Informal Science Organizations

Informal science education can occur in many different places among which are museums, science and nature centers, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens; through film and broadcast media, digital media and gaming, youth and community, and after-school programs.




WSTA can provide clock hours for PD


If you are a PD provider, and you are interested in providing clock hours, we can help. You will need to turn in electronic paperwork and participant evaluations. Please submit your request to offer clock hours at least two weeks before the date of your workshop or inservice. The Professional development paperwork will be reviewed by our professional development committee, and if approved WSTA will sponsor those clock hours. We do require participant evaluations after every training opportunity to ensure high quality training for our science teachers. Please email our Clock Hour Coordinator at



We have listed below some of the informal science education partners in Washington state.



Advanced Inquiry Master’s Program Information Sessions

Registration: To RSVP, email or call 206.548.2581

Woodland Park Zoo is thrilled to offer the Advanced Inquiry Program (AIP), an exciting web-based Master’s degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio with experiential learning and field study with the zoo. The Advanced Inquiry Program is designed for individuals who are interested in creating social and ecological change.


Wednesday, November 15th from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at Woodland Park Zoo's Education Center

Tuesday, November 28th from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. (via webinar)


Thursday, January 18th from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at Woodland Park Zoo’s Education Center



During this Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) focused workshop, participants will explore how the consumers and decomposers in our backyards and schoolyards move energy and matter through the food web.

Saturday, January 20, 2018 (8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.) at Woodland Park Zoo

Most appropriate for teachers of grades K-8

Registration: Online registration opens Wednesday, November 1, 2017.

See to register.


SCIENCE ACTION CLUB (SAC): Activity Leader Training – Bug Safari

Science Action Club is a high-impact science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) program for youth grades 5-8 in out-of-school time. Participants will be trained to implement 12 one-hour club activities from the Bug Safari curriculum.

Most appropriate for afterschool educators of students in grades 5-8

Saturday, February 17, 2018 (9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.) at Woodland Park Zoo)

Registration: Application Preview link will be available by 12/1/17 at



Through experiences on zoo grounds, presentations, discussions and activities, this course will explore our relationships with wildlife in our communities, both urban and rural. Participants attend the National Geographic Live evening presentation, “The Wild Life”, with Bertie Gregory, a photographer and filmmaker.

Three courses sessions (participants are required to attend all sessions):

1.       Saturday, March 3, 2018 (8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Woodland Park Zoo)

2.       Monday, March 12, 2016 (7:00 to 9:30 p.m. for the National Geographic Live presentation “The Wild Life” with Bertie Gregory, Photographer and Filmmaker) (

3.       and Saturday, March 17, 2018 (8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Woodland Park Zoo)

Registration: Online registration opens Wednesday, November 1, 2017.

See to register.





Science & Conservation Education Supervisor

Advanced Inquiry Program Advisor
ph 206.548.2581

5500 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98103 |

Out of the office Saturdays and Sundays

Accepting applications until February 28th for summer enrollment. Please see for more information and to apply.



Woodland Park Zoo saves animals and their habitats
through conservation leadership and engaging
experiences, inspiring people to learn, care and act.

BioQuest launches the STEM careers of the next generation of scientists by exposing high school students and their teachers to research in infectious diseases of global scope.

Cascade Interpretive Consulting LLC provides clients support for informal science education projects related to environmental and sustainability education. Please see our website for more information

The Center for Wooden Boats education programs use the marine environment and classic wooden boats to engage students in learning science, history and the unique culture of the Pacific Northwest.  Hands-on programs are available year-round for pre-school through high school, and align with state standards in history, social studies, math, science and fitness.

To learn more:  click here, or send an email to or call (206)382-2628.

The College Success Foundation inspires low-income, underserved students to finish high school, providing the unique integrated system of supports and scholarships they need to graduate college and success in life. 

Learn more: click here or call (425) 416-2000 for questions or more information. 

Goldendale Observatory State Park is a five-acre educational facility on a 2,100-foot-high hilltop, 1.5 miles north of Main Street in the city of Goldendale. The observatory houses one of the nation's largest public telescopes and has attracted sky-watchers since its opening in 1973. The observatory is open to anyone who wants to view the universe.

For more information visit our website. Tours are available by reservation at (509) 773-3141.

IslandWood offers transformative learning experiences in nature for children and teachers on our Bainbridge Island campus, through our Homewaters programs in Seattle schools and neighborhoods, and at the Brightwater Center near Woodinville.  

Other IslandWood Programs:


At the Brightwater Environmental Education and Community Center in Woodinville, IslandWood provides experiential School Day Programs for 3rd-8th grade students that  supplement classroom curriculum to help students understand the pivotal role people play in our region’s water cycle.


Islandwood’s Homewaters Program provides outdoor environmental educational programs to Seattle schools that link specific STC science units to the student’s home community in their school yard, park, or nearby creek.

Learn more: click here ( or call 206-855-4300 for questions or more information.

Imagine. Discover. Grow. Kid's Discovery Museum (KiDiMu), a hands-on, children’s museum, provides a destination for families and school field trips to explore science, art and culture through interactive exhibits and engaging programming that inspire curiosity and lifelong journey of discovery. Recommended for children from 6 months to 10 years old.

Learn more:  click here or call 206-855-4650 for questions or more information.

LeMay – America’s Car Museum spotlights America’s love affair with the automobile and is designed to preserve history and celebrate the world’s automotive culture. The spacious facility houses up to 350 cars, trucks and motorcycles from private owners, corporations, and the LeMay collection, which amassed a Guinness Book record of more than 3,500 vehicles in the mid 1990’s.

The Museum’s programs for K-12 educators and students provide interactive learning experiences through traditional field trips and hands-on learning. National standards-based curriculum based tours are supported by on-line resources that enrich the experience for visiting classrooms. Please visit: or contact the Education Manager at (253) 683-3964 or to book your tour today! 

Nature Vision fosters appreciation and stewardship of our environment through integration of school and community for a sustainable future. We manage and present a wide range of hands-on, minds-on programs about our natural and cultural resources to school age students, families, and adult groups.

To learn more visit  or call (425) 836-2697 for questions or more information. 

The Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture (MAC) is a regional and cultural hub located in the heart of the Inland Northwest. The Museum features engaging visual art, history and American Indian exhibits and hands-on experiences for all ages. Tours available in historic Campbell House (1898). For more information, visit our website:  

Since 1985, Pacific Marine Research has educated over 100,000 students in our Marine Science AfloatĀ® program.  In one school day aboard our comfortable boat, students learn how Puget Sound works, what lives there, and how they are connected to it as residents of the Puget Sound watershed.

Learn more: or 206-361-1919

Pacific Science Center offers interactive and innovative programs and exhibits for the exploration of science, inspiring curiosity and igniting wonder among students in the Pacific Northwest. 

Learn more: click here or call (206)443-2925 for questions or more information.

Padilla Bay offers interactive field trips with presentations, exhibits and an aquarium for learning about Salish Sea habitats, especially mud flats and eelgrass meadows.
Learn more:, or 360-428-1558

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium (PDZA) promotes responsible stewardship of the world’s resources through education, conservation, research and recreational opportunities.  PDZA, a division of Metro Parks Tacoma, is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums.

To learn more: visit or call (253) 591-5337

The Port Townsend Marine Science Center inspires conservation of the Salish Sea. Located on the beach at Fort Worden State Park, the PTMSC offers a Marine Exhibit and a Natural History Exhibit, as well as a wide variety of educational programs and special events for students and adults. To learn more visit their website: or call 360-385-5582.

The heartbeat of hands-on marine experience and preservation education in the Pacific Northwest, the Seattle Aquarium offers fun, exciting ways to discover more about the amazing Puget Sound that surrounds you! Join us in our mission: Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment.

Learn more about our programs at

Experience the intersection between art and science at Seattle Art Museum's Olympic Sculpture Park! Engage your students with an inquiry based School Tour & Art Workshop, designed to spark creativity in students in grades K-12. For more information email:

Slater Museum of Natural History

Our goals are to preserve and provide a collection of specimens to be used for research and education. The Slater Museum is one of the region's significant repositories for bird, mammal, reptile, amphibian and plant specimens from the Pacific Northwest.

For information on the educational programs offered, visit our website

University of Washington Summer Youth Programs offer unique, hands-on enrichment opportunities for youth.  Students can enroll in camps and courses that cover a range of topics including STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), the visual and performing arts, and humanities.  To learn more click here or contact us at: 206-543-2310.

Washington MESA builds a pathway to college and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). We develop programming and initiatives to improve diversity and retention with an emphasis on traditionally underrepresented students in STEM fields, including African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, Pacific Islanders and women.

Learn More about MESA at:

The Washington State History Museum connects visitors of all ages with the material, cultural, and natural past of Washington State, its people, places, and events. We provide both self-directed and facilitated school programs along with an engaging array of exhibits, collections, and programs.

The historic Mary Olson Farm features:  7 fully restored outbuildings including a cedar barn and farmhouse, livestock and chickens, and a natal salmon stream with 2 -3 runs per season. The Farm offers fieldtrips and programs on food and farming and salmon and stream ecology for students K – 8th grade. 

 Learn more: Click HERE or call 253-288-7433 for more information. 

Woodland Park Zoo offers engaging experiences for PreK-12 students that support Washington State learning standards.  In addition to self-guided zoo visits, guided programs at the zoo and at your school, after-school programs and a teen volunteer program, Woodland Park Zoo offers free downloadable teacher resources on our website.  Learn more: click here or call 206-548-2424 for more information.

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