A North­eastern Uni­ver­sity researcher, whose work improving teaching and learning in Boston public schools was high­lighted in Sci­ence mag­a­zine, has won a second-​​stage grant from the National Sci­ence Foun­da­tion to con­tinue his efforts.

Christos Zahopoulos, exec­u­tive director of the Center for STEM (Sci­ence, Tech­nology, Engi­neering and Math­e­matics) Edu­ca­tion at North­eastern, said the $2.1 mil­lion Phase II Math/​Science Part­ner­ship award from the NSF will expand his work with Boston sci­ence teachers to help them under­stand fun­da­men­tals about energy in an inter­dis­ci­pli­nary fashion.

That learning trans­lates directly to stu­dent achieve­ment, Zahopoulos said.

The stu­dents at high-​​participation schools in 2007 had large sci­ence achieve­ment gains on eighth– and 10th-​​grade MCAS,” the state-​​mandated testing system, said Zahopoulos, an asso­ciate pro­fessor in the Col­lege of Engi­neering and in the Col­lege of Pro­fes­sional Studies’ edu­ca­tion department.

The new grant for the Boston Energy in Sci­ence Teaching (BEST) project builds on the suc­cess of the $14.1 mil­lion Phase I Boston Sci­ence Part­ner­ship grant. It will apply the Col­lab­o­ra­tive Coaching and Learning in Sci­ence edu­ca­tional model to the uni­ver­sity set­ting, to sup­port fac­ulty dis­cus­sions on inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research and teaching at both grad­uate and under­grad­uate levels.

Researchers will look at content-​​based and concept-​​based pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment for teachers, and eval­uate the impact each has on stu­dent achieve­ment and engagement.

Sci­ence mag­a­zine in August high­lighted Northeastern’s pro­gram for math and sci­ence part­ner­ships as one of the nation’s best.

The Northeastern-​​based BEST is a part­ner­ship with the Uni­ver­sity of Mass­a­chu­setts at Boston, Rox­bury Com­mu­nity Col­lege, the Boston Public Schools and the non­profit Edu­ca­tion Devel­op­ment Center, which designs and eval­u­ates inno­vate models of education.

Zahopoulos, through the STEM Center, also leads a state-​​funded master of edu­ca­tion degree pro­gram in middle school sci­ence at North­eastern, for teachers from Boston and sur­rounding school dis­tricts. In addi­tion, he directs the North Shore Sci­ence Part­ner­ship, which pro­vides math and sci­ence sup­port to up to 100 teachers from high-​​need school dis­tricts in Greater Boston.