Local Programs and Events

Please note that GEAC does not endorse any particular programs listed here.  These links are provided for informational purposes only.  If you have any programs to suggest (that either serve the gifted community specifically or are nonprofit programs that might be of particular interest to the gifted community), please contact us at education@lwsdgeac.org.

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Even if not specifically mentioned below, most — if not all — museums in the Seattle/Tacoma area offer all or part of one day each month where admission is free to anyone, e.g. Free First Thursdays, Free First Saturdays, etc.

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School Year / Year Round Programs

Offering a Variety of Options: School-Based & Other

Washington Network for Innovative Careers (WaNIC) — Serving high school students in seven school districts, WaNIC is a state-approved interdistrict consortium providing FREE advanced-level Career and Technical Education programs based on rigorous academic and industry standards.  Courses are offered in a variety of subject areas, including: Agriculture/Science/Natural Resources; Arts/Media/Communication/Design; Business/Marketing/Management; Engineering/Science/Technology; Health/Human Services; Information Technology.  High school credit is available for all courses, and some courses offer college credit as well.

UW Robinson Center for Young Scholars: Saturday Program — Offered quarterly (Fall, Winter, and Spring), choose from a full slate of science, math, and writing courses for grades K/1 through 8.

Town Hall Seattle — Town Hall Seattle is a community cultural center, offering a broad program of music, humanities, civic and scientific discourse, and world culture events. Local, national, and international authors, speakers, programs and performances are scheduled year-round.

Family Programs: Museum-Based

Imagine Children’s Museum — Monthly programs such as i-engineers and Science Sleuths.

Seattle Art Museum (SAM) & Asian Art Museum Family Programs — Community Festivals, Family Fun Workshops, and themed Free First Saturdays.

Bellevue Arts Museum (BAM) Get Crafty Saturdays! — Join BAM for a fun arts activity every Saturday in the Museum Forum. These drop-in art activities are directly connected to exhibitions, and are carefully planned to inspire creativity, and promote cooperation and learning.

Museum of Flight Weekend Family Workshops — Held every weekend, these workshops begin with a short lesson on a theme that changes frequently, and then continues with a fun hands-on activity.  All materials are provided and the results are yours to keep.

Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) Maker Days — On the last Saturday of the month, come to Maker Day at MOHAI to tinker, experiment and create alongside some of Seattle’s most innovative makers.

Burke Museum Family Events — Several family events offered each month, covering a variety of topics and activities.

Wing Luke Museum Family Fun Days — Bring the family, roll up your sleeves, and get ready for an afternoon of creativity. Led by an artist instructor, Family Fun Day encourages visitors of all ages to tap into their imaginations and make their own art. Take home newly learned crafts and while here, be sure to visit KidPLACE for colorful and playful interactive exhibits.

Center for Wooden Boats (CWB) — CWB is a hands-on maritime museum where every visitor has opportunities to engage in heritage experiences.  Pick up an oar and go for a row. Enroll in a workshop and open your mind to the skills and experiences enjoyed by mariners throughout the centuries. Pick up a tool and caulk a seam or fasten a plank.  Weekly and monthly activities including toy boat buildingmodel boat pond sailing, and FREE public sailings on the lake.

Museum of Glass Family Days — Come to the Cone for an afternoon of creativity!  You’ll find activities for children and adults throughout the Museum—explore the artwork in the galleries, watch artists create gorgeous glass art in the Hot Shop, enjoy performances by local music and dance groups, and make an art project to take home. Each Family Day is a unique experience and fun for the whole family.

Teen Programs

Teen Tix — Any teenager (13-19 years old) can sign up for a free Teen Tix pass. The pass entitles them to purchase $5.00 day-of-show tickets at any of their partner organizations, including dozens of museums and performing arts venues.

Museum Apprentice Program (MAP) — A program at The Museum of Flight, MAP provides high school students with an absolutely free, unique and exciting year-round volunteer opportunity.  During this program, students work on projects related to the museum field, museum education, oral histories, living history, documentary making, and public service.  Students learn about exhibit design, practice presentation and teaching techniques, and delve into aviation and space related topics.

Teen Programs at Pacific Science Center — Choose from many teen programs for a variety of ages and interests: Discovery Corps, Tech Creations, Teen Summer Camp Volunteers, Environmental Science Pathways, Environmental Science & Technology Practicum, Lake Washington Watershed Internship, and more.

Teen Science Café sponsored by Pacific Science Center (second Wednesday of every other month during the school year) — Teen Science Cafés are opportunities for teens to talk with local scientists and researchers about current and cutting-edge ideas in science and technology, all in a relaxed and informal setting.  Teen Science Cafés are FREE to attend, feature free snacks and hands-on activities, and will be run by teens, for teens, in their local community.

MOHAI Youth Advisors — MOHAI’s Youth Advisors (MYA) is a place for high school students to investigate, explore, and be empowered to create a more teen-friendly museum. This team of 15 high school students, ages 14-18, will meet twice monthly, set goals, and review deliverables. This stipend position entails spending time with visitors in the galleries, interviewing peers, attending and reviewing other cultural programs in the area, and program development at MOHAI.

Bellevue Art Museum (BAM) Teen Programs — Consider volunteer opportunities to join the Teen Arts Council or become a Teen Docent. Get creative at a FREE Teen Art Workshop or other teen events.

Seattle Art Museum (SAM) & Asian Art Museum Teen Programs — Create in FREE Art Labs and enjoy FREE Teen Nights Out.  Consider the volunteer opportunity to join the Teen Arts Group (TAG), an intensive program for high school–aged youth who are interested in leadership, want to learn about themselves and the world through art, and want to make SAM fun and engaging for teens.

Hugo House Teen Programs (Seattle) — Engage in FREE opportunities such as Write Time writing circles, Stage Fright open mic nights, Young Writers Mentorship Program, and the Young Writers Cohort.

Experience Music Project (EMP) Youth Advisory Board (Seattle) — Members directly influence teen programming at EMP Museum, collaborating with local musicians, artists, and community groups and promoting teen programs.  In addition, as part of this volunteer opportunity, youth create original content for The Soundboard, an online social network devoted to the all-ages music scene and actively contribute to EMP events and exhibit openings.

Wing Luke Teen Programs — The Wing Luke Museum offers FREE after-school and summer programs for teens. YouthCAN (grades 9-12) and Teensway (grades 6-8) provide youth with hands-on opportunities to express themselves creatively and develop leadership and communication skills, while learning about their cultural heritage.

Northwest African American Museum (NAAM) Youth Curator Program — The NAAM Youth Curator Program, with stipend positions, introduces youth to the philosophy and practices of museum work through creative, community-engaged projects on timeless and contemporary topics. Youth Curators gain social skills, learn and understand new concepts and develop artistic expression.

STEM

UW Monthly Math Hour/Math Hour Open Olympiad — Each spring, Seattle-area middle- and junior high-school students are invited to participate in the Monthly Math Hour on the University of Washington’s beautiful campus.  The Monthly Math Hour at the UW is a series of FREE talks that take place on Sunday afternoons to introduce students to the beautiful and exciting world of mathematics.  The series culminates in an optional, FREE (pre-registration required) Math Hour Open Olympiad in June.

UW Math Circle — The UW Math Circle is a “donation suggested,” school-year program intended for Seattle-area 7th and 8th graders.  The purpose of the Math Circle is to explore new and exciting areas of mathematics that are not part of the typical school curriculum, in an environment that is both supportive and challenging.

Prime Factor Math Circle — A nonprofit spin-off of the Northwest Academy of Sciences, offering an extracurricular math circle program for elementary and middle-school students on the Eastside during three, 10-week sessions during the school year.

Washington Student Math Association (WSMA) Elementary Math Expos — On a monthly basis during the school year, WSMA hosts a FREE, public Elementary Math Expo at a local library or community location in the King County area.  At the expos, students learn about real-world applications of mathematics while solving problems, working on puzzles, and playing games. Students learn from high school volunteers and are rewarded with prizes for their participation. The goal is to inspire young minds to pursue their math education in middle school, high school, and beyond.

Girls Rock in Science & Math (GRISM) — A bi-weekly program (for a nominal fee) during the school year open to girls in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade.  The purpose of GRISM is to “get girls interested in math and science at an early age and provide mechanisms for sustaining that interest by providing a nurturing environment where they can be mentored by both their peers and other older girls.”

Washington Aerospace Scholars — An educational program from The Museum of Flight for high school juniors from across Washington State.  The WAS program emphasizes science, technology, engineering and math, and encourages students to consider careers in these fields.

Scientist Spotlight at Pacific Science Center (first Saturday of most months) — This FREE public program features local scientists who will share their work with you through hands-on activities and conversation.

Music / Literary Arts

Seattle Symphony Family Programs — Something for everyone!  Three different concert series to choose from: Tiny Tots for ages 0-5, Symphony Kids for ages 3-5, and Family Concerts for ages 6+.

Seattle Symphony Young Artists Programs — The Young Composers Workshop allows pre-college students to work on all aspects of composing, including writing themes, learning orchestration and preparing a final score with parts.  Young Artists Auditions provide young musicians who have achieved an extraordinary level of performance on their chosen instrument the opportunity, FREE of charge, to go through the audition process with the Music Director, staff and musicians of a top tier orchestra.  Young artists chosen from auditions also have the opportunity to play for visiting artists as part of Seattle Symphony Concerto Festivals, which feature international emerging artists.

Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra (SYSO) — Founded in 1942, SYSO is the largest youth orchestra training program in the United States. The organization serves over 1,500 diverse students each year with four full orchestras, three summer festival programs, and extensive partnerships with local public schools.

Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra (BYSO) — BYSO is a non-profit organization committed to providing positive and stimulating educational and performance opportunities for young musicians.  With six orchestras and three instrumental ensembles, they provide enriching experiences for students ages 6 – 19.

Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL) — Seattle Arts & Lectures champions the literary arts by engaging and inspiring readers and writers of all generations in the greater Puget Sound region.  Programs include the Literary Arts Series, presenting original talks by six outstanding authors whose works range from multi-award-winning novels and short stories to mysteries and biographies; the Poetry Series, presenting the best established and emerging voices for readings and lectures; SAL Presents, events including authors and prominent thinkers discussing their latest work, and other exciting literary surprises; and SAL U, a series of educational lectures featuring the best faculty from the University of Washington and beyond.

Nature / Environment

Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center — Located on a biologically diverse 320-acre wetland nature park in the heart of urban Bellevue, Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center is a collaboration between the City of Bellevue and Pacific Science Center.  Programs include opportunities for preschoolers, families, student groups, teens, and camps.

Washington State Arboretum Self-Guided AdventuresFamily Adventure Packs and Explorer Packs are backpacks supplied with field guides, scavenger hunts, magnifying lenses and activity ideas for children in grades K-6. Seasonal Scavenger Hunts are fun, all-ages scavenger hunt highlighting a different area of the Arboretum, a type of wildlife or a series of seasonal plants.

Seattle Aquarium Youth Ocean Advocates — High school students who are passionate about conserving the marine environment can choose from FREE opportunities to be Youth Interpreters at the Aquarium, Youth Campaign Members of the Puget Sound: We Love You Campaign, or participants in a CIC class or workshop (described below).

Creativity Inspiring Conservation (CIC), part of the youth engagement outreach at the Seattle Aquarium — This program for high school students combines artistic creativity with a passion for conservation, providing FREE classes and workshops throughout the year in all sorts of artistic mediums: drawing, painting, writing, photography, sculpting, and more. Professional artists join Aquarium staff to bridge the worlds of art and science, bringing students together to talk about artistic concepts and find a new way of approaching their issue.

Cascade Orienteering Club — If you like being outside and exploring nature, then this is the sport for you.  Using a map and your powers of observation, you’ll navigate through a course of pre-set checkpoints.  Beginners are welcome, and it is not unusual to see entire families orienteering, either together or on different levels of courses.

Habitat Restoration and Stewardship Programs — Tree planting, trail maintenance, invasive plant removal, and more:

 

Local Annual Events

(Although most of the events listed here are local, there are a few events listed that are  associated with national organizations that serve the gifted community.)

August

STEM Back-to-School Weekend (Museum of Flight) — Learn about STEM Educational opportunities with programs, activities, and giveaways.

 

September

Seattle Mini Maker Faire (EMP) — Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement.  It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning.  Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters to homesteaders to scientists to garage tinkerers.  They are of all ages and backgrounds.  The aim of Maker Faire is to entertain, inform, connect and grow this community.

Bug Blast (Burke Museum) — Buzz on by the Burke as thousands of specimens fly, inch, or crawl to the museum for this favorite annual family event. Examine bugs of all kinds from the Burke’s collections, learn about beneficial bugs, enjoy buggy music, and more!

Pratt Fine Arts “One Hot Night!” Open House — This is a free, family-friendly, and fun event that is open to the public.  Something for everyone: hands-on art activities for kids ages 5 and up; a live bronze pour; food and drinks; artist demos; and much more!

Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival (Northwest Maritime Center) — billed as “the most educational and inspiring wooden boat event in the world!”

October

Washington Association of Educators of the Talented and Gifted (WAETAG) Annual Conference

November

Life Sciences Research Weekend (Pacific Science Center) — Three days of live demonstrations, interactive exhibits and talks for school children, families, and citizen scientists interested in learning more about the exciting world of life sciences and the key role research plays in our daily lives.  This experience promises guests hands-on science and face-to-face time with the nation’s top research scientists from companies and research institutions across Washington state.

Discover Science Weekend (Seattle Aquarium) — Bring the family to explore ocean and marine research alongside scientists through engaging and fun interactive displays and activities.  Meet visiting scientists and researchers from the University of Washington, NOAA, the State of Washington and others, as well as the Aquarium’s own scientists. Learn about current research to discover why and how the science is being conducted.

Seattle MathFest sponsored by Zeno — This city-wide event brings kids and families together to play carnival-like math games! While playing, students build their confidence in and enthusiasm for math, and see that the community supports their achievements.

National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Annual Conference

December

Model Train Festival (Washington State History Museum) — This event showcases model train displays designed and assembled by model train enthusiasts across the state. The displays occupy every floor of the museum and include the largest permanent model train layout in the state.

January

Archaeology Day (Burke Museum) — How did humans live in the past?  What tools did they make and how did they make them? What was going on in Puget Sound 40, 400, and 4,000 years ago? Find out for yourself at Archaeology Day—a day-long celebration of us—the humans!

January/February

Youth Ocean Conservation Summit (Seattle Aquarium) — The Youth Ocean Conservation Summit is an opportunity for local high school students to develop and implement their own conservation projects. At the Summit, students will learn from local experts about the current threats facing marine ecosystems.  Students will also hear from their peers who are involved in youth-run marine conservation projects. The workshops offered at the Summit will teach participants the skills necessary to build their own conservation projects in the community.

An Art-tastic Evening (KidsQuest Children’s Museum) — The arts take over the entire museum with hands-on art activities and live performances.  Get creative with clay, try your hand at silk screening, enjoy live performances, and more.

February

Annual Engineers Fair sponsored by the Puget Sound Engineering Council and hosted by the Museum of Flight — This event consists of display booths staffed by practicing engineers and technical people representing many types of engineering disciplines.  The Fair provides a fun, visible way to see and hear about the various types of engineering disciplines, as well as encourage students to think about engineering as a career.  In addition, the Fair also features the popular Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers.  This event is open to the public, with the target audience being K-12 students and their parents.

Annual Lunar New Year Festival, hosted by Seattle’s Chinatown-International District — Celebrate the neighborhood with Dragon and Lion dances, traditional Japanese taiko drumming, Bollywood dancing, $2 Food Walk, and children’s costume parade and contest!

February/March

Polar Science Weekend (Pacific Science Center) — Presented in partnership with the University of Washington’s Applied Physics Laboratory, students, families and guests of all ages will enjoy three action-packed days of hands-on activities, demonstrations, exhibits and more – all transporting you into the extreme environments of the Arctic and Antarctic. You will also meet polar scientists who work in some of the most remote and challenging places on earth.

Gifted Education Day (Olympia) — Individual and groups of students, parents, families, and educators are encouraged to join in Olympia to advocate with Legislators for the needs of our Highly Capable students.

March

Women Fly! Event (Museum of Flight) — An annual special event for young women in middle and high school who are interested in aviation and aerospace careers. Girls are invited to participate in a day of motivational and career-oriented activities while meeting and learning from exceptional women working in these fields.  Volunteering their time are dozens of women aerospace professionals: airport operators, pilots, air traffic controllers, and engineers in all disciplines.

Dino Day (Burke Museum) — Dig deep into dinosaur mysteries at the Burke Museum! Crack the prehistoric case to discover what we can find out about dinosaurs through their poop, teeth, bones, and more!

Expanding Your Horizons — half-day symposiums for hands-on STEM workshops for middle school and high school girls, sponsored by AAUW (American Association of University Women).  Information on the Eastside program for middle school girls can be found here.  Information on the Eastside program for high school girls can be found here or by emailing gogirlseyh@gmail.com

Pratt Fine Arts “One Hot Night!” Open House — This is a free, family-friendly, and fun event that is open to the public.  Something for everyone: hands-on art activities for kids ages 5 and up; a live bronze pour; food and drinks; artist demos; and much more!

Celebration of Talent Regional Conference for Gifted Youth, Parents & Educators — Sponsored by Prodigy Northwest and Whitworth University, this annual event in Spokane is designed to enlighten children, parents and educators on the subject of giftedness and the unique challenges and benefits that it brings. Gifted students will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of fun and unique learning experiences with other like-minded youth. Parents will be able to interact with other parents and professionals on the challenges and joys of raising gifted children. Educators will have the unique opportunity to participate in a forum dedicated towards gifted education and receive professional clock hours for their involvement. Keynote presentations will have all conference participants gathered together. Breakout sessions will allow participants to select topics of interest.

Pysanky Egg Workshop (KidsQuest Children’s Museum) — Pysanky is an ancient and beautiful form of Ukrainian folk art.  Eggs are decorated with images and designs using beeswax and dyes resulting in an artful keepsake.

March/April

Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival, sponsored by Math for Love (Seattle) — The mission of the Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival is to inspire students to explore the richness and beauty of mathematics through activities that encourage collaborative, creative problem-solving.  The festival is a noncompetitive celebration of great ideas and problems in mathematics. There are several dozen tables of rich math problems and activities led by volunteers, who are lovers of mathematics from different disciplines, representing mathematicians, teachers, engineers, programmers, graduate students, and more.

April

Paws-On Science: Husky Weekend (Pacific Science Center) — Kids and adults of all ages are invited to join University of Washington scientists and researchers for fun, interactive activities and exhibits.  Learn about the boundless research breakthroughs happening in our own backyard.

Eastside MathFest sponsored by Zeno — This community-wide event brings kids and families together to play carnival-like math games!  While playing, students build their confidence in and enthusiasm for math, and see that the community supports their achievements.

UW Engineering Discovery Days (University of Washington) — Students and faculty from all UW engineering departments share their work with students, teachers, families and the community through hands-on fun and learning.  Both days are free and open to everyone.  On the second day, in addition to exhibits and activities, high school students and their families can attend presentations to learn about admissions, scholarships and financial aid, UW housing and food options, and the honors program.

May

Super Science Night (KidsQuest Children’s Museum) — Venture through the museum exploring hands-on experiments hosted by community organizations and KidsQuest’s resident scientists.

June

 

July

Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival (Center for Wooden Boats) — The Wooden Boat Festival is designed to celebrate the maritime heritage of the Northwest, putting tools in hands and getting people out on the water in historic wooden boats.  This is an old-fashioned, down-home waterfront event where everything is fun and most things are free.  Free boat rides, food vendors, pond boat sailing, live music, skills demos, visiting vessels, toy boat building, and more.

Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) Annual Conference