Skip to main content

About Project 2061

Project 2061 is a long-term initiative of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to help all Americans become literate in science, mathematics, and technology. To achieve that goal, Project 2061 conducts research and develops tools and services that educators, researchers, and policymakers can use to make critical and lasting improvements in the nation’s education system. 


Michael J. Anderson - Financial Analyst

George E. DeBoer, Ph.D. - Deputy Director                                                                    

Peter Hanselmann - Web Applications Developer

The Project’s areas of expertise include:

Science Learning Goals and Curriculum.Through its two-volume Atlas of Science Literacy as well as Benchmarks for Science Literacy and Science for All Americans, Project 2061 provides a coherent set of K-12 learning goals that serve as a foundation for state and national science education frameworks and standards, including the Next Generation Science Standards. With funding from the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, NASA, and NOAA, Project 2061 develops innovative and engaging curriculum materials that support students' achievement of these science learning goals and tools for evaluating the alignment of curriculum and instruction to standards and the quality of support provided for teachers and students.

Assessment. Project 2061 produces assessment items and instruments that are effective and accurate measures of students’ understanding of science learning goals and can be used to diagnose students' conceptual difficulties. With support from the National Science Foundation, Project 2061 has developed an online bank of high-quality test items and related assessment resources for use in middle and early high school science (http//, and a grant from the U.S. Department of Education is funding the development of NGSS-aligned, scenario-based assessment tasks for evaluating students' understanding of energy concepts from elementary through high school. Assessments developed by Project 2061 are rigorously screened for alignment to national standards and are suitable for use with a diverse range of students, including English language learners. Project 2061 participates in national assessment efforts and consults on a wide range of assessment research and development initiatives.

Teacher Development. Improving student achievement in science and mathematics requires well-prepared teachers who have a solid grounding in the content they teach, and an understanding of how diverse students can be helped to learn. Project 2061’s publications are widely used in teacher education courses, and its research studies shed light on how textbooks, teaching practices, and professional development can best be coordinated to improve student learning. Project 2061 has offered professional development workshops and online webinars to introduce educators to important areas of its work and support them in understanding and applying science learning goals in curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

Support for the work of Project 2061 has been generously provided by:

National Science Foundation

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

U.S. Department of Education

The following institutions have provided generous support for Project 2061:

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Noyce Foundation

Carnegie Corporation of New York

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Pew Charitable Trusts

To make a donation to Project 2061, please visit the AAAS Giving page. 

To find out about opportunities to become a Visiting Scholar at AAAS, please go to the Visiting Scholar page for information on the program and how to apply.