For more than fifty years, TERC has been introducing millions of students throughout the United States to the exciting and rewarding worlds of math and science learning. Led by a group of experienced, forward-thinking math and science professionals, TERC is an independent, research-based organization dedicated to engaging and inspiring all students through stimulating curricula and programs designed to develop the knowledge and skills they need to ask questions, solve problems, and expand their opportunities.
TERC’s mission is to improve mathematics and science education. TERC works at the frontiers of theory and practice to contribute to a deeper understanding of learning and teaching; enhance instruction through teacher professional development; develop applications of new technologies to education; create curricula and other products; and support reform in both school and informal settings.
TERC imagines a future in which learners from diverse communities engage in creative, rigorous, and reflective inquiry as an integral part of their lives—a future where teachers and students alike are members of vibrant communities where questioning, problem solving, and experimentation are commonplace. This vision is grounded in the belief that science and math literacies are critical to strengthening and preserving a democratic society.
In 1965, Arthur Nelson and a small group of co-founders established the Technical Education Research Centers. During its early years, TERC focused on various aspects of technical and occupational education, primarily at the postsecondary level. In the early 1970s, TERC successfully initiated a series of projects that marked a transition from postsecondary technical education to K-12 science. Today we are known as TERC. This change embraces the development of our education initiatives through the years and the learners we serve, including those in K-12 classrooms, museums, afterschool programs, community colleges, adult education centers, universities, and other research institutions.
Currently, TERC’s staff of 93—including nationally recognized leaders in educational research and curriculum development—are actively engaged in over 63 projects and 63% of staff have advanced degrees in science, mathematics, engineering, education, psychology, and technology. In 2017, TERC had $12.8M million in operating revenue. Each year, TERC’s products and services reach more than 3.5 million students throughout the United States.
TERC’s research and development projects are housed within three centers—the Center for School Reform, the Center for Science Teaching and Learning, the STEM Education Evaluation Center—and the Education Research Collaborative division.
The ERC Postdoctoral Fellowship in Education Program has been formally active since 2005, with nine Fellows overall and it has become an important path in TERC’s commitment to create a socially just STEM educational system for underserved communities.