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Teachers As Science Champions - The Legacy of 15 Years of NSF Investment in Science Education Improvement


Barbara Heenan, Jenifer V. Helms, Inverness Research Inc.


Inverness Research has conducted a "legacy study" focusing on a series of investments in science education in the San Francisco South Bay Area that extended for over 15 years. Roughly nine school districts enjoyed a steady stream of support for science education improvement that began with funding from the Hewlett-Packard Foundation for the K-6 Hands-On Science Program in the early 1990s; launched a more comprehensive endeavor with Bay Area Schools for Excellence in Education (BASEE), a NSF Local Systemic Change (LSC) grant in 1997; extended into the Partnership for Student Success in Science (PS3), a NSF Math Science Partnership (MSP) grant funded from 2003-2008; and finally ended with the Noyce Master Teacher Program (NMTP), a NSF Noyce grant funded from 2008-2013.

The broad goal of the study was to assess, understand and portray the lasting benefits of an unusually long-term, sustained funding effort in science education. A retrospective study is a rare opportunity to explore the residuals, or enduring benefits, of grants made in science improvement.

This report describes the enduring assets that still remain chiefly in the form of human capital or teacher leadership, and makes recommendations to funders about how to invest most profitably in long-term science education improvement.

Intended Audience

Science Educators, Science Improvement Leaders, School and District Administrators, Funders, and general public.


Any and all errors are claimed by the authors of this document, Inverness Research, Inc.

Date published

March 2014

Distribution Policy

Inverness Research Inc. grants permission to print and distribute copies.

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