Who we are
Founded in 1944, OMSI is one of the nation’s leading science museums with an international reputation in science education. Our mission is to inspire curiosity by creating engaging science learning experiences for students of all ages and backgrounds. We foster experimentation and the exchange of ideas, and we help our community make smart, informed choices.
We are dedicated to helping people build the confidence and skills they need for whatever the future holds through hands-on, high-quality learning experiences in the museum, at our world-class resident camps, and as part of the largest statewide science education program in the country.
OMSI is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that receives no state or local tax support and relies on admissions, memberships, and donations to continue our educational mission, programs, and exhibit development.
Where we've been
OMSI began with the exhibition of Oregon’s rich natural resources with the opening of the City Hall Museum in 1896. But with the Great Depression and World War II, it wasn’t until the mid-forties that support for the museum really began to grow. Businessman Ralph Lloyd hosted the temporary “Oregon Museum of Science and Industry” in his house on NE Hassalo Street, boasting the Northwest's first public planetarium and its 20-minute trip to the stars.
With annual attendance swelling to over 25,000 in 1955 and the house scheduled for demolition, the City Council stepped forward to lease land in Washington Park to OMSI for the sum of one dollar per year. In the spirit of pioneer barn-raisings, over 400 volunteer union brick layers and hod carriers laid 102,000 bricks in one day, and on June 7, 1958, the dream of a dedicated, hands-on science museum became a reality.
By the mid-1980's, OMSI's popularity surpassed the size of its facility six times over and a new group of community leaders began a $32M campaign to build a state-of-the-art science center, culminating with a milestone donation from longtime supporter, Portland General Electric, of an 18.5-acre site that held a historic sawdust-fired power generation plant. On October 24, 1992, the new 219,000 square-foot facilities opened, adding the USS Blueback, the last non-nuclear powered submarine built by the U.S. Navy, just two years later.
Today, the museum serves over 1 million visitors at the museum and through off-site education programs. OMSI is ranked as one of the top science centers in the United States and has an international reputation for its innovative exhibits and educational programs.
Where We're Going
OMSI's mission is to inspire curiosity through engaging science learning experiences, foster experimentation, and the exchange of ideas, and stimulate informed action.
Our Equity Statement
OMSI respects, values and celebrates the unique attributes, characteristics and perspectives that make each person who they are. We believe that we will be successful in accomplishing our mission and vision when we seek out and respond to diversity of participation, thought and action. We will work to dismantle barriers to equity and access to the experiences OMSI provides and to create welcoming environments and conditions where all people can reach their full potential.
Let's build the future together.
You've seen how partners of the past built the museum from the ground up. How can you help move us forward?
President and CEO
VP, Finance and Technology
Eric Buenrostro Azua
VP, People and Culture
VP, Campus Development
VP, Marketing and Retail