UMass Boston professor to receive National Science Board's Public Service Award
This week, the National Science Board (NSB) announced that Arthur Eisenkraft will receive its 2017 Public Service Award. Eisenkraft is a distinguished professor of science education, professor of physics, and director of the Center of Science and Mathematics in Context (COSMIC) at UMass Boston.
The award honors exemplary public service in promoting understanding of science and engineering. Eisenkraft is this year’s sole recipient of the Public Service Award for an individual.
“The enthusiasm and energy Arthur Eisenkraft demonstrates as a teacher, researcher, and creator of educational tools and curricula is contagious, which is apparent in the success of his programs,” said Vicki Chandler, chair of the NSB’s Committee on Honorary Awards. “His tireless efforts have undoubtedly inspired countless students to pursue careers in math and science.”
In addition to teaching, Eisenkraft is project director of the NSF-supported Active Physics and Active Chemistry curriculum projects, which engage students in high quality project based science. He is chair and co-creator of the Toshiba/National Science Teachers Association ExploraVision Awards competition, involving 15,000 students annually for the past 25 years. He leads the Wipro Science Education Fellowship program which is bringing sustainable change to 20 school districts in Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Texas by assisting teachers to become local education leaders through a two-year program.
Recently, he has supported novel educational initiatives in Thailand and India. Eisenkraft formerly served as president of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and as chair of the Science Academic Advisory Committee of the College Board.
His current research projects include investigating the efficacy of a second generation model of distance learning for professional development; a study of professional development choices that teachers make when facing a large scale curriculum change, and assessing the technological literacy of K-12 students.
Eisenkraft has received numerous awards recognizing his teaching and related work including the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching, the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) Robert A. Millikan Medal, the Disney Corporation’s Science Teacher of the Year, and the NSTA Robert H. Carleton Award, its highest honor. He is a fellow of both the AAAS and AAPT, holds a patent for a laser vision testing system and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. COSMIC, under Eisenkraft’s leadership, has secured over $40 million in external funding since 2004 to help improve science, engineering and math education.
“My love for science grows stronger as I explore ways to communicate the scientific vision of the world through teaching, research, curricula work, and related activities,” Eisenkraft said. “I am honored to be associated with the luminaries who have previously received this award for their invaluable contributions to the public's knowledge of science and its central role in all of our lives.”
The NSB will present Eisenkraft with its Public Service Award on May 9 during the National Science Foundation Annual Awards Ceremony held in Washington, D.C. The Board established the award in 1996. Past Public Service Award individuals include Jane Goodall, Stephen Jay Gould, Craig Barret, Alan Alda (Scientific American Frontiers), and Arthur Caplan (New York University).