Because public education is an enterprise in which almost everyone at one time or another participates, it is also a focal point of discussion, argument, and controversy. More often than not, the claim is made that the schools are failing; school success does not seem to be equally newsworthy. Recently, the popular media as well as the professional community have focused on minimal competence in basic skill areas (Glass, 1978; Hill, 1980). The common assertion is that Johnny and Sarah, and perhaps their teacher, are no longer learning to read, write, and compute at the most basic levels. With this new (or renewed) focus on the basic skills, there is some reason to believe that the presumably nonbasic domains may be overlooked. Thus, a recent survey of science education in the United States (Stake & Easley, 1978) suggests that teachers all too readily turn toward the security of teaching the basics and away from what may be a kind of uncertainty, the creative teaching of science. Whether or not that is indeed happening, there is justifiable concern regarding the level of science achievement exhibited by students in the public schools. Not only is there a concern with overall levels of science achievement, there is also a special concern that, in spite of recent efforts to encourage females and minorities, science remains the virtually exclusive province of the white male.