It's a competitive world in which science, technology, mathematics and engineering impact our economy, health, societal well-being and policy. Scientists, engineers and educators provide the ideas and knowledge base for U.S. leadership in science and engineering. Learning how people learn, while also supporting the very best ideas and students are also essential goals in today's changing world.

The sound of science

James Madison University hosts a summer program that pairs deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals with hearing individuals in a research setting

Chapter III: Soledad Fuica at ALMA Observatory

This video is based on a gathering between students and scientists organized last year by AUI/NRAO, SOCHIAS and Inspiring Girls, with the enthusiastic participation of scientists from the ALMA and ESO Observatories and three universities in Chile

Peoples Choice: Primarily Math

Primarily Math is a professional development program for primary-grade teachers (K-3) in Nebraska, designed to educate and strengthen teachers in their teaching and development of mathematics

A Best-Kept Secret: STEM Research at Tribal Colleges and Universities

The National Science Foundation's Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP) presents a documentary showcasing examples of original research being conducted by students and faculty at tribal colleges and universities, as well as insights into the students' academic success and aspirations, and what STEM research means to them

A new kind of thinking cap

A team led by Worcester Polytechnic Institute, with a $1-million grant from the National Science Foundation, is working to develop a system to help researchers better understand brain activity in an online tutoring environment that supports mathematics learning

Maine tends growing STEM collaborative

The Maine Center for Research in STEM Education, or RiSE Center, at the University of Maine connects with educators statewide, at all levels, to advance innovative and engaging hands-on teaching and learning

Why does group categorization matter?

Why does group categorization matter? Kristina Olson, associate professor of psychology at University of Washington and 2018 Alan T. Waterman Award recipient, answers the question on this edition of "Ask a Scientist."

NSF Science Now: Episode 60

This week's episode examines an engineering breakthrough in Type 1 diabetes that could help dogs and humans alike; targeted reading programs that rewire the brains reading circuitry; and finally, explores hidden ice history discovered beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

How babies retain information

It's no secret that reading to children is essential for their optimal brain development, but a National Science Foundation-funded research team, led by Lisa Scott at the University of Florida, has discovered that reading books that name and label people and objects are even better

STUDIO: Build Our World

STUDIO is an afterschool program for low income and immigrant youth that offers programming to build interest, motivation and identification with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and to learn more about STEM college and career pathways

Fighting brain drain with a game

One of the two brain-training methods most scientists use in research is significantly better in improving memory and attention, Johns Hopkins University researchers found

Cognitive and neural benefits of teaching spatial thinking

This behavioral and neuroimaging study investigates the effects of spatial education embedded in a science class on the core spatial abilities and science, technology, engineering and mathematics-relevant spatial thinking of high school students

What is convergence?

Through its Growing Convergent Research at NSF, one of the foundation's "10 Big Idea for Future NSF investments," the foundation seeks to highlight the value of convergence, the deep integration of multiple disciplines in order to advance scientific discovery and innovation

Mobile city science: counter-mapping the neighborhood

This project is studying how two groups of urban youth collect data about and map their communities using mobile and location-aware technologies, and how these data support educators to better understand the places in which students live

NSF Science Now: Episode 52

In this week's episode, we discover why freshwater lakes are becoming saltier and the role temperature plays in the spread of mosquito-borne diseases, explore a new device for combatting Parkinson's disease, and finally, learn how to excite girls about STEM

Confessions of a marine biologist

Mike Gil, a postdoctoral scholar at University of California-Davis, will be one of 20 international fellows who will give talks at TEDGlobal in Arusha, Tanzania, in August

Farming the sea

Maine's Sustainable Ecological Aquaculture Network (SEANET) helps support University of Maine research and educational outreach related to the farming of aquatic organisms

Making dreams come true

Northern Illinois University (NIU) engineering and technology student Oluseun Taiwo spent the summer printing prosthetics on a 3-D printer at NIU to help Sarah Valentiner, an eighth-grader born with one hand, have more range of motion while she plays the violin.

Got a high schooler on winter break? Need a STEM project to keep ‘em busy? GenNano competition to the rescue!

The National Science Foundation and the National Nanotechnology Initiative's second annual "Generation Nano: Small Science, Superheroes" competition is underway! The competition challenges high school students to create a superhero that uses nanotechnology--science and technology on the scale of a nanometer, or one billionth of a meter--to solve crimes and meet today's challenges. And those high schoolers have got a ton of time during winter break, right?

Big ideas for future NSF investments

Six research "big ideas" that will drive important aspects of the National Science Foundation's long-term research agenda, push forward the frontiers of US science and engineering research, and lead to new discoveries and innovations.

Women in STEM: Caroline -- software engineer

The project seeks to enhance the teaching and coaching practices of CTE-STEM educators, guidance counselors and role models with gender equitable and culturally responsive strategies; research the impacts of strategies and role model experiences on girls' interest in STEM careers and evaluate the effectiveness of the training in these strategies.

Citizen science research, improving student motivation

In partnership with Bowling Green State University, Perkins Local Schools and Sandusky City Schools, the iEvolve with STEM project seeks to increase student motivation and engagement through the integration of Citizen Science Research into classroom instruction across the curriculum.

Every kid can engineer

Engineering is Elementary is a project-based curriculum for grades 1-5 that is expressly designed to be accessible for all learners.

Meet a geophysicist

Postdoctoral Research Fellow from Arizona State University, Harmony Colella, talks about how experiencing an earthquake as a child in Southern California inspired her to become a geophysicist.

Meet a geophysicist: Kathy Davenport

As a graduate student in geophysics, Kathy talks about her involvement with the Idaho - Oregon Research Project (IDOR) and explains why she likes her work. Kathy was part of a team from Virginia Tech supervised by John Hole, one of the IDOR Principal Investigators.

Meet a geophysicist: Jenny Nakai

Jenny Nakai talks about her interest in engineering and science as a means to be useful and solve problems and the importance of education in the Navajo culture in general.

The Great California ShakeOut day

Geophysicists discuss earthquakes and the San Andreas Fault system at the San Bernadino County Museum, Redlands, California. Emergency reactions to a violent earthquake are displayed.

Finding nirvana in pure math

"I'm still that nerdy, geeky kid that I was in school living inside my own imagination, but I'm coming out of my shell," says Kaavya Valiveti, 21, winner of UC Berkeley's coveted University Medal, which recognizes outstanding scholarship, public service and strength of character.

NSF CAREER Award aids research on STEM teaching

A University of Nebraska-Lincoln researcher is helping faculty become better instructors with the goal of improving students' education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, collectively known as STEM.

Pingpong balls break the sound barrier

Mechanical engineering and technology students at Purdue University built a supersonic, air-powered cannon that shoots pingpong balls at speeds so fast they break the sound barrier.

Beyond the classroom and into the future

This video visually explains the Stark State College project's approach to broadening science, technology, engineering and math participation. Through addressing the root causes of the problem, a perpetual solution has been created that will impact the entire community.

STEM-demic outbreak

Stark State College Chemistry Club students mentor Hoover High School Chemistry Club Students during Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) outreach events at Canton City after-school care program for kids in K-5.

Life on the (urban) farm

In episode 27, Jordan and Charlie discuss a new mammilian fossils find in New Mexico, Using molecular analysis to clarify dinosaur colors and the Urban Hydrofarmers Project.

Broadening student's participation in STEM

This video addresses the problem of broadening participation in science, technology, engineering and math by proposing to develop a role-playing video game. Researchers believe their solution holds the potential to address the issue within an ideal age range and over a culturally diverse populace.

Nerd stuff

In episode 25, Charlie and Jordan examine a rare nautiluses (not seen in 30 years), how to fold a shell and enrolling more girls in computer science classes.

The math of shark skin

The rough surface of shark skin helps sharks move faster through the water. Mathematicians have developed an equation for how this roughness translates into less viscosity for a swimming shark.

Researcher shines light on origin of bioluminescence

A scientist has discovered that bioluminescence may not have originated as a means to ward off predators, but instead evolved as a way to survive in harsh climates--at least in one millipede. The finding, based on the discovery of a millipede that hadn't been seen in 50 years, shows that even the seemingly most complex and intricate of traits can be traced in evolution as small steps leading to a complex feature we see today.

The island rule

In episode 18, Jordan and Charlie chat about the island rule, how spiral galaxies get their shape and the small brains in social wasps.

Mysteries of the brain: thinking brain

Through neural connections, called synapses, the brain can process and store enormous amounts of information. Neuroscientist Gary Lynch at the University of California-Irvine explains how this incredibly complex communication process allows animals to learn and remember.

Mysteries of the brain: brain-computer interface

Neuroengineer Rajesh Rao of the University of Washington is developing brain-computer interfaces or devices that can monitor and extract brain activity to enable a machine or computer to accomplish tasks, from playing video games to controlling a prosthetic arm.

Mysteries of the brain: perceiving brain

Sabine Kastner, a professor of neuroscience and psychology at Princeton University, is studying how the brain weeds out important information from everyday scenes. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, Kastner is able to peek inside the brain and see what areas are active when a person sees a face, place or object.

Mysteries of the brain: Building a brain

Carlos Aizenman, a neuroscientist at Brown University, is studying the brains of tadpoles to understand how neural circuits develop and absorb information from the surrounding environment.

Mysteries of the brain: brain states and consciousness

Neurobiologist Orie Shafer at the University of Michigan is trying to understand how the brain's cells communicate in order to control sleep patterns. To help solve this mystery, Shafer is teaming up with mathematician Victoria Booth to study a tiny and unlikely specimen: the fruit fly.

Mysteries of the brain: emotional brain

For years, researchers have struggled to understand how emotions are formed and processed by the brain. Now, neuroscientist Kevin LaBar and his graduate students at Duke University are using a virtual reality room to study how the brain reacts to both negative and positive emotions.

Mysteries of the brain: evolving brain

Using amazing new technologies, evolutionary neuroscientist Melina Hale and her graduate students at the University of Chicago are discovering that the basic movements in one tiny fish can teach us big ideas about how the brain's circuitry works.

Mysteries of the brain

For centuries, scientists and engineers have studied the brain and yet, how it works largely remains a mystery. Understanding the brain means knowing the fundamental principles underlying brain structure and function. Explore the mysteries of the brain with investigators who span the spectrum of scientific and engineering disciplines. "Mysteries of the Brain" is produced by NBC Learn in partnership with the National Science Foundation. For more information, please visit:

Leaky graphene

In Episode 12, Charlie and Jordan chat about 3-D bioprinting, plugging up leaky graphene and a new approach to learning for the pre-k crowd called Connect4Learning.

Gigabit-networked microscopy used to create a cross-country learning environment

The University of Southern California is partnering with a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) high school in Chattanooga, Tenn., and using gigabit networks to send high-definition 4K images of microorganisms directly into a biology class. This gives students live access to researchers and microscopic images, observations and knowledge, while also enabling them to manipulate the microscope from 1,800 miles away.

How computers compute

Even though we think of computers as super high-tech machines with tiny parts, they can also be huge, wooden, and mechanical. It's what they have in common that makes them computers: switches!

Barobo robots teach children algebra

At the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, Barobo, Inc. showed the National Science Foundation their robot that helps teach children algebra in a completely new way. By taking algebra off the page and into the physical world, Barobo aims to inspire a new generation of mathematicians.

Could you love math?

Jere Confrey is an NSF-funded researcher at the College of Education at NC State University. Her work in mathematics education provides a valuable perspective on the challenges and opportunities around having a positive relationship with math. She is one of the #WomenInSTEM we are highlighting for Women's History Month.

The sweet science of chocolate

Everybody loves chocolate, but did you know that small daily doses of dark chocolate improve vascular function, reduce pregnancy complications, and lighten gloomy moods? But while it's easy to appreciate, creating this confection is an elaborate feat. Local chocolate-makers explain the precision engineering and chemistry behind the beloved treat.

A glass conducter

A light bulb has the glass carefully removed, leaving the glass base and filament intact. The bulb is connected to AC electricity, and the filament quickly and dramatically burns out. This leaves the two wires that originally supported the filament separated by the glass in the base. Take a propane torch and heat the glass base (the bulb remnants are still connected to the electricity), a point is reached where the heated glass is no longer isolating the two wires from each other, but has become a conductor of electricity. As the electricity flows, the heat generated lights up the glass, the propane torch can be removed, and the glass continues to glow very brightly.

Reflecting in the bath

An internally frosted, large light bulb is dipped into a fish tank of water, and the total internal reflection effect produces 'other-worldly' consequences to how the bulb looks in the water. The bulb goes from white to a silvery orb. Turning the bulb on, produces a similar, but more alluring effect.

Math with a twist

Professor Aaron Lauda offers an introduction to knot theory, the study of mathematical knots.

Slick and slender snake beats short and stubby lizard in sand swimming

Using X-ray equipment that allowed them to watch the animals move through a bed of dry sand, Georgia Tech researchers have studied how the shovel-nosed snake and sandfish lizard use their unique body plans to swim through sand. Information provided by the research could help explain how evolutionary pressures have affected body shape in sand-dwelling animals.

Catching up on sleep science

Be honest: Do you ever brag about how little sleep you get? If so, you're not alone. Humans are the only species that seems to deliberately deprive themselves of sleep. But if you've ever uttered a phrase like, "I'll sleep when I'm dead," scientists say it's time for a wake-up call.

Catching up on sleep science

It's time to wake up to the importance of sleep. Groundbreaking 2013 research shows that our brain cells shrink while we sleep, allowing a cleansing fluid to rinse away toxic proteins that lead to Alzheimer's. Sleep also "backs up" important memories into the brain's cortex for long-term storage. Learn about how sleep changes as we age, and why getting enough sleep is so critical for health.

Bolstering our food banks

The number of people going hungry in North Carolina has soared to more than one in six. Among children, the number is one in four. It often falls to the state's nonprofit food banks to provide relief from that food insecurity.

Origins of bird species

In a landmark study that researched the origins of bird species, evolutionary biologists have made discoveries about the age of birds, and the genomic relationships among modern birds.

NSF Science Now: Episode 29

In this week's episode we discover a new genetic toolkit for achieving increased plant production, explore what our brain is doing when we read, discover ways of making a more reliable prosthesis, and, finally, we learn how researchers are working to better forecast the size of future earthquakes and tsunamis. Check it out!

Why Science? Extension and education

Martha Monroe, a professor and extension specialist at the University of Florida, talks about her career in environmental education and learning about and providing tools for educators to successfully engage and teach students.

The IBM selectric typewriter

Slow motion video shows how the mechanical digital-to-analogue converter of IBM's revolutionary "golf ball" typewriter works

Summer Systematics Institute

The Summer Systematics Institute addresses critical issues such as, world-wide threats to biodiversity, the origins and diversification of life, phylogenetic systematics and evolutionary biology, which have become critical components of undergraduate education.

Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day

What makes a superhero a superhero? Learn about how some real-life superheroes at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering are using their special powers to save people and make their lives better everyday.

The fish detective!

Kate talks to Cara Simonsen, a marine biologist, about stalking fish in the name of science

Change the world: Science and engineering careers fair

For two days in September, Congressman Frank Wolf and the National Science Foundation (NSF) hosted a fair at the Dulles Town Center in Virginia that inspired young people to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

NSF Science Now: Episode 15

This week's episode of Science Now highlights the University of Minnesota's mind controlling robot that could potentially help people who are paralyzed or have neurodegenerative diseases, PolarTREC's FishSpy camera capturing life beneath the frigid waters surrounding Antarctica, a shake table test on the world's largest shake table and finally the discovery of the earliest European fort found in the foothills of North Carolina.

Understanding The Role Of Public Trust In Managing Natural Resources

The Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln teaches fellows about real-world policy applications in the natural resources arena and enable the transfer of knowledge in a way that is useful to policymakers in responding to the challenges created by demands for diminishing resources, and the need to maintain and build resilience in stressed watersheds.

How Science Works

Is science a step-by-step process? Actually, it kind of works like a pinball machine. Check it out!

NSF Joins In Commemorating Computer Science Education Week 2012

December 9th is the birthday of computing pioneer, Grace Hopper. In commemoration, her birthday every year marks Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) intended to spotlight the transformative role of computing and the need to bolster computer science at all educational levels.

Boosting STEM Education In Elementary Schools

Supported by a five-year, $7.4 million National Science Foundation grant, experts at The Johns Hopkins University are partnering with teachers and administrators in Baltimore City Public Schools on a program to enhance teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering, and math in city elementary schools by making STEM a community affair.

Ancient Inventions

Students move out of the classroom and into the lab to turn ancient inventions they have been studying about into real-life working mechanisms.

Scientific Superheroes

The University of South Florida's own Scientific Superheroes have unleashed a video series that takes learning to a whole new level.

Time On A Microscale

New exhibit at the Museum of Science and Technology in Syracuse, N.Y. (MOST) explores time on a microscale


Project CRYSTAL, made possible by a grant from the NSF, is a unique outreach program that allows middle school students to conduct biochemistry research at UW-Madison.

Spaced Out

Graduate students in astronomy get hands on training at the University of Arkansas Center for Planetary Studies

Dreams Come True

NSF grant gives students across the country a chance to apply research skills at the University of Alabama Birmingham

The ERC Song

Commemorating 25 years of the NSF Engineering Research Centers program

Energy's Future

Explore the world of alternative energy research through the lives of three promising young scientists and one high school student.