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Hannah Sevian



  • Higher Ed: Science, Higher Ed: Education 


Hannah Sevian (Ph.D. physical chemistry, Associate Professor, Chemistry Department, UMass Boston) was trained as a theoretical physical chemist, did post-doctoral work in polymer chemistry and materials science, taught the educational gamut of chemistry and physics in both English and Spanish in a Boston-area urban high school, and has established herself in the field of chemistry education research. She was lead author on three chapters of the recently published, NSF-funded Active Chemistry high school curriculum and contributed to developing three other chapters. Her current chemistry education research focuses on developing and studying the effects on student learning of green, inquiry-based chemistry laboratory instructional materials, and on developing a learning progression on chemical design, as the central practice of chemistry, for middle school through undergraduate years. She was PI on the Boston Science Partnership until 2009 when she began a leave of absence from UMass Boston to serve a rotation as a program director at the National Science Foundation, and then after returning to UMass Boston in 2011 she resumed the responsibility of PI on the Boston Science Partnership. Through the BSP, she has worked with all teachers of middle and high school science in Boston as well as STEM faculty at both universities and at two public community colleges in Boston (Bunker Hill Community College and Roxbury Community College), and she oversees associated research on STEM faculty involvement, teacher content knowledge gains, and student learning across grades and science domains. She led the work of a supplement to the MSP grant to conduct a research study of factors that affect students' interests, aspirations and performance in STEM subjects along the STEM career pipeline of public school students in an urban system through high school, community colleges, and four-year university. She has also co-led NSF GK-12 Track 1 and Track 2 projects (WISP-1 and WISP-2 grants) and conducts associated research on the development of scientific research explanations by graduate students. She was awarded the 2006 UMass President's Public Service Award for her work with Boston Public Schools and the Boston Higher Education Partnership's Service Award for her contributions to increasing capacity among students and teachers in Boston Public Schools. 


Chemistry education research
STEM education research 


G. Tsaparlis and H. Sevian, Eds. "Concepts of Matter in Science Education," Innovations in Science Education and Technology Series. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer, 2012 (in press).

H. Sevian and G.W. Fulmer. "Student outcomes from innovations in undergraduate chemistry laboratory learning: A review of projects funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation between 2000-2008" [Resultados en el estudiante a partir del aprendizaje en el lab oratorio de Quimica de la licenciatura: Una revision de los proyectos subvencionados pro la Fundacion Nacional de Ciencias de Estados Unidos] Educacion Quimica, 2012, 23(E1), 149-161.

M. Stains, M. Escriu-Sune, M. Molina, and H. Sevian, "Assessing secondary and college students' understanding of the particulate nature of matter: Development and validation of the Structure And Motion of Matter (SAMM) survey", Journal of Chemical Education, 2011, 88(10), 1359-1365.

B. White, M. Stains, M. Escriu-Sune, C. Chinn and H. Sevian, "A Novel Instrument for Assessing Students' Critical Thinking Abilities", Journal of College Science Teaching, 2011, 40(5), 102-107.

H. Sevian and W. Robinson, "Clickers Promote Learning in Small as Well as Large Size Classes", Journal of College Science Teaching, 2011, 40(3), 14-18.

K.M. Foster, K.B. Bergin, A.F. McKenna, D.L. Millard, L.C. Perez, J.T. Prival, D.Y. Rainey, H.M. Sevian, E.A. VanderPutten, and J.E. Hamos, "Partnerships for STEM education", Science, 329 (20 August 2010), 906-7.

A. Skerrett and H. Sevian, "Motivations that derive from identity and biography of science and mathematics faculty to engage in K-12 service." Cultural Studies in Science Education, 2010, 5(3), 743-766.

H. Sevian (Ed.), Ganguly, N., Gende, D., Ingram, A., MacKay, T., and Stains, M. The AP Vertical Teams Guide for the Sciences. New York, NY: The College Board, 2010.

K.L. Cacciatore and H. Sevian, "Incremental movement toward an inquiry lab curriculum in general chemistry: Can changing a single lab experiment improve student performance?" Journal of Chemical Education, 2009, 86(4), 498.

H. Sevian and L. Gonsalves, "Analysing how scientists explain their research: A rubric for measuring the effecitveness of scientific explanations." International Journal of Science Education, 2008, 30(11), 1441-67.

K.L. Cacciatore, J. Amado, J.J. Evans and H. Sevian, "Connecting solubility, equilibrium and periodicity in a green inquiry experiment for the general chemistry laboratory." J. Chem. Educ. 85(2), 251 (2008).

K.L. Cacciatore and H. Sevian, "Teaching lab report writing through inquiry: A green chemistry stoichiometry experiment for general chemistry." J. Chem. Ed. 83, 1039 (2006).

H. Sevian, S. Muller, H. Rudmann and M.F. Rubner, "Using Organic Light-Emitting Electrochemical Thin-Film Devices to Teach Materials Science." J. Chem. Ed. 81, 1620 (2004).

Sevian, H.; Barry, D.; Muller, S. and Cacciatore, K. Three chapters: "Chemical Dominoes," "Forensic Chemistry," and "Soap Manufacture." Student ed. and Teacher ed. In Eisenkraft, A. (2004), Active Chemistry. Armonk, NY: It's About Time Publishing.

Eisenkraft, A.; Freebury, G.; Gromko, M.; Heltzel, C.; Roeder, J.; Sevian, H.; Smith, S. and Tinnesand, M. (2004) Active Chemistry, Student Edition (revised ed.). Armonk, NY: It's About Time Publishing.

Eisenkraft, A.; Freebury, G.; Sevian, H. and Heltzel, C. (2002) Active Chemistry, Teacher Edition. Armonk, NY: It's About Time Publishing.