Principal Investigator: Mary Jane Schmitt and Martha Merson

Funders: National Science Foundation


TERC partnered with environmental action groups in twelve states to advance the quantitative literacy skills needed to understand and solve pressing environmental problems. Statistics for Action (SfA) builds on TERC's research in adult numeracy and helps situate significant math learning in meaningful, accessible contexts: namely, the community centers, public institutions, and homes where concerned citizens gather to examine local environmental and public health data.

SfA researchers developed video and print materials and a set of training modules for environmental organizers that cover topics including surveying, sampling, quantifying hazards (through numbers, ratios, percentages) interpreting test results and presenting data relevant to issues of air, soil, and water quality. These materials empower organizers and the citizens they serve to understand and effectively communicate the data behind local environmental and public health issues to neighbors, elected officials, and community decision-makers.

Partners for this project included the Toxics Action Center, the Pesticide Watch Education Fund, the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, the New England Literacy Resource Center, the Boston University Superfund Research Program based at the BU School of Public Health, Operation Green Leaves, and the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization.