Earlier this week, The Washington Examiner covered some pretty poor results from the Nation's Report Card: By the eighth grade, for instance, 40 percent of Maryland students and 30 percent of Virginia's were scoring "below basic" on the federal science standards.

Virginia emerged as a relative winner against the nationwide average of 38 percent falling "below basic," while Maryland didn't do as well. The story catches up with the heads of the science curricula from Fairfax and Alexandria (and has a "no comment" from Montgomery).

We also chatted with Duane Arbogast, chief academic officer of Prince George's public schools, who told us about all the new science initiatives PG is championing:

The state is actually working on a STEM [science, technology, engineering, math] curriculum being released in the summer. In the meantime, we're working on it — getting grants to doing training for middle school teachers around the inquiry approach. We're establishing a summer camp with a grant though Bowie State for middle school students  This is a grant through The National Commission on Teaching and America's Future. We got hooked up with them, and NASA scientists are working with our earth and space teachers, and we actually embed them in the classroom. The A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland approached us about offering an engineering course — which actually combines math and science -- and if the kids do well in the course, they'll get three credits at the U.Md. school of engineering. We haven’t put it in place yet, because we're figuring out how to do tuition. We're getting grant money from another group that's very interested in promoting science education, so we're in conversations with them about summer camp for STEM.

Sounds promising for next year's results.