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We’re creating a strong foundation on which to build an amazing future. In other words, we want to be more awesome for you!

A $900,000 initiative 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 innovatively use STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) to better our world.

With your help, we can…

We are reimagining our planetarium, one of the largest in the entire Pacific Northwest, 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 will also include new seating, theatrical lighting, and laser show equipment.

Thanks to everyone who helped us match a $60,000 challenge grant!

The Richard P. Haugland Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation matched community donations of $60,000 for new, state-of-the-art planetarium equipment.

Phase II of our planetarium upgrade (laser equipment and new seating) will begin early 2019!


We value sustainability! Imagine a 32.5 kW solar array on our roof that offsets 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. You can learn more¬†here.


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.

ESC Store

Imagine a new 3,400 square-foot outdoor science park filled with large interactive science experiences! We also plan on creating a new outdoor classroom for outdoor science activities and citizen science programs with our guests, students, and campers.

Programs & Camps at Eugene Science Center

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 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 9 new science exhibits, (5) rebranded with a new name, (6) created a new website, (7) installed new windows in our exhibit gallery, and (8) installed new state-of-the-art planetarium equipment. THANK YOU!

We’re also close to completing these projects:

(1) a new discovery room, (2) new Tot Spot experiences, (3) 3 new science exhibits, and (4) a major solar panel array. THANK YOU!

warm or cold blooded?
ESC Community Room
Planetarium Upgrade

Help us become more awesome!

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

Peggy Whalen, Development Director, 541-682-7883, or email her at [email protected]

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

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