PacSci Perspectives

Celebrating 56 Years Of Igniting Curiosity

Oct 4, 2018

Pacific Science Center opened in 1962, during the Space Race, and in correlation with the Seattle World’s Fair. Originally, it was named the United States Science Pavilion and its famous arches and the interior of the building were even featured in an Elvis movie (It Happened at the World’s Fair). On October 22, 1962, the day after the World’s Fair closed, we opened our doors as Pacific Science Center: the first institution in the United States to be dedicated entirely to science and technology.

Architect Minoru Yamasaki (1912-1986), who would go on to design the Rainier Bank Building in Seattle and New York’s first World Trade Center, designed the arches, courtyard pool, and cement buildings. He borrowed from Gothic cathedrals, but strove to reflect the spirit of the era: innovation inspired by history. In 2010 Pacific Science Center was designated a Seattle Historic Landmark.

Pacific Science Center’s dedication to innovative hands-on education has brought a broad range of exhibits and programs. Exhibits include the Tropical Butterfly House, which focuses on conservation of endangered species, and Wellbody Academy, which features current research on health and wellness. Recently we have featured an awe-inspiring collection of virtual reality experiences that highlight the immersive intersection between art, science and storytelling.

Throughout our 56 years, Pacific Science Center has always striven to create impact beyond our exhibit floor. Our Science On Wheels program has reached thousands, traveling across the Pacific Northwest with interactive workshops, live stage shows and portable exhibit sets that build excitement for science, math, engineering and more. In 2017 alone, we reached more than 50,000 Title 1 students. Our Family Access Membership program has given thousands of families on government assistance deeply discounted Memberships to the Science Center, bringing science education to those who might not have access otherwise.

Come enjoy our historic institution and celebrate Pacific Science Center’s 56th birthday this October with special Halloween themed programming and activities happening all month long.

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