While American students do better in science than they do in math on international comparisons, over time, science scores have not improved, while math scores have risen, and other countries have caught up. In a 2007 test of eighth graders, the U.S. students placed just tenth, behind countries like Japan, England and Russia. That worries experts because of how it can impact everything from the U.S. supply of engineers and researchers to the ability of everyday people to make decisions on things like vaccinations or conserving energy.

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The evolution of teaching evolution

By Jennifer Oldham

Ask any high school biology instructor: Teaching kids about evolution is a science. Students’ reactions to the theory of how life evolved on earth are as diverse as the species on this planet. Teens tense up and become confrontational, their religious beliefs cause them to reject lessons about natural selection and adaptation outright, or they […]

How can we reform science education?

By Samantha Stainburn

Ask a scientist in their mid 50s or older where they were in 1961 when President John F. Kennedy spoke to Congress about the urgency of sending a man to the moon, and chances are they’ll remember. After the Soviet Union launched Sputnik I, the first artificial satellite, into space in 1957, competing against the […]

Why are other countries doing better in science than the U.S.?

By Sarah Butrymowicz

Students in the United States generally start to learn about the human eye in elementary school. Students in many other countries, though, don’t discuss the eye until eighth grade. At first glance, this difference would seem to indicate that our eight- and nine-year-olds are receiving an advanced science education compared to their peers elsewhere in […]

The future of U.S. science education

By Sarah Garland

The state of science education in the United States may seem grim, but some in the field are optimistic that science may actually be poised to enter a new golden age. A recent report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology argued that “despite troubling signs,” the country also has some strengths […]

Timeline: Important dates in U.S. science education history

By Hechinger Report

    1956 The College Board introduces college-level science courses for advanced high-school students: AP Chemistry, AP Biology, AP Physics B/C (which become AP Physics B and AP Physics C in 1969). 1957 The Soviet Union launches the first satellite, Sputnik I, into orbit. 1958 In response, Congress passes the National Defense Education Act, which […]

What makes a good science teacher?

By Susan Sawyers

What are the essential ingredients of good science teaching? Janice Crowley, chair of the science department at Wichita Collegiate School in Kansas, faced that question last year when she had to choose between two candidates for a vacancy in earth science. One held a Ph.D. in the discipline, while the other had a strong passion […]

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A School Far From No. 1, but a Leader in Science

When the semifinalists were announced this month for the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search, two high schools had more — eight each — than any other in the country.

“Efforts to Improve Evolution Teaching Bearing Fruit” (Education Week)

When a federal court in 2005 rejected an attempt by the Dover, Pa., school board to introduce intelligent design as an alternative to evolution to explain the development of life on Earth, it sparked a renaissance in involvement among scientists [...]

“48th Is Not a Good Place” (New York Times)

The National Academies, the country’s leading advisory group on science and technology, warned in 2005 that unless the United States improved the quality of math and science education, at all levels, it would continue to lose economic ground [...]

“Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction” (New York Times)

On the eve of a pivotal academic year in Vishal Singh’s life, he faces a stark choice on his bedroom desk: book or computer?

“Message to students: Effort pays off in math and science” (CT Mirror)

Even in the checkout lane at the supermarket, Richard C. Cole can’t ignore his mission to change a mindset that causes too many young people to give up on math and science.

“Nature’s Little Scientists” (Newsweek)

On the 150th anniversary of On the Origin of Species, an argument for teaching evolution to younger children.

“Required essays in a physics class” (Washington Post)

In my search for signs of serious writing instruction in America high schools, I have stumbled across a rare creature: a physics teacher in Fairfax County who makes everyone in his honors classes enter a national science essay contest.

“Science has an image problem” (CNN)

As science teachers try to educate the next generation of scientists in the United States, they worry about everything from a shortage of supplies for classroom experiments to their subject’s nerdy image.

“Science Teacher Wins ‘Genius Grant’ From MacArthur” (Education Week)

Amir Abo-Shaeer, who teaches high school science and engineering in California, has been named one of this year’s 23 MacArthur Fellows by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

“U.S. Rises to International Average in Science” (Education Week)

American students’ science performance climbed to the average for leading industrialized nations, while their mathematics performance remained below the average, despite gains in that subject from the last round of testing in 2006 [...]