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The FY 2003 Budget Request for the Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education (ESIE) Subactivity is $171.44 million, an increase of $6.06 million, or 3.7 percent, over the FY 2002 Current Plan of $165.38 million.

(Millions of Dollars)


FY 2001

FY 2002
Current Plan

FY 2003




Instructional & Assessment Materials Development






Teacher Development






Informal Science Education






Total, ESIE






ESIE's comprehensive programming develops research-based models and innovative resources that strengthen the teaching and learning of high-quality science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, pre-Kindergarten through grade 12 (preK-12). Instructional materials and student assessments that promote active investigation, together with new models for delivering teacher professional development, contribute to STEM classroom environments that serve all students well. Moreover, ESIE media, exhibit, and community-based programs increase scientific and technological literacy and develop life-long skills that benefit learners of all ages. ESIE programs create a solid educational foundation for the future research, instructional, and technological workforce, as well as for students pursuing post-secondary education in other disciplines. All ESIE program efforts are characterized by high standards in content, pedagogy, and assessment; effective utilization of formal and informal education communities; and partnerships among major stakeholders (e.g., higher education, school districts, state education agencies).

Instructional and Assessment Materials Development (IMD) activities support development of comprehensive (multi-year) and supplementary instructional materials, as well as assessment tools that are designed to improve STEM education for all preK-12 students. A growing body of research shows that, when these instructional materials are implemented as intended, students' performance increases on a wide variety of impact measures. IMD-supported materials influence traditional textbooks and are themselves gaining wider acceptance in schools. For example, NSF-supported elementary mathematics materials have captured approximately 12 percent of the textbook market and NSF-supported middle-school mathematics curricula have a presence in nearly 5,000 school districts. In FY 2003, the IMD program makes strategic investments in development and revision of elementary science and mathematics curricula; strengthens its portfolio in science assessment; and begins support for the next generation of large-scale Implementation and Dissemination Sites. IMD is contributing to the development of a challenging curriculum and materials that will support the Math and Science Partnership (MSP). IMD increases $40,000 to $28.99 million in FY 2003.

Teacher Development (formerly Teacher and Student Development) activities support the creation of models and resources necessary for large-scale education reform in science, technology, and mathematics, grades preK-12. In FY 2003, funding increases by $6.94 million to $87.45 million, or 8.6 percent above the FY 2002 level. Teacher Development includes:

  • The Centers for Learning and Teaching (CLT) program (a) rebuilds and diversifies the national human infrastructure for STEM education; (b) increases the number of K-16 educators with deep knowledge of disciplinary content, pedagogical strategies, and student assessment; and (c) provides substantive research opportunities in learning and teaching, as well as education reform policies and outcomes. CLT projects involve complex, meaningful partnerships among education stakeholders, especially Ph.D.-granting institutions, school systems, and informal education performers. Broadly-based centers - some with international components - implement programs and conduct research on: use of computer visualization in the study of science; development of a multi-district/multi-state teacher education program in mathematics; improvement of education in rural areas; assessment of science learning; development of national leadership for informal science learning; use of distance learning in science and mathematics education for underrepresented populations in Western states; and development of algebraic ideas for diverse learners. In FY 2003, CLT receives high priority with funding increasing by $6.86 million to a total of $27.0 million, or 34 percent above the FY 2002 level. This investment will contribute to the success of the MSP as well as respond directly to a critical national need for building the infrastructure that supports K-12 STEM education.

    The multi-state Mid-Atlantic Center for Learning and Teaching Mathematics provides a model for collaboration between disciplinary and education faculty in mathematics, as well as effective partnerships among higher education institutions and K-12 school districts. Based on parameters developed by the education faculty, mathematics faculty are developing and teaching a new course for graduate students in mathematics education.

  • Teacher Enhancement (TE) develops research-based, replicable, cost-effective, and adaptable models for career-long development of the instructional workforce; addresses critical junctures in the professional development continuum (e.g., induction, evolution to leadership positions); builds regional, state, and local capacity for support of STEM education reform; and develops quality resources for teachers that increase content, instructional, assessment, and leadership skills. In FY 2003, TE places priority on developing models and resources for teacher professional development to support NSF's large-scale MSP effort. TE funding increases by $80,000 to $56.12 million in FY 2003, which should maintain the funding rate for this program at about 11 percent.

  • Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) provide national career recognition for exemplary elementary and secondary teachers of mathematics and science. In FY 2003, funding is maintained at $4.33 million.

Informal Science Education (ISE) promotes public interest, understanding, and engagement in science and technology through voluntary, self-directed, and lifelong learning opportunities. ISE programs stimulate a wide range of experiences for children and adults, including development of radio and television series, large-format films, exhibits, Web-based projects, youth programs, and a variety of educational materials and programs. In FY 2003, ISE focuses on developing national, regional, and community infrastructures to promote public science literacy; informing the public about scientific research and its benefits to society; and reaching underserved audiences, especially in smaller communities. ISE funding decreases to $55.0 million in FY 2003, a reduction of $920,000 below the FY 2002 level. The broad reach of ISE is demonstrated by such projects as:

  • Meet the Microbe, a four-part TV series developed by the American Association for Microbiology, that has been viewed by 1.6 million households weekly;

  • Math and Parent Partnerships of the Southwest that provides district and university leadership for involving English- and Spanish-speaking parents in their children's mathematics studies;

  • Infinite Mind, a series hosted by renowned scientist Dr. Frederick Goodwin, that is broadcast in 150 public radio markets; and

  • The Innovation exhibit at the Tech Museum of Innovation (San Jose, California) that has engaged 800,000 visitors in 66 interactive experiences and an array of education programs in its first year.
  Last Modified: Sep 17, 2004


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National Science Foundation Summary of FY 2003 Budget Request to Congress NSF Logo