About Us

About Washington State LASER

Washington State LASER (Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform) is a state science education program led by Washington STEM along with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, Educational Service Districts, and the Logan Center for Education at the Institute for Systems Biology.

Other key members of the Washington State LASER partnership are the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), Washington’s Educational Service Districts and lead school districts from around the state. Funding for Washington State LASER is provided through OSPI and the Washington State Legislature, Battelle, and the Boeing Company.

The work of Washington State LASER is actualized through ten regional Alliances, geographically aligned with Washington’s Educational Service Districts.  These Alliances offer leadership and technical assistance, including strategic planning support, within the five components of the LASER model developed by the Smithsonian Science Education Center: professional learning, curriculum, instructional materials support, assessment, and administrative and community support. LASER plays a key role in ensuring that state science leaders maintain a learning community and develop their skills to provide leadership and assistance in service of removing barriers and structures to improve science/STEM implementation at the school and district levels.

Please read our FAQ for more information.

Washington State LASER Partners

Washington State LASER’s vibrant network brings critical stakeholders together to create and implement a shared vision for science education excellence:

  • Educational Service District 101
  • Educational Service District 105
  • Educational Service District 112
  • Educational Service District 113
  • Educational Service District 114
  • Educational Service District 121
  • Educational Service District 123
  • Educational Service District 171
  • Educational Service District 189
  • Evergreen School District
  • Institute for Systems Biology
  • Kennewick School District
  • North Cascades and Olympic Science Partnership
  • North Thurston Public Schools
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Pacific Science Center
  • Puyallup School District
  • Smithsonian / The National Academies National Science Resources Center
  • Tacoma School District
  • Walla Walla School District
  • Washington Science Teachers Association
  • Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction

Washington State LASER Alliances

Ten Washington State LASER Alliances are generously supported by Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. The LASER Alliances provide training, guidance and technical support to districts that are considering participation in LASER, as well as to districts that are already in various stages of implementing the program. Each alliance comprises members from a myriad of educational and scientific institutions (e.g., school districts, ESDs, and universities).

Mountain To Harbor Alliance

Scott Killough
LASER Alliance Co-Director/ Regional Science Coordinator
Capital Region ESD 113
6005 Tyee Drive SW
Tumwater, Washington 98512
Voice: 360-464-6703

Kristy Vetter
LASER Alliance Co-director/Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment
Centralia School District
2320 Borst Avenue
Centralia, Washington 98531
Voice: 360-330-7600

The Mountain to Harbor (M2H) LASER Alliance region coincides with the boundaries of ESD 113, running from White Pass in Lewis County to the Pacific Ocean, taking in Thurston, Mason, Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties. The alliance was inaugurated in the summer of 2007 with 11 member districts. M2H has recently expanded to 13 districts. Within these member districts over 2,300 teachers stand to benefit directly or indirectly from LASER support. Our focus places an emphasis on the K-8 teachers of science, but also provides professional development opportunities for secondary science teachers.

The targets this year for the M2H, aside from assuring a solid beginning, is to:

  • Support schools in the use of instructional materials identified by LASER as effective, including a focus on standards, the big ideas and formative assessment.
  • Creating teachers as science instructional leaders.
  • Facilitating a regional network of teachers in support of science education reform.
  • Deepen regional awareness and understanding of A K-12 Framework for Education and the Next Generation Science Standards.
  • The M2H Alliance is affiliated with the Math and Science Kit center (MASK) at ESD 113 and will be supporting participating member districts with their curriculum materials through MASK.

The M2H Alliance is affiliated with the Math and Science Kit center (MASK) at ESD 113 and will be supporting participating member districts with their curriculum materials through MASK.

North Central Alliance

Mechelle LaLanne
Alliance Director
North Central ESD
PO Box 1847
430 Olds Station Road
Wenatchee, WA 98801
Voice: 509-667-7102
Fax: 509-662-9027

Kris Johnson
Administrative Assistant
North Central ESD
PO Box 1847
430 Olds Station Road
Wenatchee, WA 98801
Voice: 509-665-2653

Darlene Robbins
Refurbishment Center Specialist
North Central ESD Refurbishment Center
3306 5th Ave. S.E.
Wenatchee, WA 98801
Voice: 509-888-1912

ESD 171/NC LASER AllianceNorth Central Washington is a region comprised of twenty-nine school districts ranging geographically from Oroville on the Canadian Border to Wilson Creek in the center of the state, from the Bavarian mountains of Leavenworth on the western edge to the high desert of Grand Coulee Dam to the East. In service of these many rural and remote district, the North Central STEM Cooperative provides STEM materials to twenty-three districts and maintains the vision of the Smithsonian’s LASER model.

The vision of the Alliance/Consortium is simple:
Member districts, in league with the NCESD, working together to ensure success in science education for all students.
Working together is defined as collaborative pooling of resources including time, energy, ideas, personnel, expertise and funds.

Success is defined as:
Science literate students understand and can articulate and apply science concepts according to state and national standards.
Students use science as the context for learning and excelling in math, reading, writing and other disciplines.
Students become life-long learners who enjoy and are excited by the study of science.
Students become citizens who can apply science knowledge and skills in real life to solve problems and make informed decisions.

Toward this vision, the Alliance has established short and long term goals to include:
Adoption of a regionally-standardized K-8 curriculum supported by collectively purchased standards and inquiry-based materials, refurbished at a regionally centralized location.
Development of a teacher leadership network across the region for use in professional development and the development of excellent support materials, assessments and teaching strategies.
Excellent grade level, and materials specific professional development that includes strong elements of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), literacy, and alignment to state strandards and initiatives.
Development of regionally standardized classroom based assessments, rubrics, and the sharing of the data from those assessments to inform strategies and teacher practices which lead to student success.

Northeast Alliance

Tammie Schrader
Alliance Director Co-Director/ESD Science Coordinator
Northeast Washington Educational Service District 101
4202 South Regal St.
Spokane, WA 99223
Voice: 509-323-2725

Beth Worthy
Science Kit Program Manager
Northeast Washington Educational Service District 101
4202 South Regal
Spokane, WA 99223
Fax: 509-323-2785

ESD 101/NW LASER Alliance -The Northeast Washington LASER Alliance serves 59 school districts and 45 state-approved charter schools, and two charter schools located across seven counties in Northeast Washington. Our Alliance focuses on equitable access to science, STEM, and Computer Science education for all students, and provides instructional materials, equipment loan, professional development and technical assistance to teachers and administrators. Alliance director, Tammie Schrader collaborates with Spokane STEM, Greater Spokane Incorporated, as well as local businesses to ensure equitable opportunities for all students in our region.  We are currently partnering in programs that serve youth in the juvenile detention system, as well as young people who need and deserve options to pursue educational completion and career competencies.

For the latest information on training dates and locations, please check www.esd101.net/csi

North Sound Alliance

Dana Riley Black
Alliance Co-Director
Institute for Systems Biology
401 Terry Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98109
Voice: 206-732-1394

Kim Klinke
Alliance Co-Director
Institute for Systems Biology
401 Terry Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98109
Voice: 206-732-1456

The Institute for Systems Biology’s Logan Center for Education coordinates the North Sound LASER Alliance (NSLA). The NSLA formally encompasses school districts in King County but is welcoming to other districts across the greater Puget Sound region. The districts that comprise the NSLA are large and small, urban and rural, and comprise a significant percentage of the State’s student population. While each NSLA district is at a different stage in the process, each is working to transition to full implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). NSLA activities support districts in identifying and addressing system-wide components of a strategic transition plan such as the science professional learning needed by teachers and administrators or adaptation strategies to move current curriculum to a NGSS framework.

The NSLA region is home to districts with diverse contexts. Therefore, rather than providing common, regional professional development for educators, the NSLA supports job-alike networks to address the contemporary issues in science education. Specifically, the NSLA facilitates a network of school district science coaches (or TOSAs – teachers on special assignment). The Science TOSA Network meets quarterly to work on common problems of practice and to share resources coaches can employ in support of classroom science teachers. Additionally, the NSLA periodically hosts cross-district events, known as Networking Forums. These forums convene school district teams (comprised of administrators, teachers and community members) to develop/enhance district-wide strategic plans related to science and STEM education.

Please contact the NSLA Co-Directors for a calendar of upcoming events or general information about the Alliance.

For additional information visit http://logancenter.systemsbiology.net

Northwest Alliance

Joanne Johnson
NWESD Program Coordinator
NW LASER Alliance Director
Northwest ESD
1601 R Avenue
Anacortes, WA 98221
Voice: 360-299-4046

Kelly Spears
Science Materials Center Manager
Voice: 360-965-2168

Brian MacNevin
NWESD Science Coordinator
Voice: 360-299-4716

Nancy Menard
Science Team Administrative Assistant
Voice: 360-299-4020

The Northwest WA LASER Regional Alliance is an integral part of science education reform in the northwest corner of Washington State. We serve the NWESD region, which includes the 5 most northwestern counties in the state: Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties, along with the Island and San Juan counties, made up of the San Juan Island group and Whidbey and Camano Islands in the north Puget Sound.

Our current membership is comprised of NWESD and the following school districts:
Granite Falls
Lake Stevens
Lummi Tribal School
Mount Baker
Mount Vernon
South Whidbey
In addition to staff development, our Alliance supports the NWESD Science Materials Center Cooperative housed at Marysville-Pilchuck High School (5611 108th NE Street, North Building, Marysville, WA 98271) in the Marysville School District.

For more information, including directions, fees and materials lists, please visit our Northwest Science Materials Center webpage at https://www.nwesd.org/smc

Olympic Alliance

Jeff Ryan
Alliance Co-Director
Science Education Coordinator
Olympic ESD 114
105 National Avenue North
Bremerton, WA 98312
Office: 360-782-5014
Cell: 360-775-6110

Sarah Freitas
Instructional Resources Program Manager
Olympic ESD 114
Office: 360-405-5832

Olympic Science Alliance website: http:www.oesd.wednet.edu/page/350

The Olympic Peninsula Washington LASER Alliance is a cooperative organization of regional school districts. Its purpose is to provide a cost-effective curriculum support system along with an appropriate level of professional development support in order to foster the development of science education systems within school districts and throughout the region.

Member benefits include acces to the curriculum support system (Science Kit Center), as well as Teaching and Learning support (Professional Development).

Current member districts include:

Cape Flattery
North Mason
Port Angeles
Port Townsend

South Central Alliance

Mike Brown
Alliance Director
Science Education Coordinator
ESD 105
111 South 2nd Avenue
Yakima, WA 98902
Voice: 509-454-2852
Fax: 509-575-2918

Gayle Ames
Teaching & Learning – Science Dept
ESD 105
111 South 2nd Avenue
Yakima, WA 98902
Voice: 509-454-2485
Fax: 509-575-2918

ESD 105/SC LASER Alliance – The South Central Washington LASER Alliance partners 23 school districts and 3 private schools in a common K-5 science curriculum program through membership in the ESD 105 Science Education Cooperative.   The ESD 105 Science Education Cooperative utilizes a cadre of Master Teacher Trainers to deliver foundational professional development to the member’s K-5 teachers. These teachers receive science instructional units/kits in a ready to teach condition after being refurbished at the Science Materials Center operated by ESD 105.  A total of 3,000+ science unit/kits are taught in regional classrooms each year.

The participating LASER/Science Education Cooperative Districts include:
Bickleton School District
CleElum-Roslyn School District
East Valley School District
Easton School District
Ellensburg School District
Grandview School District
Granger School District
Highland School District
Kittitas School District
Mabton School District
Mt. Adams School District
Naches School District
Prosser School District
Royal School District
Selah School District
Sunnyside School District
Thorp School District
Toppenish School District
Union Gap School District
Wahluke School District
Wapato School District
West Valley School District
Yakima School District
Zillah School District
St. Joseph/Marquette School
St. Paul Cathedral School

Efforts of the Alliance Supported by LASER Funding
Kindergarten through sixth grade teachers receive 12 hours of initial use kit training in each of the physical science, earth science/technology, and life science strands. Content (concepts-deepening) workshops in all three strands have been offered since spring of 2005. These workshops are presented by experts from Eastern Washington University , Central Washington University , Seattle Pacific University, Yakima Valley Community College , Washington State University, and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.

STILL NEEDS Curriculum Matrix TABLE

Southeast Alliance

Peggy Harris Willcuts
Co-Director Southeast Washington LASER Alliance
STEM Education Consultant
Office of STEM Education
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
902 Battelle Boulevard
P.O. Box 999, MSIN K1-01
Richland, WA 99352 USA
Voice: 509-375-6797
Fax: 509-375-2576

Kathy Fisk
Co-Director Southeast Washington LASER Alliance
Math /Science Curriculum Coordinator
Kennewick School District
Voice: 509-222-6284
Fax: 509-222-5050

Holly C. Hollis
Program Manager
Battelle Science Resource Center
201 S. Garfield
Kennewick, WA 99336
Voice: 509-222-6888
Fax: 509-222-5064

Michele McMillan
SRC Secretary
Kennewick School District
Voice: 509-222-6465
Fax: 509-222-5064

ESD 123 serves 21 of our 23 school districts and three private schools  in SE Washington through the SE LASER Alliance. The SE LASER Alliance Board meets to plan and collaborate in a unique  effort to ensure that the entire region has equitable access to quality science materials and instruction. Our focus is to provide high quality instructional materials, best practices professional learning experiences around those materials and the Washington State Science Learning standards, and support for administrators to fully implement Science/STEM in their schools and districts so that all K-8 students participate in a developmentally appropriate, inquiry-based science program that uses a teaching/learning model that parallels the way scientists and engineers uncover knowledge and solve problems.

In May of 2014, the Mid-Columbia STEM Education Collaboratory was officially launched. Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, Delta High School, the Southeast LASER Alliance and MESA are all working together to increase STEM education opportunities in southeast Washington. To learn more about the Collaboratory, including current projects and how to get involved, visit www.midcolumbiastem.org.

South Sound Alliance

John Leitzinger
Alliance Co-Director
Secondary Science Curriculum Specialist
Tacoma Public Schools
6501 N. 23rd St.
Tacoma, WA 98406
Voice: 253-571-3519
Fax: 253-571-3511

Kirk Robbins
Alliance Co-Director, Independent Science Education PD Provider
Voice: 253-334-3093
South Sound Alliance Web Page

South Sound LASER Alliance – SSLA operates as a network of school district leaders with three codirectors who share the leadership and organizational duties of the Alliance Director role.  SSLA has met monthly for well over ten years to engage in shared learning that supports our common interests around science education reform. Since 2013 we have centered on implementing the high-leverage innovations of the Next Generation Science Standards.  Since 2015 SSLA has operated with an explicit focus on equity. That is, we want to change instructional practices and school/district structures that contribute to the historically inequitable access to STEM-related careers. We have about 11 districts that attend regularly, but our meetings are also occasionally attended by leaders from other districts, PSESD, NSLA, and community-based organizations who have shared interests.  This crossover attendance is a reciprocal arrangement for many SSLA members. SSLA uses its network to develop teacher and leadership professional development that builds the capacity of people and systems in our region.

Contact Staff for additional information regarding the Alliance. You can also visit our website at http://classrooms.tacoma.k12.wa.us/tps/lssla/index.php

Southwest Alliance

Vickei Hrdina
Alliance Director/Regional Science Coordinator
Educational Service District 112
2500 NE 65th Avenue
Vancouver, WA 98661

Niki Hamilton
Science and Math Education Resource Center @ ESD 112
Voice: 360-750-7500 ext. 276
Fax: 360-735-5698

Brian Goldman
Regional Science Materials Coordinator
Science Materials Center @ ESD 112
Voice: 360-750-7500 ext.344
Fax: 360-735-5698

Great Science, All Kids, Every Day

ESD 112/SW LASER Alliance – The Southwest Washington LASER Alliance serves 30 school districts and five private schools in six counties across Southwest Washington. Our Alliance focuses on equitable access to science and STEM education for all students, and provides instructional materials, equipment loan, professional development and technical assistance to teachers and administrators. Alliance co-directors, Vickei Hrdina and Stacy Meyer collaborate with multiple agencies throughout the region to build a robust and diverse community of experts and leaders to inform Alliance planning.  Our partnership with the SW WA STEM Network also supports integration of career-related learning for students and teacher externships to increase awareness of STEM opportunities in our regional economy. Our partner districts are currently working through a STEM Strategic Planning process that will result in a five-year action plan for implementing the NGSS and integrating STEM from preschool to graduation across their district.

Southwest Washington LASER Alliance Curriculum Matrix
FOSS Wood and Paper
FOSS Animals 2 x 2
FOSS Solids & Liquids
FOSS Air and Weather
FOSS New Plants

FOSS Balance and Motion
FOSS Pebbles, Sand and Silt
FOSS Insects

FOSS Physics of Sound
FOSS Earth Materials
FOSS Human Body

FOSS Magnetism and Electricity
FOSS Water
FOSS Structures of Life

FOSS Levers and Pulleys

FOSS Environments
GEMS Stories in Stone

FOSS Landforms
FOSS Food and Nutrition
FOSS Models and Designs
STC /MS Light
FOSS Planetary Science
FOSS Diversity of Life

STC /MS Energy, Machines & Motion
FOSS Earth History
STC /MS Human Body Systems

STC /MS Properties of Matter
STC/MS Catastrophic Events
FOSS Populations & Ecosystems

K – 6 Unit Descriptions
Middle School Unit Descriptions
Science Cooperative Members:

Clark County School Districts: Battle Ground, Camas, Evergreen, Green Mountain, Hockinson, La Center, Ridgefield, Vancouver, Washougal
Cowlitz County School Districts: Castle Rock, Kalama, Kelso, Longview, Toutle Lake, Woodland
Klickitat County School Districts: Centerville, Glenwood, Goldendale, Klickitat, Lyle, Roosevelt, Trout Lake, White Salmon Valley, Wishram
Pacific County School Districts: Naselle-Grays River Valley, Ocean Beach
Skamania County School Districts: Mill A, Mount Pleasant, Skamania
Wahkiakum County School Districts: Wahkiakum
Private Schools: Cornerstone Christian, Our Lady of Lourdes, Pacific Crest Academy, Portland Christian, St. Rose Catholic, Three Rivers Christian
State Schools: WA State School for the Deaf