Family and Community

Family and communities that are committed to excellence are indispensable for the success of science, mathematics, and technology education reform and for achieving science literacy for everyone. Parents recognize that a high-quality science education can provide their children with skills that are useful for life, and this section presents resources to help them in their role of preparing their children for life.

International studies show that the United States continues to lag behind other countries in students' knowledge of science and math on virtually every measure available. The result is that many students are not being prepared for a world that is shaped by science and technology. And for our society to remain competitive in an advanced technological era, a good science education is critical, regardless of what a child's eventual course of study will be.


The good news is that for most children, science continues to be a source of fascination, and parents can play an active role in tapping into that curiosity and contributing to their success. Project 2061 has put together resources to help parents and families ensure that all children receive the good science education they deserve.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) founded Project 2061 in 1985 to help all Americans become literate in science, mathematics, and technology. With its 1989 landmark publication Science for All Americans, Project 2061 set out recommendations for what all students should know and be able to do in science, mathematics, and technology by the time they graduate from high school. Benchmarks for Science Literacy, published in 1993, translated the science literacy goals in Science for All Americans into learning goals or benchmarks for grades K-12. Many of today's state and national standards documents have drawn their content from Benchmarks.

More recently, AAAS has launched a public awareness initiative on science education and a special science news website for kids. The Partnership for Science Literacy, funded by the National Science Foundation, is a national effort aimed at empowering families to improve their children's science education, while the Science News Page for Kids provides fun and informative articles for children from the renowned scientific journal.

The resources in this section can help you understand more about the critical issues surrounding science education and what you, as parents, can do to help.

Key Initiatives

Partnership for Science Literacy


Family Guide to Science
Click here to order your free copy of this guide which provides useful information and hints on science activities for parents and families everywhere. In addition to the national version, there are five community-specific editions of the guides to help you find out about science resources - including science centers and museums, nature centers and botanical gardens, zoos, aquariums, local parks, science organizations, schools, and more - in Austin, Chicago, Lehigh Valley, Los Angeles, and Tampa.

The Partnership for Science Literacy - Science is Everywhere!
Your children need a great science education and you can do a lot to help make that happen. The first place to start is with this website, where you'll find a world of information, activities, and ideas that are just like science - exciting, useful, and offering something for the whole family!

Science News Page for Kids
Check this site regularly for new news features on science issues that your children will understand and enjoy! This site, launched in June 2003, is presented by AAAS and Science and is hosted on EurekAlert!, the AAAS science news Web site. Educational Research Topics
This special site from the Education and Human Resources Directorate of AAAS includes links to information about educational research topics of interest to parents and caregivers.

AAAS Education and Human Resources: Children, Family and Communities page
This special site from the Education and Human Resources Directorate of AAAS presents information on the research and educational programs for students at the K-12 and college levels.


Is Your Child's Science Education What It Should Be?
Ten Questions to Ask Your Local School
Scientists and educators with Project 2061, a long-term reform initiative to improve science, mathematics, and technology education, worry that today’s students aren’t being prepared well enough to live in tomorrow’s science-oriented world. That is why Project 2061 has created a set of ten questions parents can ask their local schools to help them determine whether their child is gaining the knowledge and skills they will need as adults in the 21st century.

You don't Have To Be A Rocket Scientist To Think Like One
We don't necessarily need more rocket scientists. But we do need leaders and citizens who can think like scientists and schools that can produce them. Scientific thinking skills can be used to improve the chances of success in virtually any endeavor, from building a bridge or performing heart surgery to managing a business or designing a school curriculum.

Elsewhere on the Web

TryScience is your gateway to experience the excitement of contemporary science and technology through on and offline interactivity with science and technology centers worldwide. TryScience is brought to you through a partnership between IBM Corporation, the New York Hall of Science (NYHOS), the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), and science centers worldwide