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Fact Sheet

Math and Science Partnership

February 4, 2002

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.


NSF's Role

The Math and Science Partnership (MSP) program is a national effort to unite the activities of higher education, school systems and other partners in support of preK-12 students and teachers. Envisioned as a five-year effort, the program is part of President Bush's No Child Left Behind initiative to strengthen and reform education.


MSP seeks to serve all students by supporting partnerships that will:

  • enhance the capacity of schools to provide challenging curricula and encourage more students to succeed in advanced mathematics and science;
  • increase the number, quality and diversity of mathematics and science teachers, especially in underserved areas;
  • engage the nation in large-scale reform by establishing a network of researchers and teachers to share, study and evaluate educational reform to include improving teacher preparation and professional development;
  • draw upon lessons from other NSF programs, such as Centers for Learning and Teaching and Science of Learning Centers.

Budget Details

NSF's five-year effort includes an estimated investment of $1 billion in mathematics and science education. The fiscal 2002 appropriation is $160 million, to support comprehensive and targeted awards as well as research and evaluation. NSF's 2003 budget request includes $200 million for the second year of the program.

Program Types

The MSP will support two types of partnerships in 2002 which will vary on the range and scale of activities. Comprehensive awards will be funded for a five-year period and be worth up to $7 million annually. Targeted awards will be directed at specific issues in preK-12 science or mathematics education and will range from $100,000 to $1.5 million for each year up to five years.

Partnership Characteristics

The partnerships will be results-oriented, accountable collaborations well-grounded in sound educational practices that are expected to achieve the following:

  • students will be taught in mathematics and science classes with high learning expectations aligned to local and state standards;
  • partnerships will address issues of the mathematics and science teacher workforce by recruiting qualified people to become teachers, preparing them for teaching and providing continued professional development;
  • partnerships will further cultural change within institutions to support ongoing commitments among the partners to support its goals;
  • data will be collected on all aspects of partnership work and shared to promote the development of national capacity to introduce and sustain science and mathematics education reform.

Program Characteristics

Higher education will play a critical role in preK-12 education reform. Experts in science, mathematics, engineering and technology disciplines will be involved in preparing the next generation of teachers as well as supporting those already in the classroom. This will be done through:

  • research that will deepen understanding of the nature of learning, linking this knowledge to pressing educational and workforce needs;
  • partnerships that will be linked to each other and to research communities;
  • partnerships that will support sustainable change;
  • partnerships that will examine the conditions surrounding learning with special attention to the assumptions, expectations and social practices that influence schools.



For more information, see

See also: NSF Press Release: Math and Science Partnership Connects Schools and Higher Education to Boost Learning, January 24, 2002 (

Media Contacts
William Harms, NSF, (703) 292-8070, email:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2018, its budget is $7.8 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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