Our Research
The Team
UMB Chemistry Department

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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.


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!


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