Expanding science literacy is crucial to the United States economy, and of enormous strategic importance if we are to compete globally. And yet the last time the United States had a consensus on the strategic importance of science education, Sputnik had just been launched.
The little Soviet Sputnik was beeping overhead at the peak of the Cold War and there was a billion dollar commitment to enriching science education at every level. But now the Cold War is over and the strategic importance of science is more related to how much science has happened in the past four decades.
Now the National Science Teachers Association and the National Research Council are issuing revolutionary new science guidelines.
David Evans is the executive director of the National Science Teachers Association. Mary Colson is an earth science teacher at the Horizon School in Moorehead, Minnesota.