong friendships in an educational atmosphere. As Suncoast Science Center continues to dream, learn and build, the future of STEAM education in the Gulf Coast of Florida has never been brighter!
Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Sarasota
FL- Manatee
Areas Served Comments

Service Categories
Primary Org Type Education
Secondary Org Type Science & Technology
Tertiary Org Type Youth Development
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

The Suncoast Science Center is dedicated to the proposition that STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) learned through hands on experiences is a critical element for success in the 21st century for adults and kids alike. From the Fabrication Laboratory (FabLab) ("if you can dream it, you can make it", the Science Lending Library ("Do the experiment"), company incubation ("Yes, you can!"), contest and competitions ("RC Custom Car Open is fun!"), Teams and Clubs ("Let's build a driverless boat") to Community and School Outreach, these and many more are activities of the Suncoast Science Center. We serve makers, students, tinkerers, teachers and learners. Our programs encompass summer camps, direct classroom interactions, training and in house courses, clubs and meetings all with the expressed purpose of activating the spark of science in everyone. Our knowledgeable staff and many volunteers help an audience thirsty for the creation of new and innovative projects.

Statement from the CEO/Executive Director

What makes running the Science Center different from running any other non-profit?

“Wouldn’t starting from scratch be too difficult?” he said.

I thought about it. Well, it seemed easy enough… But I had never considered that building an RC Car from scratch would seem daunting to others. Maybe it’s because I had never used one, nevertheless built one. I’m a fully trained engineer, so the prospect of building a toy car didn’t really faze me, but to kids with no experience, it’s a challenge beyond belief.

He was right. “He” was one of our teen volunteers, who was sitting in on a planning meeting for our K-12 RC Car Competition. It is far too difficult and daunting to build a custom RC Car from scratch. He knew this because he knows what it is like to be in middle or elementary school, to be building your first project. He knows how daunting a new project can be, and how many barriers a kid has to overcome today to really experience hands-on science. We decided in the end to supply each team with a car, and it was up to them to decide how much of it to modify. Some teams focused on the exterior, creating a more aesthetically pleasing or aerodynamic body. Others focused on speed, swapping out the tires and other parts with their own custom creations. In the end, the RC Car Competition was a huge success. We would not have been able to achieve such success without including our youth volunteers in the process.

Our users create the experience that is “The Science Center.” They have a passion for the subject that fuels them to help share the joys of science. We find this passion especially in our youth; that’s why we work in empowering teens by giving them a voice in our organization. We learn so much by consulting our youth; they have perspectives that we, as adults, would never even consider. I can work in meetings with adults all day to reach the same conclusion a teen can reach in ten minutes -- it’s just common sense to them.

This is why I love working as the executive director of the Science Center. This community of innovative thinkers truly shape this organization and I am very proud what we have accomplished in a short time since opening to the public. However, there is still much to do and we need your help.

Together, we can do it!



The Faulhaber FabLab is a space for innovation and fabrication. The Suncoast Science Center has invested $300,000+ in obtaining state-of-the-art technology and fabrication equipment, which is available to the members of all ages. The equipment includes 3D Printers, Laser Cutters, CNC Router, CNC Mills and much more.
Through the FabLab we encourage experiential learning -- learning with our hands and our minds -- through fabrication. We want to expand the FabLab's size and scope in order to serve a greater and more diverse population.
Budget $250,000
Category Education, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years)
Short Term Success
- Six STEM-related businesses have  incubated inside of the FabLab
- A successful inaugural RC Custom Car Open Competition with over 60 teams participating!
- An extensive support network (staff, volunteers, mentors, and equipment) has been provided for students competing in state and national competitions, such as robotics competitions, science fairs, and other STEM tournaments. 
-Students Pilot Clubs, The Prosthetic Club and Boat Building Club, were established. 
Long Term Success
-Growing membership as people learn new skills and how to interact with cutting edge technology.
-Increase Student Teams and Clubs 
Program Success Monitoring
-Listening sessions
-Focus Groups 
-Increased involvement and membership 
Program Success Examples
A 5th grade student recently used the lab to create two original projects after attending classes and camps at the Fab Lab last year. After instruction on the design software and machines, and practice through the workshop-based projects, the student was able to design a custom wall hanging for her room as well as custom t-shirts to be worn during her online hooping demonstrations.
One of our high school members and volunteers designed his own search and rescue drone which won him first place at the regional science fair, acceptance to a prestigious university and a job commission for a local non-profit organization.

The Science Lending Library provides science hands-on kits to public, private, homeschool and other education organizations on a temporary loan basis, allowing students to engage in hands-on experiential learning instead of text book reading. Teacher training, kit delivery and pickup, and maintenance are all offered at no cost to teachers and their students.

Budget $35,000
Category Education, General/Other Educational Programs
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years)
Short Term Success

We have provided hands-on science kits to the classrooms of more than 5,000 students on a yearly basis.  Those hands-on experiences assist teachers with explaining challenging science principles to their students. Hands-on science creates personal experiences for students which helps them understand concepts and then retain that knowledge. Over time, teachers see and appreciate the value of these hands-on activities, leading to an increase in requests from teachers to borrow these science experience kits.

 The Lending Library is offered year-around and during the summer it is utilized by other organizations, such as the Sarasota County Libraries  and Girls, Inc.

Long Term Success We intend to grow our inventory, and expand our reach to more classrooms and organizations. We would like to increase the usage of the Science Lending Library by 20% in the coming school year.
Program Success Monitoring We keep record of the number of participating schools, what kits are borrowed, and how many times they are borrowed. Additionally, we conduct surveys and receive one-on-one feedback from teachers.
Program Success Examples
Below are a view testimonials from the teachers utilizing our Science Lending Library:
Wonderful labs - easy to implement and allowed students to explore concepts before reading about them in the textbook. Thank you!
Middle School Teacher, Laurel Nokomis School
This created more excitement than any lab I have done all year. Thank you!
5th grade teacher, Venice Elementary
Students love using the microscopes!! It really motivated them to learn more about science.
3-5th grade teacher, Brentwood Elementary
The students loved those cars! They immediately started asking questions about how much salt could be added to increase speed and so on. It was a wonderful experience.
Middle School teacher, The Tabernacle Christian School

We host an annual RC Car Open for kids ranging from Elementary to High School students. Kids formed teams of 2 or 4 members to modify their car over the course of six weeks before participating in drag and lap races on Race Day. Teams were given the opportunity to take free classes and workshops, as well as access to mentors so that they could learn the FabLab machines and then put those skills to the test  then use to modify their cars.  

Budget $35,000
Category Education, General/Other Extracurricular Activities
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years)
Short Term Success

- 60 teams participated
- Students came from 15 different schools, including public, private and home schools
- 52 workshops were provides to more than 200 students on automotive related science principles and how to use various Fab Lab equipment, such as 3D printers, laser cutters and Vinyl cutters to modify their cars.
- More than 800 kids and adults attended the RC Car Open race day event. 


Long Term Success

We plan on instituting the RC Car Open as an annual event. The 2017 RC Car Open is scheduled for Saturday, March 4th. 

Program Success Monitoring

We monitored the programs success by conducting surveys, interviews, listening sessions on how to improve for the coming year, and an assessment of the number of students interested in participating next year. 

Program Success Examples


The RC Car Open allowed students from all backgrounds to learn together, develop confidence, and pursue a better understanding of some basic science and engineering concepts. Here is an quote from one of the race participants that was interviewed for SRQ magazine:

But don’t go overboard, says Pine View seventh-grader Jacob Bobenmoyer from Team Shockwave, who took second place in the Most Beautiful category with a wooden ribcage-esque design topped with a living hinge made with the laser cutter. Additional design means extra care to balance raceability with aesthetic. “Don’t add too much weight trying to look good,” he advises. “And take weight out of the chassis, because it’s heaviest.”


At the Science Center, we provide a variety of outreach programs to bring fun, entertaining, as well as educational science programs to students. Programs such as Ooey Gooey Gloop, Organs on Parade and Electricity Unplugged not only are they fun but they are engaging. It sparks students' curiosity and they become engaged in learning. Our outreach programs are ongoing and are offered to other educational organizations during summer, such as the Sarasota County Libraries, The Boys and Girls Club, and Girl's Inc.

Budget $30,000
Category Education, General/Other Educational Delivery
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years)
Short Term Success


- Our outreach programs have served almost 7,000 students during the 2015-2016 school year.
- Special pilot program at Emma E. Booker Elementary where we deliver hands-on science programs for K-5th grade each month. 
-Special program at Gocio Elementary where we deliver hands-on science programs for K-5th grade weekly.  
-Deliver hands-on educational programs to K-8th grade classes throughout Sarasota and Manatee Counties. 

Long Term Success

We intend to expand the scope and reach of our outreach programs, as well as strengthen our relationship with various organizations.

Program Success Monitoring

We have request and receive feedback from schools and teachers.

Program Success Examples


In January 2015, we were able to make a Big Impact at Emma E. Booker Elementary by having a meteor land in their courtyard. With the "scientists" from NASA (Suncoast Science Center), students were fully engaged and immersed in this fantastic scientific discovery. Students then took this awesome experience back to their classrooms and homes. The goal of this impactful event was to engage students at every level in the wonder of all things science.

During the summer when schools are out, we offer hands-on fun summer camps to continue to challenge kids' curiosity and encourage  learning. Camp philosophy is "learn by doing." We offer camps such as Fab Creation, 3D Designs, Robotics, Awesome Arduino and Design Squad - Girls Only!!!

Throughout the year we provide various workshops to teach students and adults how to utilize our state of the art equipment to bring their dreams to life. 

Budget $40,000
Category Education, General/Other Educational Programs
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years) K-12 (5-19 years) K-12 (5-19 years)
Short Term Success

We are in our 2nd year of summer camps and serve about 200-300 elementary and middle school students per summer.

Our year long workshops serve all ages, from kids to adults. 

Long Term Success

We intend to expand our scope of workshops to inspire people of all ages and interests. We want to encourage more people to utilize the resources in the FabLab to create innovative and exciting projects.

Program Success Monitoring

Surveys and attendance numbers.

Program Success Examples

Various weeks of Summer Camp sold out in year 2015 and 2016 and we have had many returning campers. 
Sold Out Mother's Day and Father's Day Workshop. 
Program Comments by Organization

CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Ping Faulhaber
CEO Term Start Jan 2014
CEO/Executive Director Email

Ping was the Managing Director for Micromo Electronics, Inc., a manufacturer and and integrator of miniature motion devices for diverse applications including defense and medical.

In addition, Ping is a Director for the Faulhaber Foundation and serves on the board of the Sarasota Education Foundation.

Ping and her husband, Fritz actively support many charitable organizations, especially STEM Education 

- Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering
- Master's in Mechanical Engineering
- Master's in Business Administration
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 3
Part Time Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 100
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 3
Volunteers 131
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes

- Sarasota County School District 

- Manatee County School District
- Out of Door Academy
- Goldie Feldman Academy
- Visible Men Academy
- Girl's Inc. 
- Sarasota County Library System
- Ringling School of Art & Design
- Art Center Sarasota
External Assessments and Accreditations
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures No
Other Documents
Other Document 2
Document Destruction policy
Board Chair
Board Chair Andrew Economos
Company Affiliation Retired
Board Term Mar 2017 to Mar 2020
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Andrew Economos Retired
Ping Faulhaber Micromo
Russell Finger Sarasota County School District
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 2
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 2
Female 1
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 99
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 100
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 67
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Current Year Projections
Tax Year Start Month Jan
Tax Year Start Day 01
Tax Year Begins 2018
Tax Year End Month Dec
Tax Year End Day 31
Tax Year Ends 2018
Projected Revenue $420,000.00
Projected Expenses $450,000.00
Total Projected Revenue includes "in-kind" contributions/ donations No
Organization has Endowment No
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
IRS Form 990s
Audit/Financial Documents
Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$163,520$272,045$76,615
Administration Expense$60,122$104,484$27,424
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.921.131.64
Program Expense/Total Expenses73%72%74%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$126,373$145,065$94,537
Current Assets$78,531$97,634$67,742
Long-Term Liabilities$0$8,800$0
Current Liabilities$7,302$0$6,439
Total Net Assets$119,071$136,265$88,098
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $127,950Contributions, gifts, grants $361,584Contributions, gifts, grants $167,260
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountCamp $33,421Camp $40,750Membership Dues $1,997
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountOutreach $24,627Outreach $15,156Fundraising $940
CEO/Executive Director Compensation N/A
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities10.75--10.52
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%6%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Foundation Financial information taken from IRS Form 990-EZ.  Individual contributions include foundation and corporate support.
Nonprofit The Citizen Scientists League Inc dba Suncoast Science Center
Address 4452 Beneva Rd
Sarasota, FL 34233
Phone 941 840-4394