Partnerships for Achieving Careers in Technology and Science (PACTS) is a year-round youth leadership experience, designed to involve students as an integral part of The Franklin Institute. It combines science enrichment, career development, mentoring, and leadership opportunities for diverse middle and high school students in the Philadelphia region. PACTS has two points of entrée, rising 6th graders and rising 8th graders. As a PACTS student, you can experience hands-on science workshops, environmental research, science themed field trips, and much, much more.
Design, Build, Operate, and Maintain. These are the four steps to building and maintaining a successful robot, and the first lesson of the PACTS Robotics workshops. We have three areas of robot workshops, one is designed for middle school students, the other is geared to high school students and our last robot program we call special projects. Students meet weekly to put their designs into action. They also prepare for competition as well as museum wide and community events to show cases their work.
Science in the City
Science in the city is a program that helps young adolescents explore cities through the aspects of modern architecture to determine how these structures affect them and their neighborhood.
Science Investigators covers a broad range of topics over the course of the year. Some of the topics include forensic investigation, app design, and hydroponics. The students have the opportunity to perform science projects, and go on field trips related to the topic of study.
Extraordinary PACTS students are invited to join our team of Explainers, who work in the museum as junior staff members. Explainers act as peer leaders and mentors to the students in the various areas of the PACTS program. They also participate in youth development seminars, participate in community volunteer events, and maintain the PACTS Laboratory. Explainers have a great reputation at The Franklin Institute and are invited to collaborate with other Institute departments toco-host events inside and outside the museum.
Not just another after-school or weekend program, PACTS is a youth leadership experience designed to involve students as an integral and active part of the daily life of The Franklin Institute. Students who continue in PACTS through high school graduation have the skills and confidence to be successful college students and become dynamic, productive adults with engaging careers in science and beyond.
The PACTS Program is available to Philadelphia area students in grades 6 through 9. The PACTS workshops meet on Saturday mornings, twice a month during the school year at The Franklin Institute. There are no specific scholastic requirements, but students are encouraged to be strong in math and science, and have a passion for learning science!
During the summer months we hold the PACTS Summer Institute. This is a 4 week long science camp, where students have the chance to intensely study various science topics while completing research projects. At the end of the summer the students present their findings to their families and staff members of The Franklin Institute.
The PACTS Alumni Association’s aim is to secure the existence and future of the PACTS program at The Franklin Institute by mentoring students, fostering volunteerism, contributing financially to its programs and assisting students in post-secondary educational endeavors.
The Alumni Association serves as a network for current PACTS students and recent graduates to stay connected to the program and each other. Today, that mission is brought to life through events, programs, and support such as:
- Alumni Speaks
- Alumni Newsletter: Legacy
- PACTS Senior Sendoff
- The Gilbert West Scholarship
The Gilbert A. West Jr. PACTS Alumni Scholarship fund
Donate to the PACTS Scholarship
Gilbert A. West represented the giving spirit and passion of the first PACTS Explainers group and beyond. Gilbert’s 15 year contribution and impact on the PACTS program was invaluable. Gilbert’s early passing presents the PACTS Alumni Association the opportunity to establish a scholarship fund in Mr. West’s honor. The PACTS Alumni Association award annually, financial support to PACTS students who demonstrate the following:
- Enthusiasm about the PACTS Program,
- The pursuit of advanced learning and/or higher education,
- Active participation in the community.
In The News
Exploring STEM in California Trip
Inspired by the creativity and innovation featured throughout The Franklin Institute’s recent special exhibition The Science Behind Pixar, three Philadelphia students traveled to San Francisco, California this past summer to experience a five-day whirlwind STEM education tour.
PACTS is funded by the generosity of donors to The Franklin Institute. If you would like to make a gift to The Franklin Institute in support of the PACTS program please
The PACTS Program is generously funded through the support of:
David and Hallee Adelman
ASD Specialty Healthcare, Inc.
Mr. and Mrs.* Daniel Amoroso
Apex Mortgage Company
Mr. Peter A. Benoliel and Ms. Willo Carey
The Solomon and Sylvia Bronstein Foundation
The Dow Chemical Company
EMD Performance Materials Corp.
Pietro and Elvira Giorgi Foundation
The Hamilton Family Foundation
Mr. and Mrs. Peter H. Havens
Holman Automotive Group Inc.
Hoxie Harrison Smith Foundation
The William M. King Charitable Foundation
Lincoln Financial Group
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas B. McCabe IV
Tom and Linda McCarthy
Merck & Co., Inc.
The MOSI Foundation
Mrs. John P. Mulroney
Bill and Donna Oliver
Patriarch Family Foundation
Philadelphia Insurance Companies
Pincus Family Foundation
SAP America, Inc.
H. David Seegul and Barbara Mozino Seegul
Peter S. Mozino Foundation
Jessie G. S. Simpson Charitable Trust
Universal Health Services, Inc.
Herman O. West Foundation
(list as of August 21, 2017)