Science for All Americans is available from Oxford University Press.
This resource can also be read online.
The online version of this resource is also available in Spanish.
To download the Japanese translation, click here.
Project 2061 began its work in 1985—the year Halley's Comet passed near Earth. Children who were just starting school then will see the return of the Comet. What scientific and technological changes will they also see in their lifetime? How can today's education prepare them to make sense of how the world works; to think critically and independently; and to lead interesting, responsible, and productive lives in a culture increasingly shaped by science and technology?
With expert panels of scientists, mathematicians, and technologists, Project 2061 set out to identify what was most important for the next generation to know and be able to do in science, mathematics, and technology—what would make them science literate. The panels' recommendations were integrated into Project 2061's 1989 publication, Science for All Americans. Science for All Americans defines science literacy and lays out some principles for effective learning and teaching. In coherent prose, it articulates and connects fundamental ideas in science without technical vocabulary and dense detail.
The Cornerstone of ReformScience for All Americans presents a clear vision of science literacy that a variety of audiences can use for many purposes. It is widely recognized as the first step toward ambitious national standards in science for all students and a major influence on current efforts to reform science education in the U.S., including the National Research Council's A Framework for K-12 Science Education (2012) and the Next Generation Science Standards released by Achieve in 2013. Translated into Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese, Science for All Americans has also had an impact abroad.
Accessible to educators, parents, school administrators, and policymakers alike, Science for All Americans provides a sense of where the K-12 curriculum should be aiming and why. However it is used, Science for All Americans presents a unified vision of science literacy that serves as a basis for discussions of the skills and knowledge that our nation's students should have.
What Is Science Literacy? Project 2061 defines science literacy broadly, emphasizing the connections among ideas in the natural and social sciences, mathematics, and technology. Science for All Americans includes specific recommendations for learning in the following areas:
Science for All Americans also includes chapters on effective learning and teaching, reforming education, and essential steps toward reform.