PacSci Perspectives

Science On Wheels to Expand Thanks to Generous Donations

Pacific Science Center’s Access to Science Pipeline Expands to Reach More Than 125,000 Students Leveraging Local Corporate Philanthropy

Amazon Donation to Expand Access to PacSci’s “Science On Wheels” Program to 85,000 Title I Students; 127,000 Total Students in Washington State

Alaska Airline’s Financial Support to Promote Scientific Curiosity; Experiential Learning thru STEM Programming in the Highline School District

Contact: Liisa O’Neill
Director of Marketing
(206) 669-6914;

Science On Wheels from Pacific Science Center

SEATTLE – (Nov. 28) – Pacific Science Center today announced major corporate investments in the organization’s commitment to improving Washington State K-12 science education, expanding the reach of the Science On Wheels program to 85,000 students in low-income communities and 127,000 total students in its 2018-2019 school year plan.

The Science On Wheels program has been traveling across the Pacific Northwest since the gas crisis of the 1970s, when groups of school children could no longer travel to Seattle for field trips. Educators bring interactive workshops, live stage shows and portable exhibit sets that build excitement for science, math, engineering and more.

Many schools in low-income communities (Title I schools) cannot afford these Pacific Science Center programs without financial assistance. Pacific Science Center’s Access to Science Pipeline expands access to science for traditionally under-represented and under-served children and families. In the 2017-2018 school year, Science On Wheels served more than 50,000 students in Title I schools.

Amazon, through its recently launched Amazon Future Engineer program, will donate $300,000 to expand access to Pacific Science Center’s Science On Wheels Program to serve 127,000 K-12 Students in Washington State, including 85,000 Title I school students. At the same time, Alaska Airlines will donate $50,000 to expand experiential STEM learning in the Highline School District. Together these companies, along with, will work with Pacific Science Center to activate innovation workforce volunteers to engage with the Science On Wheels and Discovery Corps outreach programs.

“Pacific Science Center’s mission is to ignite curiosity and fuel a passion for discovery, experimentation, and critical thinking. Thanks to our partnerships with Alaska Airlines, Amazon, and, the Science Center will deliver high-quality science education experiences to a greater number of under-resourced schools than ever before. Together, we will inspire the next generation of curious students and help them understand the rich opportunities that STEM education enables,” said Will Daugherty, President & CEO of Pacific Science Center.

Amazon Future Engineer (AFE) is a comprehensive childhood-to-career program intended to inspire, educate, and train children and young adults from underserved and low-income communities to pursue careers in computer science – it aims to reach 10 million students each year.

“Amazon Future Engineer aims to inspire ten million students each year to try computer science,” said Alice Shobe, Director of the Community team at Amazon. “We are excited to support the Pacific Science Center’s creative and unique Science On Wheels program to inspire even more students from underprivileged and underrepresented communities across the state of Washington for years to come.”

Pacific Science Center has also partnered with Alaska Airlines to create the Fly Highline STEM Program, which will enable 3,800 students in the Highline School District to experience more exploratory field trips, increase Science On Wheels visits and develop a summer education program.

“Alaska Airlines believes passionately that innovation creates opportunity – or at our airline what we call lift,” said Diana Birkett Rakow, Vice President, External Relations at Alaska Airlines. “This year, we’re coming together with Pacific Science Center and Amazon to expand the experiences for the kids in our backyard, giving third-graders and their teachers a chance to explore new horizons with a mobile planetarium, science curriculum and much more. We believe these types of activities are essential to developing the critical thinking and understanding that lead to successful and inspired lives in the spirit of the early explorers and pioneers of this region.”

Additionally, Pacific Science Center is proud to have joined – a first-of-its-kind local innovation community engagement organization – as its first nonprofit partner. This partnership will galvanize workforce volunteers from local corporations and tech companies. These workforce volunteers will join the Science On Wheels during visits to seven elementary and middle schools, and help promote the Discovery Corps program and recruit members at three high schools, all in the Seattle school district. Discovery Corps is the Science Center’s development program for high school students.

“ is a first-of-its-kind organization dedicated to community and civic engagement across all sectors of the Seattle innovation economy. Our goal is to convene, inform and excite this workforce to support local efforts to expand educational opportunities for the area’s underserved students through volunteerism. We look forward to working with Pacific Science Center, Amazon and Alaska on this important effort,” said Nicholas Merriam, Chief Engagement Officer,

Pacific Science Center encourages Title I schools to take advantage of this year’s additional funding by submitting a registration request at, emailing or calling (206) 443-2925.

About Pacific Science Center
Pacific Science Center is an independent, not-for-profit institution in Seattle and has been a gateway to access to science education and innovation for over 50 years. The institution’s mission is to ignite curiosity in every child and to fuel a passion for discovery, experimentation, and critical thinking in all of us. Pacific Science Center’s award-winning, interactive programs reach more than 1.1 million people each year – in their communities across the state of Washington, classrooms, and on the Seattle campus and at Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center. Pacific Science Center began as the United States Science Pavilion during the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. Millions came to explore the wonders of science during the World’s Fair and upon closing ceremonies, the Science Pavilion was given new life as the private not-for-profit Pacific Science Center, becoming the first U.S. museum founded as a science and technology center. On July 22, 2010 Pacific Science Center was declared a City of Seattle Landmark.

About Amazon
Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit and follow @AmazonNews.

About Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines and its regional partners fly 44 million guests a year to more than 115 destinations with an average of 1,200 daily flights across the United States and to Mexico, Canada and Costa Rica. With Alaska and Alaska Global Partners, guests can earn and redeem miles on flights to more than 900 destinations worldwide. Alaska Airlines ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Carriers in North America” in the J.D. Power North America Airline Satisfaction Study for 11 consecutive years from 2008 to 2018. Learn about Alaska’s award-winning service at and Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group.

About The Seattle Initiative Through Technology and Innovation ( is a nonprofit organization that activates our innovation culture for civic action in Seattle. Promoting shared prosperity for our city, gives back through meaningful engagement opportunities, always striving for a more connected community and a future Seattle that embraces innovation while celebrating the city’s unique character.