Science education is a highly dynamic field of applied and basic research and of research-based development. The Committee on STEM Education (CoSTEM) , comprised of 13 agencies—including all of the mission-science agencies and the Department of Education—are facilitating a cohesive national strategy, with new and repurposed funds, to increase the impact of federal investments in five areas: 1.) improving STEM instruction in preschool through 12th grade; 2.) increasing and sustaining public and youth engagement with STEM; 3.) improving the STEM experience for undergraduate students; 4.) better serving groups historically underrepresented in STEM fields; and 5.) designing graduate education for tomorrow’s STEM workforce.

The number of high school students who take Advanced Placement (AP) exams in mathematics and science continues to rise. Stewart, J., Cartier, J.L., and Passmore, C.M. (2005). Developing understanding through model-based inquiry. In National Research Council, Committee on How People Learn, M.S. Donovan and J.D. Bransford (Eds.), How students learn: Science in the classroom (pp. 515-565). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

In the early 1890s Harvard University required completion of a high school course in physics for admission. This spurred the beginning of the science curriculum in American schools. Ten years later Harvard added chemistry to its requirements for admission. Many other colleges and universities followed suit. High school science classes became gatekeeper courses for college admission-a situation that turned out to be a continuing problem for science in schools and for the preparation of science teachers.

The International Journal of Research in Education and Science (IJRES) is a peer-reviewed and online free journal. The IJRES is published twice a year in January and July. The manuscripts which are accepted for publication in the IJRES before January are published in the winter manuscripts which are accepted for publication in the IJRES before July are published in the summer issue.

The strands of scientific proficiency lay out broad learning goals for students. They address the knowledge and reasoning skills that students must eventually acquire to be considered fully proficient in science. They are also a means to that end: they are practices that students need to participate in and become fluent with in order to develop proficiency.