The Partnership for Science Literacy is a national initiative of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to increase awareness among parents and families—particularly those in Latino/Hispanic, African American, and other minority communities—of the value of science literacy for all children.
The Partnership is building a coalition of local and national organizations to empower families to improve their children's interest in and learning of science. The initiative is built around four key ideas: (1) that science education is for every child, (2) that science is everywhere in our everyday lives, (3) that parents and families can make a huge difference in helping their children with science education, and (4) that science is a lot of fun!
While national in scope, the Partnership starts with a focus on science resources in five diverse communities: Austin, Chicago, the Lehigh Valley (in eastern PA), Los Angeles, and Tampa. The Partnership's work, including the "Science. It's Everywhere" public service announcement campaign and web site, is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.
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The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS, pronounced "Triple-A-S") is the world's largest general science organization and publisher of the peer-reviewed journal Science. With nearly 140,000 members and 272 affiliated societies, AAAS serves as an authoritative source for information on the latest developments in science and bridges gaps among scientists, policy-makers and the public to advance science and science education. Founded in Philadelphia in 1848, AAAS is among the oldest societies in America. Many of today's most prestigious and influential scientific societies have their historical origins in AAAS.
AAAS fulfills its mission to increase public understanding of science and to foster education through its Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) and through Project 2061. EHR offers programs that seek to improve the quality of science, mathematics, and technology education for all students at all levels; to increase the participation of minorities, women, and people with disabilities in science and engineering; and to improve the public understanding of science and technology. EHR programs involve both in- and out-of-school learning experiences and collaborations with science centers and museums and other local community organizations and institutions.
Project 2061 is AAAS's nationwide education reform initiative founded in 1985 to help all Americans become literate in science, mathematics, and technology. With its 1989 landmark publication Science for All Americans, Project 2061 helped define the knowledge and skills that students should have in science, mathematics, and technology by the time they graduate from high school. Benchmarks for Science Literacy, published in 1993, translated the science literacy goals in Science for All Americans into learning goals or benchmarks for grades K–12. Many of today's state and national standards documents have drawn their content from Benchmarks.
About the National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, with an annual budget of nearly $5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 30,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 10,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards over $200 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
TryScience.org, the first global science museum, is a gateway to the excitement and learning offered by science and technology centers worldwide. The website features interactive multimedia activities, with a bank of archived activities always available. In addition to an online educational adventure and a database of more than 500 science and technology centers from around the world, TryScience offers experiments and tips to parents and teachers on ways to engage young people in the world of science. TryScience makes it possible for kids to explore, investigate, discover, and to try science for themselves.
TryScience is the result of an unprecedented partnership between IBM Corporation, the New York Hall of Science, the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), and science centers worldwide.
About the partner sites
The Partnership for Science Literacy is working with five communities to test strategies and materials for engaging parents and families in their children's science learning. These sites have formed alliances of museums, science centers, parks, zoos, observatories, aquariums youth groups, schools, and businesses to provide parents and families in their communities with special science activities and programs that tie into the Partnership's theme of "Science. It's Everywhere." The partner sites and participating organizations are:
Austin Children's Museum (site coordinator)
Charles A. Dana Center of the University of Texas
Austin Science and Nature Center
Austin PreFreshman Engineering Program (AusPREP) - Huston-Tillotson College
Division of Science and Technology – Huston-Tillotson College
Informal Science Education Association
Texas Education Agency
Texas Memorial Museum
University of Texas Young Scientist Program/College of Natural Sciences
Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum/Chicago Academy of Sciences (site coordinator)
Chicago Botanic Garden
Chicago Park District
Chicago Public Schools
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
The Field Museum
Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
Illinois Science Teachers Association
Illinois State Board of Education
John G. Shedd Aquarium
Lincoln Park Zoo
Museum of Science and Industry
SciTech Hands On Museum
Teachers Academy for Mathematics and Science
Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania
The Discovery Center of Science & Technology (site coordinator)
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
Delaware Canal State Park Complex
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary
Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center
Just Born, Inc.
Keystone Consulting, Inc.
Lehigh Valley Mall
Lehigh Valley Water Suppliers
Kutztown University – Cognitive Psychology Department
The Morning Call
Red Robin Restaurants, Inc.
Tallman, Hudders & Sorrentino
Target Select Advertising
Trexler-Lehigh Game Preserve
East Stroudsburg Area*
Pen Argyl Area
Pleasant Valley Area*
Southern Lehigh *
High Bridge (NJ)
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (site coordinator)
Camino Nuevo Charter Academy
Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California
School of Architecture, University of Southern California
Steven Holl Architects
Museum of Science and Industry (site coordinator)
Boys and Girls Club of Tampa Bay
Diocese of St. Petersburg
Hillsborough County Public Library
Hillsborough County School District
University of South Florida, College of Medicine
University of South Florida, ENLACE
University of Tampa
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