COSMIC (Center of Science and Mathematics in Context)

at the University of Massachusetts Boston


Recent Highlights:

January 7, 2014

Science Made Fun

Arthur Eisenkraft, Professor of Physics and Director, COSMIC, recently lectured in Bangalore, India about the importance of integrating art and literature when teaching science through a lecture titled, “Engaging Students in Science with Art, Physics and Literature,” as part of the Azim Premji University Public Lecture series.

For an article on the lecture in the Hindi Times, go here.


Dr. Susan R Singer presenting at the Science Education Colloquium:

Promising Practices in Undergraduate Science and Engineering Education: Why Don't We Implement Them? 

Friday, October 26

2:30 p.m.

Registration Information



Wipro LLT awards $3.3 million to UMass Boston to create a Math and Science Partnership (MSP) with select teachers in the Boston and New York City areas.

Chancellor J. Keith Motley signed the Wipro Science Education Fellowship Agreement with Anurag Behar, chief sustainability officer for Wipro Ltd., during an August 29 ceremony.

Over the next three years, administrators of the new program will choose 120 teachers in kindergarten through Grade 12 to become “science education fellows.” The teachers will be asked to work closely with colleagues and integrate their lessons.

Read more in the press release:

WIPRO Press Release // UMass Boston Press Release


NSF awards COSMIC 2.5 million with PD-Wrap Grant 

COSMIC has teamed up with College Board to analyze the effectiveness of various types of Professional Development vehicles during the Advanced Placement Science Redesign.  

Detailed Information

This proposal leverages the re-design of the Advanced Placement (AP) curricula currently under way to study the impact of teacher professional development on student achievement in a natural experiment at scale. Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Boston, Harvard University, the University of Michigan, and the Education Development Center, Inc are conducting a quasi-experimental research study to examine the professional development experienced by AP Biology, Chemistry and Physics teachers to determine

  1. the relationship between teacher and school characteristics and the professional development patterns that teachers choose;
  2. the relationship between the professional development patterns that various types of teachers choose and their students' outcomes; and
  3. the challenges encountered in delivering various forms of professional development at this level of scale.

In addition to supporting the improvement of professional development of AP teachers by the College Board, the findings contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between professional development and student achievement more generally.



 Arthur Eisenkraft featured in Science Magazine 6/1/2012!







Arthur Eisenkraft presented his invited paper: Active Physics and the NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) at AAPT

Kristen Wendell, PhD presented at the 2012 National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) Annual International Conference

March 25, 2012:
“A Mixed Methods Approach to Measuring Learning Through Engineering” as part of a thematic session titled “Examining Student Learning of Science through Engineering and Engineering Design.” The co-author is Merredith Portsmore of Tufts University.

March 28, 2012:
Presented in the symposium “Re-imagining Context: Student-Generated Representations as Tools for Reasoning in Science” with colleagues Joshua Danish and Asmalina Saleh of Indiana University, Christopher Wright of TERC, and Bhaskar Upadhyay of University of Minnesota. Within this symposium, Kristen Wendell focused on “Viewing Three-Dimensional Constructions as Representations of Science Ideas.”


COSMIC staff had a strong presence at the 2012 National Science Teacher's Association (NSTA) Annual Conference.

From March 28, 2012 to April 1, 2012, various members of COSMIC's directors, faculty and staff presented in over 26 sessions at the JW Marriott and Indiana Convention Center. Presenters included Arthur Eisenkraft, Bob Chen, Bala Sundaram, Allison Scheff, Kristen Cacciatore, Pam Pelletier, Jessica Neville, Haven Ripley Daniels, Jamaica O'Brien, and more!


Boston Biology Conference

The Boston Science Partnership hosted a two-day event, the Boston Biology Conference, on February 9-11, 2012. Teachers, professors, school administrators, non-profit collaborators and others joined BPS teachers as they examined the changes to the College Board’s AP Biology Exam. The new exam creates a sea-change in the way that advanced biology is taught with ripple effects across the K-16 years.

Click here for the keynote event program
Click here for the PowerPoint by Keynote Speaker Dr. Gordon Uno
Click here for the agenda for the AP Biology Teacher Planning Retreat
Click here for more information about the AP Biology redesign

On March 2, COSMIC hosted a delegation of Russian school principals and school leaders for a day of discussion. Their trip, Empowering Schools through Innovative Management, was sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. The principals met with COSMIC program staff, professors from CEHD and CSM, and were welcomed by Dean Grosovsky of CSM. The American and Russian educators exchanged their experiences on the topics of high level STEM teaching, sustaining interest in STEM among diverse students and forming productive partnerships, among other topics of mutual concern.



Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Biophysics, UCSF
Editor-in-chief, Science magazine
United States Science Env

Thursday, May 5, 2011


See the Workshops tab for presentations from the 2011 NSTA National Conference in San Francisco.


Urban America’s Science Report Card
UMass Boston – February 24, 2011
Press Conference and Live Webcase                                                    

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is the only nationally representative measure of student achievement. The NAEP 2009 Science assessment measures what students know and can do in physical science, life science, and Earth and space sciences. Visit for more information. 

The program included Q &A from the national audience. The speakers were:

  • UMass Boston Professor and Director of COSMIC, Arthur Eisenkraft
  • Superintendent of Boston Public Schools Dr. Carol R. Johnson
  • Director of the NY Hall of Science Dr. Alan J. Friedman
  • Chancellor of National Assessment of Educational Progress Jack Buckley
  • Provost Winston Langley welcomed the national audience to the UMass Boston campus.