Imperial Starbase Seattle

Our Roots

I.S.S. began its life as Star Trek fan club called Imperial Starbase Seattle. The fan club had a focus on the mirror universe which is based on the original series episode “Mirror, Mirror”; that is the one where Spock has a beard. It had its own history based off that with unique characters that were managed by the members. It lasted in that form for many years, but as times change so do fans. Memberships began to dwindle, interest and participation waned, once rabid supporters moved on to new things. As the times and the interests of those involved were changing it was decided that it was time to fold the organization. The time was right, and it could still go out on a high note.

Before the end a few of the chapters had already moved on to do new things and were able to keep running after the primary organization folded and after a few years of doing things on their own a few of the former chapter leaders got together and received permission from the owners of the old I.S.S. to reform I.S.S. They did so with one slight change calling it Imperial Starbase Society in the hopes of making a more nationwide organization.

Imperial Starbase Society

It Begins

The new I.S.S. came back with updated and better defined rules and roles to help spread the load of running the organization. It launched decently and made sure to have a solid presence again within local fandom, but something was missing. Players and old faces came back and events were run that harkened back to the old days, new characters and stories were introduced, new fanzines created, but in the end it was not enough. The people that were targeted, the niche of the returning organization, had given up on that genre and moved on to other things. Anime conventions, Steampunk, and other organizations that did not fit with the updated model were on the rise. The new I.S.S. had to change before really getting off the ground.

The officers began to look into taking the next step, something that was still open to our “Seattle” roots but could continue forward with the thought to what was wanted to be seen in the ideas behind “Society”. After some careful thought a decision was reached to reorganize and become a nonprofit with a focus on computers and science where we would encourage the next generation to learn and play. Where it could be done Science Fiction would help us target and guide those that we would be working with.

Shortly after paperwork was completed with the IRS and state governments I.S.S. received its 501(c)(3) and was able to begin operating with other local organizations. We visited local schools and conducted classroom take overs to show kids more about computer hardware and how it all goes together, discussed internet security, website design and other things. We worked with local Scout troops where we discussed physics and helped them with model rocketry for those old enough to play with them, and for those that were not old enough we did water rockets and water cars. Just as things were going well for I.S.S. as an organization, the U.S. and world economy faltered.

I.S.S. Survives

Darn Economy

When the economy tanked so did donations and so did our volunteer pool. People had to work harder to keep their lives in place. Jobs were lost and new ones had to be found. Those who we used to be able to rely on to lend a hand no longer had the time to participate. I.S.S. went into a lull. Our core officers kept things going and did the minimums to make it through. We backed away from events that cost more than they were worth and stuck to the ones that were most successful. Fundraising was minimal but just enough to let us keep going.

Today and Tomorrow

To Infinity and...

As the economy has recovered I.S.S. has managed to recover in small ways as well. Our events are still successful, but the time has come again to update and change and to adjust to new trends. Our past fundraising events that used to be very successful are now minimal due to several factors. Our volunteer pools have had a few good influxes, but are still in the need of more. As we look forward to the future of I.S.S. we are again looking to our past but with respect to a positive future. School programs such as STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) are in the need of mentors. Local schools are under more and more pressure to do more with less. We think that we can help in this area, and that is just what we are planning to do.

Over the nearly two decades that we have been Society and not Seattle a lot has changed and we have done an amazing amount of things and want to do more. If you have time and you want to help we would love to hear from you. If you don’t have time but have some change or dollars to spare please support us using the donations link on this page. If you just want to help, but feel that you are too far away from our core area please reach out anyway, or please reach out to local school and see how your skills can help a student or teacher.

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