Science Literacy

Promoting science literacy is a big part of what STAN is about. What is science literacy? Here are a few different viewpoints:

“Scientific literacy is an evolving combination of science-related attitudes, skills and knowledge students need to develop inquiry, problem-solving, and decision-making abilities, to become lifelong learners, and to maintain a sense of wonder about the world around them.”

— Pan-Canadian Protocol for Collaboration on School Curriculum,

Council of Ministers of Education, Canada

"Scientific literacy means that a person can ask, find, or determine answers to questions derived from curiosity about everyday experiences. Scientific literacy entails being able to read with understanding articles about science in the popular press and to engage in social conversation about the validity of the conclusions. Scientific literacy implies that a person can identify scientific issues underlying national and local decisions and express positions that are scientifically and technologically informed. A literate citizen should be able [...] to pose and evaluate arguments based on evidence and to apply conclusions from such arguments appropriately."

— U.S. National Research Council

“Science literacy encompasses knowledge of basic scientific concepts and processes. It includes important skills such as problem-solving. It enables us to understand the link between Science, technology, innovation, the economy, the environment and our society.”

— Let’s Talk Science


"An individual’s scientific knowledge and use of that knowledge to identify questions, to acquire new knowledge, to explain scientific phenomena, and to draw evidence-based conclusions about science-related issues, understanding of the characteristic features of science as a form of human knowledge and enquiry, awareness of how science and technology shape our material, intellectual, and cultural environments, and willingness to engage in science-related issues, and with the ideas of science, as a reflective citizen."

— The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment

“Technological literacy is the ability to use, manage, assess, and understand technology. A technologically literate person understands, in increasingly sophisticated ways that evolve over time, what technology is, how it is created, and how it shapes society, and in turn is shaped by society. A technologically literate person will be comfortable with and objective about technology, neither scared of to nor infatuated with it.”

— Standards for Technological Literacy

"A scientifically literate person is one who is aware that science, mathematics, and technology are interdependent human enterprises with strengths and limitations; understands key concepts and principles of science; is familiar with the natural world and recognizes both its diversity and unity; and uses scientific knowledge and scientific ways of thinking for individual and social purposes."

— American Association for the Advancement of Science,

Science for All Americans