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Pacific Science Center 

Description

From its origins as the US Science Pavilion at the 1962 Seattle World's Fair, Pacific Science Center (PSC) has grown into an iconic resource for informal, awe-inspiring encounters with science. Through onsite exhibits, camps and youth development programs, and offsite programs such as Science On Wheels, Science Cafés and Washington State LASER (Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform), we make science education an immersive and memorable experience for children, families and adults throughout the Pacific Northwest.  

Mission Statement
Pacific Science Center is an independent not-for-profit educational institution that inspires a lifelong interest in science, math and technology by engaging diverse communities through interactive and innovative exhibits and programs.
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Pacific Science Center
200 2nd Ave N 
Seattle 
WA
98109-4816 
(206) 443-2001 

R. Bryce Seidl 
President & CEO 

Programs

Pacific Science Center Programs

For 50 years Pacific Science Center has provided explorations in science learning via our science themed exhibits and interactive programs. More than one million visitors each year engage with a wide range of hands-on exhibits that inspire them to ask questions and seek answers. On December 1, 2012 we opened Professor Wellbody’s Academy of Health & Wellness, our first new permanent exhibit in over a decade. Dedicated to better health and nutrition, the exhibit helps inform and educate guests in a self-directed atmosphere of fun and discovery. Wellbody Academy joins our butterfly exhibit, naked mole rats, robotic dinosaurs, world class traveling exhibits and many other offerings that inspire encounters with science.

In June 2012, Pacific Science Center hosted the first Seattle Science Festival, a series of events designed to enhance scientific literacy in our community and inspire a new generation of scientists and engineers. With visits from science luminaries including Dr. Stephen Hawking, and in collaboration with hundreds of local technology, science and engineering companies, the 2012 Seattle Science Festival showcased the best scientific, technological and educational resources available. Building on this success we are planning the 2013 Seattle Science Festival, taking place June 6th to 16th.

Located on a 320-acre wetland in urban Bellevue, the Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center is a collaboration between Pacific Science Center and the City of Bellevue. Here, children and families explore the trails, waterways and wildlife and then return to the on-site labs to study the science behind what they've observed.

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

In Nov. 2012, Pacific Science Center was awarded the prestigious National Medal for Museum and Library Service. This annual award recognizes excellence in museums, and acknowledges the innovation and impact of PSC’s programs that engage the community. The award recognized the efforts of our Discovery Corps program, which immerses youth (age 14-18) in mentoring and training with the goal of inspiring them to pursue a career in science. This program serves youth interested in science, and helps prepare them for college and the work world. It also focused on our award winning Portal to the Public program that helps scientists learn successful methods to convey their research to public audiences at events held on our exhibit floor. To extend the experience throughout the year, we created the Portal to Current Research, an exhibit that changes content every six months featuring the work of local scientists. Science On Wheels takes a mini science center to schools and community venues across Washington State, providing hands-on activities and inspiring curiosity and additional exploration. This year we also hosted Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs which proved extremely popular with a final total of 697,000 tickets sold.

At present, our most significant need is the major refreshing of our City of Seattle Landmark facility and our interactive exhibits. To address this need, we launched our 50 for 50th: Future Ready campaign to revitalize our campus, make improvements to our infrastructure and expand our exhibit offerings to meet our needs of our community. The next 50 years are sure to bring new discoveries and technologies that no one can anticipate, and this $50 million campaign will ensure we are set for science yet to come.

Evaluation

Pacific Science Center (PSC) is the largest science museum in Washington state. In addition to on-site programming at its Seattle campus, PSC reaches across the state and region through environmental education programs at Mercer Slough in Bellevue, outreach programs at schools and community events, and teacher professional development at schools statewide.

PSC has long been a leader in providing informal science education to children and families across the Puget Sound region. As the focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education intensifies statewide, and as public schools face greater budgetary constraints, the role of external STEM education-providers will become even more critical. Pacific Science Center already has the expertise and infrastructure in place to help meet this demand on a larger scale.

Accessibility and Cultural Competency
Discovery Corps and the Lake Washington Watership Internship Program, PSC’s teen programs, use mentoring with PSC staff and science professionals to promote college and career readiness for young people underrepresented in science fields. Before entering Discovery Corps, just under half of teens saw themselves majoring in science in college. After their participation in the program, more than two-thirds did.

Collaboration
PSC is helping to lead the regional informal science consortium—a group of museums and environmental education providers that are exploring how they can work together to build on complimentary strengths, reduce duplication, and ultimately provide more comprehensive, effective programming to K-12 schools and students.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

DateAmountPurpose
6/10/2012 $10,000.00support general operating expenses.
3/10/2009 $35,000.00support general operating expenses.
12/10/2007 $75,000.00support the capital campaign for the Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center Expansion Project.
6/21/2006 $50,000.00support general operating expenses.

Financials

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