About the National Center for Technological Literacy®

Led by Museum of Science, Boston president and director Ioannis Miaoulis, the Museum created the National Center for Technological Literacy® (NCTL®) in 2004 to advance STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) knowledge for all. One of the world's largest science centers, drawing 1.4 million visitors a year, the Museum is the first science museum in the United States with a strategy and infrastructure to introduce engineering into schools and museums nationwide. The strategy involves advocacy, reform of standards and assessments, creation of K-12 curricula and museum programming, teacher professional development (PD), and enhancing public perceptions of engineering. NCTL K-12 engineering curricula have reached an estimated 122,400 teachers and 10.5 million students nationwide.

NCTL formal and informal initiatives include the following

Engineering is Elementary® (EiE®)

The nation's largest elementary engineering curriculum, EiE has reached an estimated 115,600 teachers and 10.2 million students in all 50 states. Its award-winning 20-unit curriculum integrates engineering and technology with science, language arts, social studies, and math via storybooks and hands-on design activities. EiE is used statewide in Delaware, in Iowa through its STEM Scale-up Program, in Alabama via AMSTI, and districtwide in Baltimore; Washington, DC; and Minneapolis. EiE has also reached schools on U.S. military bases in Europe and the Pacific, and in 11 other countries. EiE was the model for a European-Commission-funded effort introducing engineering to schools in Europe and Israel. The Museum is also investing $425,000 to create a PreK-K engineering curriculum for ages 3 to 5, based on EiE.

Building Math

A middle school course, created with Tufts University, has reached over 6,800 teachers and almost 340,000 students in 47 states and won the Association of Educational Publishers' 2008 Distinguished Curriculum Award. Building Math uses algebraic thinking and data analysis to solve engineering problems in real-world settings.

Engineering Now!®

The Museum is creating Engineering Now for middle school students. Addressing the Next Generation Science Standards*, its eight units involve real-world engineering related to the life, physical and Earth sciences.

Engineering the Future®

The Museum's high school Engineering the Future® textbook has reached 1,000 teachers and 30,000 high school students in 38 states. Using a textbook by engineers from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds, students create products that solve problems involving thermal, fluid and electrical power systems; communications; manufacturing; and construction.

Professional Development

The NCTL supports K-12 educators with onsite and online professional development and is building a network of teacher-educators, using a train-the-trainer model. EiE has reached 18,400 elementary teachers with learner-driven PD workshops. Major corporations including Raytheon and Oracle partner with the Museum to make EiE PD more available at high-needs schools, supporting nearly 500 teacher PD scholarships. This year, the Museum invested its own funds in a $200,000 PD scholarship initiative for rural schools and teachers of English learners.

The Gateway Project

Endorsed by the Massachusetts STEM Advisory Council as an @Scale model, the Gateway Project helps school districts develop strategic plans to implement PreK-12 technology and engineering programs, while introducing educators to resources supporting standards-based curricula and assessments. Email: gateway@mos.org

Educational Standards

Led by Miaoulis, Massachusetts was first in the nation in 2001 to adopt a statewide K-12 curriculum framework and assessments for technology/engineering. In part because of NCTL efforts, the NAEP Technology and Engineering Literacy Assessment included engineering design and systems thinking, the Next Generation Science Standards included engineering design skills and practices, and several states (New Hampshire, Minnesota, Ohio, Florida, Oregon, and Washington) have revised their standards to include engineering.

Advocacy

We advocate for K-12 and out-of-school-time engineering education. Our goal is to engage all learners, especially those underrepresented in STEM and computer science fields. We work with Congress to advance legislation supporting K-12 engineering, computer science, and informal science education. Miaoulis has testified before Congress several times. With federal and state agencies and non-governmental organizations, we also work to increase funding for STEM programs, teacher professional development, engineering standards, and assessments. Those interested can contact Patti Curtis (curtisp@mos.org).

Design Challenges

Museum educators have engaged 850,000 young visitors—53% are female—in Design Challenges, a program conceived by Miaoulis, involving the engineering design cycle. Email: designchallenges@mos.org

Engineering Adventures and Engineering Everywhere

The NCTL is creating EiE-based out-of-school-time (OST) elementary and middle school curricula, Engineering Adventures and Engineering Everywhere, respectively. Programs are free to download, enabling children to design model earthquake-resistant buildings, rockets, and safety helmets in OST environments.

Gordon Current Science and Technology Center

Museum educators interpret the latest science and technology news, often featuring the scientists and inventors involved.

Forums

These deliberative events have engaged adults from diverse viewpoints in dialogues with scientists, policymakers, and each other on scientific and technological issues. Participants gather information, analyze consequences, and weigh how values affect choices.

The Science Behind Pixar

This 12,000-foot exhibition, developed in collaboration with Pixar Animation Studios, is touring nationally after having transformed the complexities of computer science into compelling experiences for 321,800 Museum of Science visitors and producing its best summer attendance in 17 years. Email: educationenterprises@mos.org

Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination

The Museum has promoted engineering to more than 3 million people in museums nationally and in Australia with the Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination exhibition, created with Lucasfilm Ltd.

National Informal STEM Network

The Museum led a $41 million National-Science-Foundation-funded Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network of science museums, reaching an estimated 30 million people; it has become a model for the National Informal STEM Network, a national community of informal educators and scientists dedicated to fostering public awareness, engagement, and understanding of STEM.

​*"Next Generation Science Standards" is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards was involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.