As a research and education institution, the Museum is endeavoring to inform policy initiatives at every level: city, state and federal. Policy directives influence and inform our programs, from a New York City curriculum policy requiring that all students conduct long-term science investigations, to a national goal of educating 100,000 new science teachers over the next decade.
Based on specific policy and school STEM needs, the Museum's Urban Advantage middle school science-education program is being replicated by cities in other states. AMNH participated in the New York State Regents Work Group that studied urban teacher preparation and recommended the inclusion of cultural institutions. The Museum represented informal science institutions in the National Science Board's STEM Commission for 21st Century, has participated in NSF discussions of funding priorities, and testified before Congress about the role of museums and other informal learning institutions as catalysts for STEM education reform and cross-sector partnerships.
AMNH policy papers/ initiatives include:
Speaking before the House Committee on Science and Technology in 2010, Museum President Ellen V. Futter testified about the importance of science-related cultural institutions in K-12 STEM education.
At this two-day summit held at the Museum in , national leaders in discussed the urgent need to improve science education in the United States, and how to bring about it.
National Science Board: A National Action Plan for Addressing the Critical Needs of the STEM Education System
The Museum represented informal science institutions in a 2007 commission to develop a road map for measurable improvements in the country's 21st century STEM education system.
The Museum participated in this 2010 report produced by CAISE that to inventoried and commented on policies that affect the impact of informal science education.
This report from CAISE explores relationships between formal and informal settings in science education.