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Fact Sheet

Creating a World-Class Science and Engineering Workforce

February 14, 2011

For America to continue to lead the world in science and technology innovation, we must have the most knowledgeable and skilled science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workers in the world. To that end, the National Science Foundation will continue to support the integration of research and education across all disciplines and educational levels. Additionally, investments to broaden the participation of underrepresented groups in the STEM disciplines will increase.

New strategic investments will address the quantity and quality of our nation's STEM teachers as well as the process by which our nation's undergraduate students, including non-STEM majors, learn and are taught general science and mathematics coursework. These investments will help spur the President's goal of 100,000 new teachers over the next 10 years in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. FY 2012 priorities include:

The Widening Implementation and Demonstration of Evidence-based Reforms (WIDER) program will support research, education, and demonstration projects designed to promote the widespread adoption of improved undergraduate instructional practices. WIDER will target the teaching of all undergraduate STEM courses and the teaching practices of all faculty in the STEM departments at the funded institutions.

The Teacher Learning for the Future (TLF) program aims to improve the training of pre-service, in-service, and future generations of teachers as they adapt to new teaching challenges that blur traditional teaching methods and out-of-school learning. This investment will strengthen the skills of 250,000 current teachers as well as the number of additional teachers qualified to teach mathematics and science in our public school systems.

The Transforming Broadening Participation through STEM (TBPS) portfolio will expand the agency's efforts to broaden participation from underrepresented groups. The program will forge partnerships among scientific research centers and entities with institutions committed to broadening participation, including Hispanic-serving institutions. The creative engagement of diverse ideas and perspectives is essential to enabling the transformative research that invigorates our nation's science and engineering enterprise.


Media Contacts
Bobbie Mixon, NSF, (703) 292-8070,

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) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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