Pacific Science Center - Our Story

Our MissionScience teaches people to observe, analyze and imagine. It teaches us to think critically. It deepens our understanding of the world around us.

We face immense societal challenges--population growth, polluted waters, global health issues and an education system in crisis. We also face extraordinary opportunities in space exploration, alternative energies, medical cures and other important advances that have yet to be imagined. New scientific breakthroughs and technologies are essential to all of these discoveries. Pacific Science Center works to inspire the creative and critical thinking that is fundamental to innovation and our future.

Research tells us that we gain most of our scientific knowledge and inspiration through informal learning experiences. At Pacific Science Center we see it first hand. A boy explores the Mercer Slough wetlands and is inspired to do a science fair project about amphibians. A Discovery Corps intern presents shows in the planetarium and goes on to become a teacher. A man attends a Science Cafe talk on geology and earthquakes and returns to his old hobby of rock collecting. These experiences ignite curiosity and passion in people of all ages, and they show us that science is part of all our lives.

Pacific Science Center has been inspiring creative, critical thinking among Washington residents and visitors from around the globe since the 1962 World's Fair. Dr. Dixy Lee Ray, an early director, set the vision for our institution: "We would pioneer a great experiment to show that the essence and aims of science could be widely appreciated in the general population." This vision catalyzed our first 50 years.

Looking ahead to the next 50 years, Pacific Science Center will be a public forum for great conversations, inquiry and innovation, helping to drive creative and critical thinking in our region. We envision an expansive network of facilities and programs, enticing people of all ages to learn and explore. Under the arches, at our home in Seattle, we'll continue to welcome more than one million visitors each year and be among the top attended science museums in the nation. We'll expand our reach to hundreds of thousands more people with our provocative lectures, community discussions with scientists, and thrilling classroom programs in every county of the state.

Science can inspire everyone's hopes and dreams in any field. Pacific Science Center provides the experiences that stimulate ongoing inquiry, fueling the innovation our future demands. All over Washington, people of all ages are hungry for these kinds of experiences, which is why we're expanding our award-winning programs and creating new ones.

As a private not-for-profit, Pacific Science Center brings science to life. We move people to wonder, to ask questions, understand and create a better future.