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We’re strengthening our foundation to build an amazing future.

A campaign to have a greater impact on our community.

This initiative strengthens and expands our educational program, which focuses on ages 0-14. By age 5, a child’s brain is 90% developed with cognitive, emotional, and language skills. By age 8, a child’s brain is rapidly understanding abstract concepts. And by 14, a teen’s brain has developed the capacity for high-order critical thinking. Focused science programming during these important developmental years is critical to cultivating the creative and critical-thinking leaders of tomorrow.

A recent Multi-Institute Science Center Impact Study determined that among five types of science learning experiences “visiting Science Centers was the ONLY one that consistently affected both youth and adults’ science interest in both the past and the present” and that “Science Centers are clearly vital to creating a STEM literate society.” Help us empower our community to use STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) to better our world.

With your help, we can…

Our new 960 square-foot outdoor classroom (formally known as the Outdoor Ecology Lab) opened during the summer of 2020!

We’re now in the process of planning new outdoor science parks filled with large interactive science experiences!

ESC Outdoor Ecology Lab Thank You

We value sustainability! Our new 30 kW solar array onsite has been installed! This system will offset over 52,000 lbs of CO2 every year – the equivalent to planting 663 trees yearly! Utility cost-savings will go directly toward our educational programs.

We’ve partnered with Everybody Solar to help us achieve this goal, and we’re thrilled to announce that we have raised 100% of our fundraising goal. Thanks to everyone who supported this project!

Check out our solar array’s production HERE.

ESC Solar Array PH1

New museum exhibits

We can now create fun, engaging, and empowering science exhibits in-house in our new exhibit fabrication workshop. We’ll create empowering experiences relevant to our community that highlight local research and interests.

Eugene Solar System Trail

We’re also working with the City of Eugene to adopt, update, upgrade, and expand Oregon’s only scaled solar system trail (and one of the first in the country) that spans 3.7 miles along the beautiful Willamette River.


We need more space to properly welcome and accommodate our guests, so we’re planning to expand our front entrance to create a new 900 sq. ft lobby with new ADA accessible door openers, and a larger museum store that’s more accommodating. We also intend to create a new covered entrance to welcome field trips and other large groups.

These new spaces will then allow us to create an all new early education exhibit gallery (Tot Spot) nearly twice the size of our current one!

ESC Store

Our building was constructed in 1979 and has many of its original features. We’re planning on adding windows to let natural light into our exhibit gallery, renovate our restrooms to save over 165,000 gallons of water every year, update our facade by adding new architectural elements, and update our network and technology to work and educate more effectively and efficiently.


We’ve met our fundraising goal to become a community asset capable of showing immersive educational shows, visualizing complex data, instructing a diversity of higher education curriculum, and showcasing community-made digital art and 360 degree films! Our updated planetarium also includes new seating, theatrical lighting, and laser show equipment.

Thanks to everyone who helped us match a $35,000 challenge grant in 2019! Marion Sweeney, Kate Laue, and Cama Evans matched community donations of $35,000 to help complete the planetarium’s renovation. Oregon Community Foundation generously awarded us $30,000 toward this match. As part of Phase 2, we are offering community members the option to sponsor new seats by having names engraved on armrest plaques. There will be three levels of sponsorships – $250, $500, and $750 depending on the location of each seat.

Thanks to everyone who helped us match a $60,000 challenge grant in 2018! The Richard P. Haugland Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation matched community donations of $60,000 for new, state-of-the-art planetarium equipment that was installed in August 2018.

We’ve been hard at work since early 2017 on this major initiative! With generous support from our community, we’ve already completed the following projects:

(1) a new fabrication workshop to create exhibits, (2) renovated our offices and support areas, (3) a new community room, (4) created 13 new science exhibits, (5) rebranded with a new name and logo, (6) created a new website, (7) installed new windows in our exhibit gallery, (8) renovated our planetarium with new equipment and seating, (9) opened a new Discovery Room, (10) installed a new solar array, and (11) constructed a new Outdoor Ecology Lab. THANK YOU!

warm or cold blooded?
ESC Community Room
Planetarium Upgrade

Please help us have a greater impact!

To learn more about how you can help these projects, please contact:

Tim Scott, Executive Director, 541-682-7887, or email him at [email protected]

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