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Arthur Eisenkraft, professor & director of COSMIC at UMASS Boston, to receive National Science Board Public Service Award

Dr. Arthur Eisenkraft

Dr. Arthur Eisenkraft

April 25, 2017

The National Science Board (NSB) is pleased to announce that Arthur Eisenkraft, distinguished professor of science education, professor of physics and director of the Center of Science and Math in Context (COSMIC) at the University of Massachusetts Boston will be honored with its 2017 Public Service Award.

This esteemed award honors exemplary public service in promoting public understanding of science and engineering. Arthur 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,” said Eisenkraft.  “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 9th during the National Science Foundation Annual Awards Ceremony held in Washington, D.C.

The Board established the award in 1996. The annual award recognizes people and groups (e.g., companies, corporations, organizations) that have increased the public's understanding of science or engineering. Past Public Service Award individuals include Jane Goodall, Stephen Jay Gould, Craig Barret, Alan Alda (Scientific American Frontiers), and Arthur Caplan (New York University).

About the National Science Board
Jointly, the National Science Board and the National Science Foundation (NSF) Director—the ex-officio 25th member—pursue the goals and function of the Foundation. NSB establishes NSF policies within the framework of applicable national policies set forth by the President and Congress. NSB identifies issues critical to NSF's future, approves the agency's strategic budget directions and the annual budget submission to the Office of Management and Budget, and new major programs and awards. The NSB also provides the President and Congress with a biennial report on U.S. progress in science and technology, providing comparisons to other nations in the areas of research and development, STEM education, and workforce training.

The President appoints Board members for six-year terms and may reappoint members for a second term. Members are drawn primarily from universities and industry and selected for their eminence in research, education, and records of distinguished service. Collectively, the Board represents a variety of science and engineering disciplines and regions across the United States.

About UMass Boston
The University of Massachusetts Boston is deeply rooted in the city's history, yet poised to address the challenges of the future. Recognized for innovative research addressing complex issues, metropolitan Boston’s public university offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s 11 colleges and graduate schools serve nearly 17,000 students while engaging local and global constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service. To learn more, visit

Media Contacts
Kim Silverman, National Science Board, (703) 292-4515,
Crystal Valencia, UMass Boston, (617) 287-5383,

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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