Strong science and mathematics education can help our nation and individual citizens improve and maintain their economic productivity.

  • Who developed the Standards?

    Committees and working groups of scientists, teachers, and other educators appointed by the National Research Council developed the Standards. They engaged in a four-year process that involved review and critique by 22 science education and scientific organizations and broad state and local participation of over 18,000 individuals, including scientists, science educators, teachers, school administrators, and parents. The national consensus that resulted from this process gives the Standards a special credibility. Educators throughout the country who use them to inform changes in science education programs can be assured that the Standards represent the highest quality thinking this country can provide its citizens.

    The vision of the Standards:

    All students, regardless of age, gender, cultural or ethnic background, disabilities, aspirations, or interest and motivation in science, should have the opportunity to attain high levels of scientific literacy.

    Guiding Principles behind the Standards


      Science is for all students.


      Learning science is an active process.


      School science reflects traditions of contemporary science.


      Improving science is part of systemwide educational reform.

    How do students learn science?

    The Standards are based on the premise that learning science is something that students do, not something that is done to them. The Standards envision an active learning process in which students describe objects and events, ask questions, formulate explanations, test those explanations, and communicate their ideas to others. In this way, students build strong knowledge of science content, apply that knowledge to new problems, learn how to communicate clearly, and build critical and logical thinking skills.

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