In 2009, the six leading informal science education institutions in Washington State took a bold step. We united to form the Washington Informal Science Education (WISE) Consortium to advance pre-K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education in Washington State. Our primary focus is to work with underserved youth.

Members of the WISE Consortium include: the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture at the University of Washington, IslandWood, The Museum of Flight, Pacific Science Center, Seattle Aquarium, and Woodland Park Zoo.

As informal scientific organizations, we are committed to leveraging our expertise and resources to advance STEM learning and teaching in Washington State. We are developing innovative programs for pre-K-12 youth, creating a new model of learning by demonstrating how informal institutions can partner effectively with pre-K-12 schools, districts, universities, businesses, and other non-profit organizations to advance STEM learning and teaching.

Our programs integrate formal and informal learning experiences during and after school. The formal learning STEM programs are enhanced by experiences and resources from our institutions and partners that will motivate learning and advance students’ knowledge and skills. The strategic after-school components will enhance learning that takes place during school while inspiring and catalyzing creativity in open learning environments after school hours.

Our long-term goal is to provide the majority of pre-K-12 students in Washington State, especially those representing underserved communities, access to comprehensive, coherent, and integrated programs of inquiry-based STEM learning experiences that take place both in and out of schools. We predict these effective and integrated experiences for our youth will positively impact their attitudes, academic performance, STEM literacy, and their pursuit of STEM technical and professional careers. Long-term we believe these programs will result in our students being able to contribute to break the cycle of poverty, as well as contribute to our economy and the quality of life in their communities.

Our Mission

Inspire Washington State students to pursue and engage in scientific inquiry and engineering to understand and participate in solving our world’s most challenging problems.


Our Vision for the Future

Our Youth will                                                                                                               

  • Acquire the knowledge, skills, and habits of mind for becoming scientifically literate and life-long learners.

  • Actively participate in solving our region’s STEM challenges.

  • Pursue technical and professional STEM careers.

WISE Consortium and Partners will

  • Develop shared knowledge and learning experiences for contributing to a larger aggregate public value through our collective programs.

  • Achieve goals for advancing STEM learning and literacy in our communities that reach beyond our individual brands and resource competition to leverage our individual strengths.

  • Enhance delivery and extend reach of programs through state-of-the-art technology.

  • Employ data-driven decisions to ensure effective practices and programs.

  • Seek out inspirational leaders and new members to provide continuity and ensure long-term viability.

  • Create professional development programs that build capacity with current and future generations of STEM leaders, especially pre-K-12 teachers.

  • Forge diverse and committed partnerships that leverage programs and resources for the region and state.

  • Serve as a model for collaboration for Washington and other states.

  • Secure stable funding from varied sources.

  • Sustain operations through effective leadership, governance and infrastructure.

Our Values

Visionary Leadership

  • Strategic, results-driven leaders with a bold vision for a better future.

  • Trusted experts and entrepreneurs who catalyze positive changes.

  • Innovative leaders with approaches to transform STEM learning.


  • Use research and data to drive excellence.

  • Deliver relevant, high-quality programs and resources.

  • Accountable for achieving positive and sustainable outcomes.

  • Develop awareness with diverse stakeholder groups of the important role that informal organizations play in advancing pre-K-12 STEM learning.


  • Committed to building an effective and sustainable model of collaboration.

  • Build strong partnerships across a broad, diverse set of stakeholders.

  • Have a robust and sustainable consortium that serves as a model to other cultural institutions and states about the value of collaboration.