Jeff Estes / Sonia Siegel Vexler
Washington State LASER is a public-private partnership using a collaborative model for catalyzing and sustaining research-based inquiry for grades K–12 at the school, district, region, and state levels. Key elements of support include ongoing professional development, effective program and student assessment, a network of science materials centers, and the development of strong administrative and community supports. Washington State LASER is an “opt in” program. Based on a distributed leadership model, the day-to-day stewardship of the partnership is provided by Battelle and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (a U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory) and Pacific Science Center. Regional leadership is provided by a network of nine Alliances led by business, Education Service Districts, and research organizations. The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction is represented on the Leadership Team for Washington State LASER. This collaborative was launched in January 1999 through a National Science Foundation Implementation and Dissemination Center grant to the National Science Resources Center, which was established by the Smithsonian and the National Academies. The grant established eight regional sites around the United States. Washington State was one of those regional sites chosen to implement this innovative model of science education reform.