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Published in Print: February 23, 2000, as Coalition To Mount Campaign For Science Literacy

Coalition To Mount Campaign For Science Literacy

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Leading professional and education groups announced a campaign last week to improve American students' scientific literacy.

The coalition of education groups, research organizations, government agencies, and corporations will air public-awareness television ads, enlist cultural institutions to emphasize scientific principles in the month of October, and hold a one-day meeting in November to garner support for improved science learning.

"In essence, the purpose is to attract the youth of America to science," Ann Korando, the director of development and public relations for Science Service, said at a press conference held here to announce the coalition's agenda.

Science Service, a Washington-based nonprofit organization that runs national and international science competitions, assembled the coalition, which includes the National School Boards Association, the National Science Teachers Association, and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. The coalition also includes the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, the Intel Corp., the Lockheed Martin Corp., and the Nasdaq Stock Market.

The coalition—known as Summit on Science—will kick off its campaign this summer by recruiting support from political leaders attending the summer meeting of the National Governors' Association.

In October, more than 500 aquariums, zoos, museums, and other cultural institutions are expected to tie science literacy into their programs for the month.

'Rich Source'

"This nation is an incredibly rich source of science and technology," Bruce M. Alberts, the president of the National Academy of Sciences, a member of the coalition, said in an interview at the press conference. "Too much of it is behind closed doors."

On Nov. 20, the coalition will hold a town-hall-style meeting at the Nasdaq's media center in New York City, with satellite links to schools around the country.

Ms. Korando said the goal of the meeting would be to sound "a national call to action" to improve science skills and to help communities set their own agendas for furthering that cause.

The Summit on Science organization will conclude its work this year with a campaign encouraging parents to give their children toys during the holiday season that will help foster scientific knowledge.

Vol. 19, Issue 24, Page 8

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