The Pittsburgh Foundation

Robert M. Thompson Jr. Family Fund

Established: 9/17/2010

Fond memories of his science-teacher grandparents inspired Robert Thompson to create the Robert M. Johnson Jr. Family Fund, a donor-advised fund that supports organizations providing or enhancing STEM education initiatives K-12 in schools. 
The encouragement in science that his grandparents gave him, especially on trips to the Buhl Planetarium in Pittsburgh on the weekends, was key to Mr. Thompson's later professional career. Mr. Thompson was the founder of Redshaw Inc., a computer software and programming company, which he grew to several hundred employees and sold to ITT in 1983.
According to Mr. Thompson, the fund’s mission is to “help leave each of our subsequent generations with a chance for an increasingly better standard of living, and to help feed the future Earth's doubling population that will be here by 2050.  We don't believe we can conserve or politic our way out of this eventuality, but that we can think, create and invent the future.  To do this, we need a generation of thinkers, creators, and inventors in our schools and in our workplaces.  We also believe that doing so can improve life for all in this current generation at the same time.”
“Getting more of our current high school kids into STEM is a critical part of this vision,” says Mr. Thompson, “and we want to explore areas that are not being explored right now by others. Hence our interest in substantially growing PRSEF and other local Science Fairs over the next five years, as well as our efforts to extend them to those who would otherwise not participate. Exposing young kids to science at an earlier age will not only bring more students into the science and technology fields, but it's a way to lift our standard of living."

Type of Fund

  • Advised