What is National Science Foundation?
From the NSF Website:
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950, with the mission to "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…”. The National Science Foundation is the funding source for almost 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities, as well as in the major fields such as computer science, mathematics and computer science.
The goals of National Science Foundation: discovery, learning, research infrastructure and stewardship, provide an integrated strategy to advance the frontiers of knowledge, cultivate a world-class, broadly inclusive science and engineering workforce and expand the scientific literacy of all citizens, build the nation's research capability through investments in advanced instrumentation and facilities, and support excellence in science and engineering research and education through a capable and responsive organization.
One of the essential elements in NSF's mission is support for science and engineering education, from pre-K through graduate school and beyond. The research funded is thoroughly integrated with education to help ensure that there will always be plenty of skilled people available to work in new and emerging scientific, engineering and technological fields, and plenty of capable teachers to educate the next generation.