Investments to improve science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education and training at all levels – pre-kindergarten through secondary, undergraduate, graduate, and public science literacy –   receive high priority at NSF.   Investments in Education and Training help ensure an adequate, well-trained workforce of scientists and engineers that can maintain leadership in science and technology, both now and into the future, as well as essential science and mathematics grounding for all Americans.  All Education and Training programs place great importance on developing effective strategies for increasing participation and achievement of groups underrepresented in science and engineering; other efforts include research that advances the understanding of learning and instructional practices.  Evaluation and communication efforts verify the extent to which education programs achieve their goals and ensure that program and project outcomes reach a wide audience.  In addition, NSF supports the development of timely, relevant data and analyses on the science and engineering enterprise.


NSF fosters the natural connections between learning and discovery.  When research resides alongside education and training, the rewards of discovery are shared more quickly and disseminated more widely.  Support for education and training includes most activities funded through the Education and Human Resources appropriation, as well as those programs funded through the Research and Related Activities appropriation that aim to accomplish education and training through the tie to research programs. While focused on research, much of NSF’s investment in Research Project Support is, at the same time, an investment in education and training, particularly through support for research activities by undergraduate and graduate students, research at undergraduate institutions, and furthering the careers of young investigators.  Education is, in fact, an integral component of all research projects in that the skills and training needed for the next generation of scientists, engineers, and technologists are provided within the context of the research experience.





(Millions of Dollars)

NOTE:  Numbers may not add due to rounding.

1    Includes $24 million in FY 1999 and $30 million in FY 2000 for H-1B Nonimmigrant Petitioner Fees.



NSF is continuing to increase its emphasis on partnerships with academic institutions, based on the view that treating whole systems is the most effective way to make improvements in science and mathematics education.  Together, academe and NSF are developing new approaches to education activities, involving others with a stake in the science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education enterprise, including state and local governments, the private sector, and other agencies.  Some partnership examples include the new National Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology Education (SMETE) Digital Library (NSDL) initiative that will provide links with K-16 schools and academic institutions nationwide and the NSF Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education program, which places graduate and undergraduate students in K-12 schools to serve as science and mathematics content resources to teachers. Activities in the Urban Systemic Program, networking and collaborations among former and current Statewide Systemic Initiative sites, and undergraduate education reform efforts will continue their strong partnership coalitions.  Within NSF, partnership activities in the education and training function include the NSF-wide Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training program for multidisciplinary training of graduate students in unique research settings.




·         The FY 2000 Request for PreK-12 programs is $365 million, an increase of nearly $23 million above FY 1999. The National SMETE Digital Library will total $13.0 million to support internet-based PreK-12 educational resources. NSF Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education is $7.50 million to continue the innovative pilot effort, initiated in FY 1999, that exposes K-12 teachers, graduate and undergraduate students to the needs of K-12 education at the same time that it provides much needed expertise to support high-quality learning.  Systemic reform funding levels decrease by $2.25 million to total $114.20 million.  The consolidation of programs will enable focused efforts on implementation of reform in smaller educational systems, and program innovations to strengthen the interface between the K-12 and higher education sectors. Informal science education funding increases $900,000 to $40.0 million, with an emphasis on increasing access to informal learning opportunities in inner cities and rural areas.




·         The FY 2000 Request for undergraduate activities will total $155 million, a decrease of $5.0 million from FY 1999.  In FY 2000, most of the decrease reflects the planned phase out of the existing Engineering Education Coalitions; support for one will be terminated and support to the remaining four coalitions will be decreased as they approach the end of their NSF awards.  Funding for the National SMETE Digital Library (NSDL) at $3.0 million will contribute to the development of the platform, protocols, and resource content that will catalyze the NSDL as a virtual facility.   A new program, Teaching Experiences in Computer Science, will encourage undergraduate and graduate students to work on efforts to stimulate interest and understanding in the K-12 learning environment of computer and information science and engineering.  Other efforts that will be maintained include: Advanced Technological Education to support programs that prepare technicians for the high-performance workplace, Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation supporting a combination of new and existing projects, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities-Undergraduate program.  Other funds for undergraduate research activities are included under Research Project Support, particularly Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) which provides opportunities for undergraduates to gain valuable scientific research experiences, and Research at Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) which provides research support for faculty in predominantly undergraduate institutions.




·         The FY 2000 Request for graduate and postdoctoral programs will total $134 million, a decrease of $1.0 million from FY 1999.  FY 2000 includes $2.0 million for a new postdoctoral fellowship program in microbiology to encourage international experience.  NSF will continue the Foundation-wide Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) program begun in FY 1998, increasing it by $1.70 million to nearly $29 million.  The Grants for Vertical Integration of Research and Education (VIGRE) in the Mathematical Sciences program, aimed at achieving systemic reform of graduate and undergraduate mathematical sciences, decreases $3.0 million to $16.0 million. The FY 2000 reduction in VIGRE reflects the shift from two competitions in FY 1999 to only one in FY 2000. Other graduate support includes the Graduate Research Fellowship program, with priority  placed on maintaining diversity of the applicant and award candidate pools, and continued funding of the Minority Graduate Education program.


Other Support for Education and Training

·         NSF supports programs to promote public understanding of science, mathematics, engineering, and technology, including the collection, analysis, and dissemination of data on U.S. and international resources devoted to science, engineering, and technology.  The FY 2000 Budget Request for these activities is nearly $22 million, an increase of approximately $400,000 over FY 1999.  The increase will support  an expanded competitive research program aimed at improving indicators of science and engineering, including indicators of education and employment in science, engineering and technology, used in the S&E Indicators publication series.  Emphasis will continue to be placed on promoting scientific literacy and disseminating findings from NSF-supported research.




Results Goals for Investments in Education and Training


NSF programmatic investments in education and training are primary enablers for a diverse globally-oriented workforce of scientists and engineers necessary to maintain the nation’s leadership in science and technology in the future.  Education and training investments also emphasize helping students achieve the mathematics and science skills needed to thrive in an increasingly technological society.  In addressing these goals, the strategy of integrating research and education is paramount.  NSF emphasizes systemic approaches through activities grounded in a sound research base, and works to build bridges between higher education and K-12 education.

FY 2000 Results Goals for Education and Training [1], [2]


Outcome Goal

FY 2000 Annual Performance Goal


FY 2000 Areas of Emphasis

across NSF


NSF is successful when

NSF is minimally effective when


A diverse, globally-oriented workforce of scientists and engineers

Participants in NSF activities experience world-class professional practices in research and education, using modern technologies and incorporating international points of reference; when academia, government, business, and industry recog-nize their quality; and when the science and engineering workforce shows increased participation of underrepresented groups.

Opportunities and experiences of students in NSF-sponsored activities are comparable to those of most other students in their fields; and when the participation of underrepresented groups in NSF-sponsored science and engineering projects and programs increases.


·          integrative research and education opportunities

·          participation of underrepresented groups in integrative research and education

·          preparation of instructional workforce

·          advanced technological education


Improved achievement in mathematics and science skills needed by all Americans

NSF awards lead to the development, adoption, adaptation, and implementation of effective models, products, and practices that address the needs of all students; well-trained teachers who implement standards-based approaches in their classrooms; and improved student performance in participating schools and districts. 

NSF awards lead to the development and adaptation of effective educational models, products, and practices; train and further develop teachers in the standards-based approaches; and prevent further deterioration in student achievement in participating schools and districts.

·          K-12 systemic activities 3

·          professional development of teachers

·          research on learning & education

·          K-16 digital libraries

·          graduate students in K-12 education



FY 2000 Results Goals for Science and Engineering Information 4


Outcome Goal

FY 2000 Annual Performance Goal

Timely and relevant information on the national and international science and engineering enterprise.

Maintain FY 1999 gains in timeliness for an average of 486 days for the time interval between reference period (the time to which the data refer) and reporting of data.  Baseline:  540 days in 1995 – 1996. 


Establish a standard set of data quality measures for reporting of Science Resource Studies products.  Prepare reports on these measures for all SRS surveys and publish them in electronic formats to inform users of SRS data quality.



FY 2000 Areas of Emphasis for Science and Engineering Information

NSF will emphasize methodological research on the collection, analysis and dissemination of information on the science and engineering enterprise, especially the use of advanced web-based tools, to improve the quality, relevance and accessibility of Foundation data to its key users. To make the exchange and integration of advanced scientific data a reality, it requires careful planning at the front-end of projects - planning that reflects a commitment to cooperative research as well as to education, training and outreach.



Education and Training Highlights


Examples of accomplishments resulting from Education and Training support are discussed below.


Informal Science Education provides rich and stimulating opportunities outside formal classroom settings.  Exhibits at museums, aquaria, zoos, IMAX films, television, and community programs increase appreciation, interest, and understanding of science for individuals of all ages, interests, and backgrounds.  The World Wildlife Fund, for example, is developing Windows on the Wild – Exploring Biodiversity.  Two 2,000 sq. ft. exhibits will travel to small and medium-sized institutions nationwide to teach the public about the importance and decline of plant/animal species; to demonstrate the role of research in investigating and protecting biodiversity; and to raise understanding of the impacts of individual behavior on biodiversity.  Increased knowledge and understanding of science motivates and empowers individuals to get involved in biodiversity and other important social issues.


Instructional Materials Development.  In the early-to-mid 1990s, NSF supported development of comprehensive mathematics curricula at the elementary, middle, and secondary school levels.  Field tests and results from early adoption sites are demonstrating measurable impact on student achievement on high-stakes performance assessments. 


·         For example, in Arkansas, the average gain over two years on the Stanford Achievement Test by middle-school students using the Connected Mathematics Project (CMP) exceeded that of all students in the State by approximately 35 percent, across a range of schools from the affluent to several with 76 percent of the students on free or reduced-cost lunch. 


·         Similar improvement was reported for 1,093 CMP students in Texas, as measured by results on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) examination.


Middle-School Mathematics:  Four NSF-supported curricula--Connected Mathematics, Mathematics in Context, MathScape, and Middle Grades Math Thematics--were the only middle-school mathematics series to receive high ratings by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The AAAS rated the other eight more traditional textbooks in middle-school mathematics as unsatisfactory.  Funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the evaluation used teams of classroom teachers and university faculty with expertise in mathematics content, teaching, and learning to identify materials most likely to help students achieve key learning goals in numbers, geometry and algebra that align with AAAS Project 2061 Benchmarks for Science Literacy and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) standards for content and instruction.  This evaluation provides educators solid information for choosing curricula that shows greatest promise for redressing comparatively poor performance of U.S. 8th grade students as evidenced by the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).


Systemic Education Reform. Throughout the 1990s, NSF has pioneered implementation of K-12 science and mathematics education reform in states, large urban cities, and rural areas across the U.S., creating models that will provide all students access to challenging and standards-based instruction.  The goal of all reform efforts is to increase student achievement in these disciplines.


·         In Massachusetts, for example, from 1993-96, the percentage of students demonstrating a firm grasp of factual knowledge on the Massachusetts Education Assessment Progress (MEAP) examination increased by 8 percent in 4th grade mathematics and by 14 percent in science.  In the most recent two years, students in SSI districts outpaced the gains of their peers across the State.


·         One of the 21 Urban Systemic Initiatives (USI) projects, Detroit Public Schools have nearly doubled their 4th grade mathematics and 5th grade science proficiency on state assessments over the 1993-98 period.  Detroit's successful reform strategy is characterized by (1) adoption of State science and mathematics curricula frameworks; (2) a District resolution requiring K-12 science and mathematics teaching; (3) standards-aligned performance assessments in 5th and 8th grade science and 4th and 7th grade mathematics; (4) context-bound teacher education programs coordinated by a Professional Development Council; and (5) increased school-day release time for teachers enabling requisite training and planning.  


Teacher Enhancement.  NSF is strengthening an inadequately prepared K-12 instructional workforce, facilitating implementation of standards-based curricula and building a cadre of leaders for delivering professional development. 


·         At the University of Illinois, for example, the project – All  Learn Mathematics (UIC-ALM) – is improving mathematics instruction in grades 4-9 in 36 Chicago public schools.  Thirty-three of these schools are reporting increased numbers of students at, or above, national norms in mathematics.  At Chicago’s Armstrong school, performance on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) rose from 33 percent in April 1995 (before the start of the project) to 57 percent in April 1998; at the Stockton school, comparable performance rose impressively from 19 percent  to 54 percent. 


·         The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Program, on the other hand, is training middle- and high-school teachers to lead quality environmental science education.  By project end, nearly 400 teacher leaders will guide 1,440 of their peers in summer and academic year activities through more than 100 contact hours of supervised work.  Teachers will engage in laboratory and fieldwork; learn how to use student learning and assessment techniques; and explore the use of technology for professional, classroom, and instructional purposes.


The Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program.   NSF is developing a comprehensive set of programs targeted on increasing racial and ethnic diversity of students receiving baccalaureate and doctoral degrees in science, mathematics, and engineering.  A cornerstone of this strategy is the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program, established in 1991, that currently supports 27 alliances of two- and four-year colleges and universities. 


·         In 1998, LSAMP projects had graduated more than 18,000 students with baccalaureate science and engineering degrees.


·         The Florida project, for example, consisting of 12 institutional partners, set a goal in 1991 to double the number of baccalaureate degrees in science and engineering by 1996.  By 1997, the Project more than tripled the number of degrees produced in 1991 -- from 416 to 1,380.  This particular Alliance also receives support from the Florida legislature, thereby increasing the prospect of institutionalizing the project. 


·         LSAMP projects have demonstrated the effectiveness of a number of intervention strategies to enhance the academic performance of students including summer bridge programs, peer study groups, faculty-directed undergraduate research projects, and institutes for graduate school preparation. 


Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Program.   The ATE program, initiated in 1994, strengthens science and mathematics preparation of technicians entering high-tech industries.  Forging partnerships among 2- and 4-year colleges, secondary schools, and industry, ATE's 11 Centers and 150 active projects are helping meet the nation's demands for workers in biotechnology, telecommunications, environmental technology, manufacturing, etc. 


·         At the NorthWest Center for Emerging Technologies (Bellevue, WA), for example, information technology (IT) skill standards were developed in collaboration with Boeing, Microsoft, and over 50 small- and medium-sized software development firms.  These standards, validated by industrial and education leaders, have been endorsed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).  Over 6,000 students have enrolled in the Center's IT courses, including non-traditional students, such as a 53-year old grandmother of five who now has a second career designing multimedia computer packages. 


Graduate Education.  Graduate and postdoctoral education programs at NSF prepare science, mathematics, and engineering leaders of the future. 


·         Since 1952, for example, the Graduate Research Fellowship program has supported 34,000 outstanding science, mathematics, and engineering students, with special emphasis on promoting women and minorities in these disciplines. 


·         In 1997, three Nobel Prizes were awarded to past Fellows: Dr. Steven Chu (Stanford University, Physics); Dr. Robert C. Merton (Harvard University, Economics); and Dr. William D. Phillips (National Institute of Standards and Technology, Physics).


Science Resources Studies (SRS). To make accurate information on topics of current interest to the science and technology (S&T) policy community available quickly, SRS has been emphasizing brief analytic reports on important individual topics.  In response to the national focus on human resources for S&T, SRS produced a set of publications based on survey and administrative data, made available quickly on the World Wide Web (  These dealt with all aspects of advanced S&T training in the U.S.: sources and magnitude of financial support to graduate students; the impact of financial support on employment choices; funding trends in academic R&D by field of science and engineering; postdoctoral training and employment patterns; the employment market for recent S&T graduates; and detailed analysis of unemployment among those trained in science and engineering.


[1] These performance goals are stated in the alternative format provided for by GPRA legislation.  A brief description of how performance will be assessed and how the areas of emphasis will be addressed  can be found in Appendix 1 of the full FY 2000 Performance Plan.

[2] Elements in italics are highlighted in the FY 2000 government-wide performance plan.

3 Performance Goal:  Over 80% of schools participating in a systemic initiative program will (1) implement a standards-based curriculum in science and mathematics; (2) further professional development of the instructional workforce; and (3) improve student achievement on a selected battery of tests, after three years of NSF support.

4 This goal addresses NSF’s statutory mission to establish an information base for science and engineering appropriate for developing national and international policy.