Toxics Action Center
Toxics Action Center

History and Purpose of SfA

Statistics for Action (SfA) is a partnership between environmental organizations and TERC, a not-for-profit organization in Cambridge, MA, with a mission to provide quality teaching and learning in math and science.

From 2008 to 2013, TERC staff worked together with the SfA partners, evaluators, and advisors to develop and pilot materials to enable environmental organizers and the community members they serve to confidently engage with the math and science concepts that come up in environmental advocacy work.

The central purpose of all SfA materials is to encourage organizers and community members to use a set of Smart Moves that help adults approach any kind of learning challenge. Over the course of the project, SfA has developed a set of activities to help environmentally-impacted communities to

  • understand the basic concepts and terms involved in environemntal advocacy
  • analyze data and claims critically to find the story behind the data
  • assess risks to their own or their community’s health
  • communicate clearly about data to decision-makers and the wider community

SfA has also developed guides for communities to understand their role in processes like soil quality testing, water quality testing, hazardous waste remediation, and reading state cancer profiles.

SfA has produced a series of videos that illustrate a range of topics. Short videos give a quick overview of a common environmental concept; longer videos explore a community story to show the way different concepts link together.

Finally, the project has produced this website, providing different audiences a way to navigate SfA materials. The website also provides links to useful resources with environmental data and regulations, and sample data from partner group communities.

External evaluation for Statistics for Action has been conducted by Arbor Consulting Partners. The evaluation is a mixed-methods study capturing the impact of project materials and training on environmental organizers and others. The final report will discuss findings on the challenges and successes to integrating and institutionalizing SfA’s approaches within partner organizations.

Statistics for Action is made possible by funding from the National Science Foundation (grant DRL-0812954). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Many thanks to Rini Templeton’s estate for keeping her art alive by offering use of her illustrations at riniart.org
Comics were generated at MakeBeliefsComix.com. Permission granted by author and site creator Bill Zimmerman.