Sensory-Friendly Science for All

At its core, science is about exploration, discovery, and understanding—an experience that should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their sensory needs. 

We are dedicated to creating an inclusive environment where all individuals, including those who are neurodivergent, can engage fully in the wonder of science. 

From sensory-friendly camps to specialized accommodations and ongoing improvements, we explore how these efforts are shaping a more inclusive future for science education. 

Our Commitment to Inclusion and Equity 

We recognize the power of science to connect people and address common challenges. To this end, we are dedicated to identifying, understanding, and reducing barriers to participation in science. Our commitment includes: 

  • Ensuring Accessibility: We work to make our facilities, programs, and experiences accessible to people of all financial, social, physical, and intellectual abilities. 
  • Building an Inclusive Community: We aim to be a community laboratory that welcomes everyone and includes diverse experiences and perspectives, particularly those of people who have been historically excluded. 
  • Reflecting Our Community: We strive to honor and better reflect the diverse community we serve, learning from our past and addressing current issues to create a more equitable and just future. 

What is a Sensory-Friendly Camp? 

A sensory-friendly camp is a specially designed program that caters to children with sensory processing needs. These camps are structured to provide a supportive and accommodating environment, ensuring that all campers can engage in activities comfortably and successfully.  

Here’s what makes our sensory-friendly camps unique: 

  • Smaller Educator-to-Camper Ratio: With more educators available per camper, we can offer individualized attention and support. 
  • Calm and Structured Activities: We carefully select themes and activities that reduce the risk of sensory overload, providing a more predictable and soothing experience. 
  • Adapted Environment: The camp setting includes lower lighting, quieter activities, temperature control, and designated sensory break areas with visual boundaries. 
  • Sensory Tools: Campers have access to noise-dampening headphones, fidgets, and other sensory items to help them manage sensory input. 
  • Specialized Educators: Our staff includes educators with experience or a strong interest in working with neurodivergent youth, ensuring that they are equipped to meet the unique needs of these campers. 

Who Can Sign Up for a Sensory-Friendly Camp?

Our sensory-friendly camps are open to all children who wish to participate. These sessions are specifically designed to support campers with sensory processing needs, but we welcome anyone to join. Whether your child is neurodivergent or not, they can benefit from the tailored environment and thoughtful adaptations our camps offer. 

These camps are not only designed to support neurodivergent children but are open to all. By creating a calm and inclusive environment, we aim to make the camp experience enjoyable and accessible for every child.

If you have any questions about whether a sensory-friendly camp is the right fit for your child, please reach out to our team. We are here to help you make an informed decision and provide any additional information you may need. 

Our Educators Make a Difference

The educators leading our sensory-friendly camps are selected for their experience with or interest in working with neurodivergent youth.  

We strive to set up every camper for success, and our dedicated educators play a crucial role in creating a welcoming and supportive environment. These sessions have proven to be an excellent way to introduce campers to our programs, especially those who might find a traditional camp setting challenging. 

The camp staff was amazing, [they were] super nice and always willed to help everyone. Lilian LB (2023 Camp for Curious Minds Guardian)

Enhancing Accessibility at Pacific Science Center

Pacific Science Center strives to create a welcoming environment for all guests, particularly those with sensory processing needs, through a range of year-round resources and spaces.  

Our ongoing Exploration for All events offer monthly free visits with adjusted lighting and reduced noise levels, providing a comfortable atmosphere for exploration.  

For those seeking additional support, our Guest Services Info Desk in Building 1 offers sensory kits, which include noise-canceling headphones, fidgets, and other aids.

These initiatives underscore our commitment to inclusivity, ensuring that every visitor can fully engage with and enjoy their visit. 

Continuous Improvement and Feedback

The insights and experiences shared with us play a crucial role in refining and expanding our accessibility initiatives, ensuring they effectively meet the diverse needs of our visitors. 

Your input is invaluable to us. Whether you have questions, suggestions, or experiences to share, we encourage you to reach out. Your feedback guides us as we strive to create the best possible experience for every visitor. 

If you have additional questions about accessibility at PacSci, please contact our Guest Services department, call (206) 443-2844 (voice) or email Guest Services. 


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Sensory Friendly programs are generously supported by Safeco Insurance Foundation.  
Camps for Curious Minds is presented by Bristol Myers Squibb, First Tech Federal Credit Union, and PEMCO Insurance with additional generous support provided by Pam Merriman & Sonja Ross and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. 
Thank you to our generous supporters, including more than 1,500 individuals, companies, and foundations, as well as more than 13,000 member households. Your support brings to life PacSci’s mission to ignite curiosity in every corner of Washington State and beyond.