Discovery Corps is Back!

Discovery Corps puts high school students on the front lines of Pacific Science Center’s mission to ignite curiosity, and fuel a passion for discovery, experimentation, and critical thinking.

Amid the global pandemic, the Discovery Corps program was forced into hiatus.

Now that the program is up and running again for the first time in nearly two years, what has Discovery Corps done?

Discovery Corps youth exploring Kenmore Electric Trucks during PacSci’s Summer Camps.

What is Discovery Corps?

If you’ve visited PacSci recently, you might have noticed a young group of youth developing valuable job skills in customer service, education, and communication by working on PacSci’s floor. They are members of Discovery Corps!

Discovery Corps is a paid youth development program that gives young people the experience of developing life and career readiness skills, exploring careers and networking opportunities, all while contributing to scientific research, and building a community of friends and mentors.

Discovery Corps youth visiting a local water treatment plant! 

Exploring Puget Sound During Water Quality Testing

Discovery Corps acquired the opportunity to participate in water quality testing trips to locations throughout the Puget Sound region and conducted tests around the Coal Creek trailhead to determine the quality of water, then evaluated the quality of water by conducting experiments on turbidity, dissolved oxygen, temperature, pH, etc.

Discovery Corps utilizes that data to reflect on the environmental consequences of humans on Coal Creek and the overall condition of the water.

This trip educated the members of Discovery Corps about the expertise required for data collection and the documentation of data, while also educating us about how rainwater runoff affects water quality.

Discovery Corps youth training on how to test quality of water samples.

Horticulture Field Trips Across Washington

Discovery Corps members had the opportunity to go on horticulture field trips including tours at the University of Washington (UW) Arboretum, Botanical Garden, and Biology Greenhouse.

During these trips, members saw native plant life housed at UW and learned about how it contributes to the conservation of native plant life. This trip taught Discovery Corps members about the common native plants in the Puget Sound region and what we can do to foster and fuel the growth of native plants. Another trip to Coal Creek gave Discovery Corps the opportunity to learn about riparian zones and the connection between the health of the surrounding ecosystem and the quality of the water.

These hands-on experiences taught us to be more environmentally accountable and educated when it comes to the knowledge of pollution and how that affects native ecosystems.

Discovery Corps members visiting the University of Washington botanical garden
Discovery Corps youth field trip to the UW Botanical Gardens.

The Discovery Corps Impact

The most important thing Discovery Corps has done is support PacSci staff on the floor while developing skills in customer service, education, and communication with people of all age ranges.

Members trained in the Tropical Butterfly House, Saltwater Tide Pool, Tinker Tank Makerspace, and running hands-on activity carts. By working on the floor, not only did it give us the opportunity to learn different roles around PacSci, but it gave us the opportunity to spend quality time with the people in our cohort.

The most significant thing we at Discovery Corps have been able to experience is making friends and meeting new people through the program.

Discovery Corps youth hosting a Make-It Take-It activity during a private event!

How Discovery Corps Shapes Future Leaders

Discovery Corps has gotten numerous opportunities to experience developing life and career readiness skills, exploring careers, and networking opportunities, all while contributing to scientific research, and building a community of friends and mentors.

DC has given its members the opportunities to go on trips around the Puget Sound region and connect with other students they would not have met without this program’s help. The social and life skills that this program introduces to youth are not something to be overlooked. The program has created competent members of society who have learned fundamental work readiness skills needed for adult life.

This was only the first year back after the pandemic!

We at DC are excited to see what the program will become and hope to see DC grow to even higher heights than it was before the pandemic. We are grateful for the opportunity that the program has provided us, the life skills we were all able to achieve, and the lasting memories we made will stick with us for the rest of our lives.

Discovery Corps youth field trip to UW Center for Urban Horticulture.
Discovery Corps has had a major impact on my life, and I have not regretted doing it once. Discovery Corps has introduced me to so many different life skills that I would not have been able to achieve without the help of this program, and Discovery Corps has made me have so many positive memories that I will remember for the rest of my life. My journey with Discovery Corps has been the experience of a lifetime, and I am excited about the potential to reach even more young through the growth of this program.

Generous support provided by Robert L. and the late Mary Ann Wiley, The Boeing Company, Karen Williams and Joseph Heck, The Ticknor Foundation, King County Waterworks, The Chisholm Foundation, Accenture, Educational Legacy Fund, Lockheed Martin, and donors like you.