Instructional laser videodiscs promise to serve up physics with pizazz in high schools across the country
Ephraim L. Rubin, physicist, businessman, and classical clarinetist, has seen the grim statistics on the level of scientific literacy among the current generation of high school students.

"It's terrifying and mind-boggling how bad it is," he says, citing studies like the one done in 1988 by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement in which 12th-graders from the United States ranked 11th among students from 13 countries on advanced placement tests for physics, biology, and chemistry. "And these were our best students."

But Rubin, a 60-year-old former university professor who now heads Optimal Analysis Co., a Hoboken, N.J.-based firm that does scientific consulting work for government and industry, isn't just wringing his hands about the failures of U.S. science education. In 1987 he created Training America For Tomorrow (TAFT), a nonprofit corporation...

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