Partnership for Science Literacy

Partnership for Science Literacy

In 2003, AAAS launched the Partnership for Science Literacy, an initiative to increase public awareness—particularly among parents, families, and caregivers of Latino/Hispanic, African American, and other minority and underserved students—of the value and importance of science literacy for their children’s future. This initiative provides information and resources to help them find out more about science and also about the kind of science education that will help all children learn.

The Partnership, a joint project of AAAS (through its Project 2061 and Education and Human Resources directorates) and, was launched with funding from the National Science Foundation. The initiative is built around four key messages:

  • Science education is for every child.
  • Science is around you in your life every day.
  • Parents and families can make a huge difference in their children’s science education.
  • Science is a lot of fun!

With its theme of “Science. It’s Everywhere,” the Partnership reaches out to parents through a Web site, a free Family Guide to Science, and public service announcements, all available in English and Spanish.

The Partnership’s Web site at includes:

  • Brief articles on topics like "Why Science Matters," "Science in Schools," and "Be Involved"
  • Questions parents can ask their schools
  • Information on national and local science and mathematics education standards
  • Fun hands-on science activities
  • Tips on how to make the most of a visit to a science center or museum
  • Resources for teachers
  • Links to education-related organizations, government agencies, and science museums around the world
  • Recommended science books for kids

While the Partnership is national in scope, it is also anchored in local communities: Austin, TX; Chicago, IL; Lehigh Valley, PA; Los Angeles, CA; and Tampa, FL. These partners host science events for the public and distribute local versions of the Family Guide to Science that include detailed listings of resources in their communities. Additional communities have joined the Partnership, providing online versions of the Family Guide to Science unique to their neighborhoods—check the Web site for information on science resources in and around Akron, OH; Albuquerque, NM; Alexandria, VA; Ann Arbor, MI; Atlanta, GA; Birmingham, AL; Boston, MA; Dayton, OH; Detroit, MI; Fort Wayne, IN; Houston, TX; Jacksonville, FL; Louisville, KY; Milwaukee; WI; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, OR; Sacramento, CA; St. Louis, MO; Seatlle, WA; Springfield, MO; and Triad Region, NC. Note: all guides are PDF files.

Connecting Learning and Fun

In 2005, the Partnership built on its previous outreach efforts with new brochures that show how activities at local science centers, parks, zoos, and museums relate to the learning goals that states expect children to achieve. The five key partner sites distributed the brochures at their spring 2005 family science events and continue to use them in educational programming for families.

View the Research Presentation
The Partnership for Science Literacy began its work by researching, via focus groups and telephone surveys, parents' perceptions of science education. Survey data highlights are available in a Fall 2001 presentation (PDF, 368 KB) by the research firm, Global Strategy Group, Inc.