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National Science Digital Library

Research Focus & Anticipated Benefits


Education & Outreach


The National STEM Distributed Learning (NSDL) program is a national network dedicated to advancing STEM  teaching and learning for all learners in both formal and informal settings. NSDL receives the majority of its funding through the generous support of the National Science Foundation.

NSDL advances STEM teaching and learning by providing:

  • High quality, interactive resources that help our nation's educators bring cutting-edge, real-world science into their classrooms and stimulate excitement for science in today's digital learners
  • Web-based applications that help teachers and learners to optimize their experiences with digital content
  • Professional learning opportunities for college faculty, K12 teachers, and other science educators
  • Software tools and services to help school districts, museums, educational non-profits and other digital learning enterprises to organize, manage, and disseminate digital educational content
  • Research-based findings and best practices on teaching and learning with digital content
  • Partnerships with STEM stakeholder groups, organizations, and coalitions that promote the dissemination of STEM educational technology use and digital content.


  • The NSDL Resource Center (RC) provides partnership building, community support and communications services, outreach and professional development services, and needs and trends analysis supporting best practices development for projects. The NSDL RC is a program hosted at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), in Boulder, Colorado
  • NSDL Technical Network Services (TNS) provides software tools and services to help the NSDL and broader education community to organize, manage, and disseminate digital educational content to advance STEM teaching and learning.The NSDL TNS is a partnership between the Digital Learning Science (DLS) program at UCAR, the University of Colorado, and Cornell University

NSDL Community Network

The NSDL community network includes several hundred STEM research and education organizations, providing openly available digital resource collections, services, partnering opportunities, distinct audiences, and connections with multiple communities of faculty and teacher practice, and student users.

NSDL Pathways are stewards of content and services for specific communities of users. They are education-level or discipline-specific views of NSDL, built by trusted organizations to provide resources, tools, services, and professional development to meet a range of audience needs. NSDL’s Pathways projects alone represent dozens of universities, professional societies, educational foundations, several educational and research organizations, science centers, and two public television stations.

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