Our Research
The Team
Alumni
Publications
UMB Chemistry Department


Have questions? Email us! seviangroupumb(at)gmail.com

We gratefully acknowledge current funding sources:

* NSF award DRL-1621228 (Supporting Chemistry Teachers to Assess and Foster Chemical Thinking)


* NSF award DUE-1348722 (Abstraction thresholds in undergraduate STEM curricula)

* UMass Boston Office of Global Programs seed grant (Conceptual Profile Theory for Chemistry Concepts)

And we are also grateful for recent past funding sources:

* NSF award DRL-1222624 (Chemical design learning progression)

* AAAS Women's International Research Collaborations at Minority-Serving Institutions grant (Cultural and contextual influences in learning to think as a chemist)

* UMass Boston Civic Engagement Scholars Initiative (CESI) grant (Your brain on civically-engaged chemistry)

* International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) grant (Design for International Standards for Chemistry Education)

* NSF award EHR-0412390 (Boston Science Partnership)
  
    Research in our lab is concerned with studying how students develop chemical thinking and reasoning over many years of training in chemistry (middle school, high school, undergraduate, and graduate school), how problem-solving in chemistry is similar to and different from problem-solving in other disciplines, how a focus on green chemistry influences students' learning of chemistry, how scientists can learn from teachers to communicate science more effectively, and policies and practices needed to ensure chemical literacy. The unifying feature of our work is that it is directed at improving equity and creating capacity for students, particularly in urban public education, to have access to learning chemistry.

Chemical Thinking framework, which characterizes the practice of chemistry in terms of core questions that chemistry permits answering (blue), activities of chemical scientists and students of chemistry (orange), and progress variables (PVs) along which learning of chemistry can be measured and mapped. Adapted from Sevian & Talanquer (2014) DOI: 10.1039/C3RP00111C.

NEWS

November 2017: Congratulations to Steve Couture on being awarded the prestigious CIBA Award by the Green Chemistry Institute of the American Chemical Society. Steve will present at the national ACS conference in New Orleans about the development, implementation and evaluation of a greener electrochemistry lab for general chemistry (based on his mentorship of Nayer Abd El Meseh in his undergraduate capstone project) and also present his master's thesis research on epistemic games in chemistry. Congratulations also to Steve on the acceptance of his proposed workshop at NSTA 2018 on epistemic games in chemistry, which he'll present at prime time to an audience of up to 200 teachers!

October 2017: Congratulations to Klaudja Caushi on winning a Grants-in-Aid travel grant from the Northeastern Section of the ACS (NESACS) to attend and present at the national ACS conference in New Orleans in March 2018!

September 2017: Alumni news: Congratulations to Gaby Szteinberg on winning the Outstanding Staff Award from the College of Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. We're all so proud of you, Gaby!

August 2017: Dr. Sevian has been promoted to full professor! Here she is presenting about the ACCT project research at the ESERA conference in Dublin.


July 2017: Congratulations to Josibel García Valles on landing a job at Fenway Health!

May 2017: Many joyous news items this month:
  • Congratulations to Klaudja Caushi on receiving a UMass Boston Beacon Student Success Undergraduate Fellowship to support her internship doing research in our lab this summer!
  • We wish the very best to Courtney Ngai, who will begin a postdoc at Colorado State University this summer.
  • Congratulations to Becca Lewis on the birth of Jonah, who nearly arrived during the Science Fair in Boston, but Becca drove herself to the hospital in time to deliver him.
  • Congratulations to Josibel García Valles on earning Honors in Biochemistry for her thesis on pupillometry to study cognitive load while solving chemistry problems!
  • Congratulations to Nayer Abd El Meseh on graduating and completing his Senior Capstone in Environmental Science with his project on a novel Green Chemistry laboratory experiment on electrochemistry and batteries, in collaboration with Steve Couture!
  • Congratulations to Felix Nampanya on graduating with a BS in biochemistry and landing his first job, at Dana Farber Cancer Institute!
  • Congratulations to Vesal Dini on the publication of his first paper from his PhD dissertation at Tufts, published in Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res., titled "Case study of a successful learner's epistemological framings of quantum mechanics"!
  • And congratulations to Raúl Orduña Picón and Jessica Karch on being accepted to present posters at the Gordon Research Conference on Chemistry Education Research and Practice in June!

April 2017: Our Chemical Thinking Learning Progression research and development team has been invited to participate in the ACS's inaugural ChemEd X conference on May 22-24 on "Chemistry Instruction for the Next Generation". You can view our presentation and sign up to participate at:
https://conference.chemedx.org/conference/chemistry-instruction-next-generation/session/collaborative-professional-development

April 2017: The RSC journal, Education in Chemistry, has highlighted Melissa's and Hannah's new CERP paper on organic reaction mechanism problem solving in its latest issue here! The "Teaching Tips" section is especially excellent. The highlight is also posted on the journal's Twitter and Facebook sites.

April 2017: Jessica Karch's first talk at ACS was excellent! She presented about epochs observed using eye tracking during chemistry problem solving.
Jessica Karch ACS 2-Apr-2017

March 2017: Courtney Ngai successfully defended her dissertation on March 15. Congratulations Dr. Ngai!

March 2017: Melissa Weinrich will begin as a tenure-track assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Northern Colorado in August 2017. Congratulations Melissa!

March 2017: Our ACCT Team led an all-day workshop at the BPS Science Teacher Leader retreat on March 10 on noticing students' thinking and analyzing ways that teachers act on what they notice in videos of classroom discourse, and then we participated in district preK-12 science curriculum alignment work on March 11.
ACCT Team
Back row: Rob Huie, Greg Banks, Scott Balicki, Jake Foster (Advisory Board member), Pam Pelletier, Raúl Orduña Picón
Front row: Hannah Sevian, Holly Rosa, Michael Clinchot, Jen Lambertz

March 2017: Congratulations to the whole ACCT Team on our article on Better Formative Assessment in The Science Teacher. The journal chose our article to feature in a video (https://youtu.be/9d8QpoV6U-c) and on their Facebook page (www.nsta.org/TST/Facebook).

February 2017: Congratulations to Jessica Karch on passing her literature seminar!

January 2017: Our NSF-funded Assessing for Change in Chemical Thinking project is featured on the UMass Boston News. More information on the project is available at www.acctproject.org.

November 2016: Congratulations to Prajakt Pande on his new paper published in Studies in Science Education, called "Representational competence: towards a distributed and embodied cognition account"!

September 2016: Courtney gave an outstanding presentation at EuCheMS in Seville, Spain, on "How students classify and differentiate substances, revealing chemical identity thinking". The week before that, she also gave a well-received talk at ECRICE in Barcelona on "Characterizing the link between chemical identity thinking and biochemistry contexts". Congratulations, Courtney!


August 2016: Congratulations to Josibel García Valles on her successful oral presentation on "Application of Pupillometry in Chemistry Education Research" in the Research in Chemistry Education symposium at the ACS conference in Philadelphia!
Josibel at ACS Philadelphia 2016


July 2016: The Sevian Research Group welcomed Ira Caspari as a visiting scientist. Her advisor, Dr. Nicole Graulich, joined us as well for one of our group meetings.

Back row, L to R: Kevin, Steve, Nicole
Front row, L to R: Raúl, Ira, Melissa, Courtney, Hannah


June 2016: Dr. Sevian and Raúl traveled to Brazil to work with a collaborator, Eduardo Mortimer. In the picture below, they are in the mountains overlooking the city of Belo Horizonte!

L to R: Dr. Hannah Sevian, Dr. Eduardo Mortimer, Raúl Orduna Picón
February 2016: Congratulations to Courtney Ngai on being selected as a delegate for the Northeastern section of the American Chemical Society to participate in the European Association for Chemical And Molecular Sciences Chemistry Congress, to be held in Seville, Spain, in September 2016.

February 2016: Congratulations to Steve Couture on passing his literature seminar!

January 2016: Welcome to our newest graduate student, Raúl Orduna Picón!

L to R: Steve Couture, Dr. Hannah Sevian, Courtney Ngai, Dr. Melissa Weinrich, Raúl Orduna Picón
 
September 2015: Our new graduate student, Steven Couture, has joined the Sevian research group!

May 2015: Congratulations to Dr. Sevian's most recent graduate, Dr. Steven Cullipher! See the Photos page for pictures from the day of the hooding ceremony.

Spring/Summer 2015: Dr. Sevian will be chairing the 2015 Gordon Research Conference on Chemistry Education Research and Practice. More info...

Spring 2014: Check out a video on YouTube about freshman chemistry majors teaching 8th graders in Boston about chemistry through the medium of learning model based theater productions!


WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS

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