Statement of Action: At the Environmental Science Center we are reconsidering and revising our mission, vision, and overview to ensure they reflect our core values, as well as our ongoing commitment to justice and equity in outdoor education.
The Environmental Science Center promotes environmental stewardship and academic achievement through science-based education.
The Environmental Science Center (ESC) is a nonprofit organization offering quality, experiential environmental education programs for all ages at local beaches, streams, forests, and indoor classrooms in south King County. It was founded in 2000 after a group of educators wanted students to experience environmental education outdoors. ESC now supports environmental stewardship for thousands of people through collaborations with a growing number of school districts, community-based organizations, municipalities and individuals. Along with school science programs, community events have expanded to include guided walks, speaking engagements, festivals, and other programs that support community enrichment.
It is important to form values early on that foster conservation. This guided our focus on programming with children and families. Early learning programs have included both indoor and outdoor seasonal experiences, and school programs typically consist of one hour of classroom instruction followed by a two- or three-hour field study at nearby green spaces. During inquiry-based field portions, students learn to analyze what they are seeing, develop a deeper understanding of ecological systems, see how environmental quality is impacted by human decisions, and reach informed conclusions about how to make responsible choices. We also provide after- school programs, summer programs, adult and teacher workshops, high school internships, teen leadership opportunities, and restoration projects.
As our community has grown, so have our public programs and events, but environmental stewardship remains at their core. ESC engages individuals and families through a wide variety of outdoor programs, ranging from guided nature walks, environmental talks, nature festivals and toddler programs. All ages participate in worldwide research projects in their neighborhoods through our annual community science projects that are made easily accessible. Curiosity and care go hand-in-hand in what, and why, we do what we do. We are eager to see where the community will lead us next.
Our community is inspired and contributes to a sustainable future through quality environmental science education.
- Increased enjoyment and understanding of environmental science
- Sense of community responsibility for healthy choices that affect the Puget Sound ecosystem
- Improved quality of life and career opportunities through STEM (science, technology, engineering, math)
- Greater representation of diverse communities in STEM occupational fields
As long as our interactions align with our core values, we’ll know we CARED.
Community Engagement– Everyone can have positive impacts on their community.
Academic Achievement– Education improves quality of life and career opportunities.
Respect for the Environment– Our environment benefits from choices rooted in respect for the natural world.
Equity and Access– Everyone should have access to quality science education and exploration.
Discovery and Exploration– Mindful hands-on learning opportunities produce intimate, impactful experiences.