NSF Education and Human Resources Advisory Committee Meets

June 2018

The National Science Foundation’s Education and Human Resources (EHR) Advisory Committee met in Washington, D.C., on May 31 and April 1. The role of the Advisory Committee (AC) is to provide advice, guidance, recommendations, and oversight concerning NSF’s programs for education and human resource development—including effective and efficient strategies for assessing the condition of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in the U.S., evaluating program results, achieving overall program balance, and long-term strategic planning.

AERA is consistently well represented in EHR AC membership. Current AERA members on the Advisory Committee include Hyman Bass (University of Michigan), Sian Beilock (Barnard College), Elizabeth S. Boylan (Alfred P. Sloan Foundation), Margaret Honey (New York Hall of Science), Okhee Lee (New York University), Roy Pea (Stanford University), and James Spillane (Northwestern University).

Morning presentations on May 31 included The Future of Undergraduate Education (AAA&S, 2017); Envisioning the Data Science Discipline: The Undergraduate Perspective: Interim Report (NASEM, 2018); and Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century (NASEM, 2018).

A panel discussion followed, on Accelerating Convergence, a new NSF model to move academic fundamental research to industry-applied competitive research. The new model intends to support application-driven basic research and leverage external partnerships to focus on outcomes.

For example, when looking at the NSF Big Idea “Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier,” tracks will include Smart Manufacturing Environment, The Instrumented Classroom, and Cybersecurity at Scale. For the next round of Big Ideas, NSF will be soliciting entries from the public for the NSF 2026 Idea Machine.

Later in the meeting the group broke into three subcommittees to discuss public-private partnerships, broadening participation, and the future of STEM education. Advancing public-private partnerships is an agency-wide goal, but one key challenge facing efforts to broaden participation is the small pool of applicants.

NSF Director France Cordova thanked Jim Lewis for his excellent leadership of EHR. Lewis will be leaving NSF to return to Nebraska. NSF has started the search for a new director of EHR.

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