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A Message from the Director of the National Science Foundation


On a September afternoon 25 years ago, The Magic School Bus was broadcast for the first time, introducing a new audience of children to Ms. Frizzle and her students’ adventures. For so many, characters like Ms. Frizzle, Mr. Wizard, and Bill Nye the Science Guy were the first guides to exploring the world around us through science. NSF is proud of our long history of support and funding for these and other science education programs. So as students head “to the bus!” and back to school, we are excited to introduce a new generation to After School Science: Brought To You By NSF.

Fostering curiosity and science literacy has always been part of NSF’s mission to promote scientific progress. For decades, NSF has supported children’s programming and other avenues for informal learning, such as museums, film, radio, websites, and citizen science projects. We know that the average American spends only about 5% of their lifetime in a classroom. We also know from educational research funded by NSF that relatable characters and engaging stories can spark a lifelong interest in science beyond the classroom. Along with Ms. Frizzle’s advice to “take chances, make mistakes, and get messy,” these programs put children on a path to be STEM-enabled citizens who will be critical to enhancing our economy and supporting our nationís global leadership in the coming decades.

I hope our After School Science: Brought To You By NSF campaign will bring back happy memories of your own scientific exploration as children, and also inspire the next generation of lifelong science learners.


Dr. France A. Córdova
Director, National Science Foundation
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What's Next

On September 24, Dr. France A. Córdova will participate in a panel discussion regarding a report recently published by the National Academies Committee on Reproducibility and Replicability at a National Academies Symposium in Washington, DC.

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