Media Advisory

National Science Board will meet virtually December 8 - 9, 2021

Agenda items include current NSF-funded cool science, a panel on the uneven geography of K-12 STEM education, and broadening the participation of the Missing Millions in STEM

NSB December 2021 Meeting Panelists from left to right: Pam Buffington, Brandy Huderson, Eric Jolly, Michael Guarraia

Panelists from left to right: Pam Buffington, Brandy Huderson, Eric Jolly, Michael Guarraia (Credit and Larger Version)

December 2, 2021


The National Science Board (NSB) will meet virtually December 8 - 9, 2021 to address science and engineering policy issues relevant to the National Science Foundation (NSF). The Sunshine Act notice and the meeting agenda provide details. NSB committees are convening prior to the Board meeting and their respective agendas are available on NSB’s meetings page.

Public meeting highlights are below and will be livestreamed via YouTube and recorded for later viewing on NSB’s YouTube channel. Links for each meeting day are below. 


WEDNESDAY, December 8:

The meeting kicks off at 12:45 PM EST with remarks from NSB Chair Ellen Ochoa followed by NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan, who will give a presentation that will include examples of current NSF-funded science and prospective outcomes.

1:50 – 3:05 PM EST                 Panel: The Uneven Geography of K-12 STEM Education

NSB member Roger Beachy will host a panel discussion on key factors in K-12 STEM education in rural and urban areas and where these communities overlap in strengths and weaknesses. The panel will also address the role of informal STEM education and partnerships in supplementing classroom instruction and will provide insights from a seasoned K-12 STEM teacher. A Q&A will follow the presentations. The panel is part of a series to raise awareness of challenges in STEM and inform progress toward NSB’s Vision 2030.


Pam Buffington, Director of Rural STEM Initiatives (US Division), Education Development Center.  She is a national expert in rural and mathematics education.  Dr. Buffington is focused on guiding policymakers, education leaders, and teachers in improving K-12 student outcomes and highlighting the value of rural communities to the S&E enterprise.

Brandy Huderson, Assistant Professor of Biology, University of the District of Columbia. Dr. Huderson has focused on urban STEM education within DC and across the nation and is co-author of “Urban STEM Education: A Vehicle for Broadening Participation in STEM.”

Eric Jolly, President and Chief Executive Officer of Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation. He chaired the 2015 National Academies of Sciences report “Identifying and Supporting Productive STEM Programs in Out-of-School Settings.” 

Michael Guarraia, Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow, NASA.  He has served in public and private schools in Baltimore County as a STEM educator, in both classroom and out-of-classroom educational models.


THURSDAY, December 9:

11:00 – 11:30 AM EST            Broadening Participation of the Missing Millions in STEM

Chair Jose Fuentes and Vice Chair Kaye Husbands Fealing , Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE), will give an overview of CEOSE’s recent biennial report to Congress and recommendation to promote bold leadership to broaden participation of the Missing Millions in STEM. Discussion will include how NSB can support and advance CEOSE’s recommendations for NSF.


About the National Science Board

The NSB identifies issues critical to NSF’s future, establishes its policies, and serves as co-head of agency with the NSF Director. The Board also advises the President and Congress on policy matters related to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and STEM education. Selected for their distinguished service and accomplishments in academia, government, and the private sector, the Board’s 24 presidentially appointed members are leaders in STEM research and education.


Media Contact: Nadine Lymn, National Science Board, (703) 292-2490,


The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2022 budget of $8.8 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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