Volume 84 Issue 19 | p. 11 | News of The Week
Issue Date: May 8, 2006

Science Education

NSF's role in K–12 education is explored at House Science Committee hearing
Department: Education, Government & Policy

The National Science Foundation should remain a key player in K-12 math and science education, according to a panel of educators testifying before the House Science Committee on May 3. The testimony was part of a series of hearings on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education by the committee.

"NSF is the only federal agency with a proven track record of selecting education projects through a rigorous, careful, and competitive process that draws on a wide variety of experts from outside government," Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) said. In fact, he added, "NSF was leading successful efforts to improve U.S. math and science education long before the Department of Education was even created."

The witnesses, including a pair of high school teachers, agreed with Inglis on the importance of NSF to K-12 STEM education.

"NSF is the only federal agency that can attract all of the best minds in both [the science and education] communities to the table with the common intention of solving some of the thorniest problems facing our system of science education," said Joseph A. Heppert, a chemistry professor at the University of Kansas and chairman of the American Chemical Society's Committee on Education.

The Science Committee is expected to introduce legislation by mid-May to improve STEM education programs at federal agencies. NSF is expected to be given a major role in this bill.

Chemical & Engineering News
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