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, raising 6 graders and raising 8th graders. As a PACTS student, you can experience hands-on science workshops, environmental research, science themed field trips, and much, much more.

Photo of a student working with a microscope.

Each year, PACTS students moderate an open Q&A with some of the world’s leading minds in science and technology. Watch the 2014 Meet the Scientists event hosted by PACTS explainers Maya Patton and Sam Devine

  • PACTS Programming


    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

    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.

  • Explainer Program

    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.

  • Summer Institute

    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.

  • More Information

    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 10. 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!