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Linda Lee Smith

NASA EPO
Astrophysics Educator Ambassador
United States
Linda Smith has been a public school teacher since 1984. Serving as the Elementary Science Resource Specialist for the Paulsboro, NJ Public School District for 16 years, she saw about 800 students bi-weekly for science enrichment, splitting her time between the Billingsport Early Childhood Center, which services students from Pre-K through 2nd grade, and the Loudenslager Elementary School where students range from 3rd through 6th grade. Since retiring in June of 2013, Linda has become involved with the Penn Teacher Residency, Drexel University and Bryn Mawr College teacher preparation programs acting as a Site Director, where she mentors student teachers (called Residents) and their mentor teachers in this year long program. Linda also works for the Woodrow Wilson Foundation as a Selector, interviewing and choosing students for $30,000 grants to get their Master’s Degree in Integrated Science Education. She also teaches a Master Level Class on Science Pedagogy for the Elementary Classroom for Drexel University. In addition to her BA from Rowan University in Elementary Education, Linda has a Masters Degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Certificate of Graduate Studies from Rowan University both in Integrated Science Education. She serves the Science Education Community as President Elect and current Newsletter Editor for the New Jersey Science Teachers Association (NJSTA) and President Elect of the Association of Presidential Awardees in Science Teaching (APAST). She has also served on the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Preschool/Elementary Committee and is currently serving as a board member and reviewer for Science and Children Magazine. Linda has just been asked to serve again on the NSTA Advisory board on the Retired Teachers Committee. In 2004 NASA hired Linda as an Astrophysics Educator Ambassador. She has traveled around the country presenting workshops on high-energy physics programs such as GALEX and Fermi. Her passion is presenting this material in a way that elementary school students can understand. Linda has presented workshops on Science Pedagogy at every National NSTA Conference since 1999. She also presents at NSTA Regional Conferences as well as at the New Jersey Education Association Convention (NJEA) and the New Jersey Science Convention annually. Linda has received many award for her efforts among them are: • NASA NEWMAST Honors Teachers Award 1995 • NJ BISEC (Business Industry Science Engineering Consortium) Exemplary Service Award 1999 • PAEMST (Presidential Award for Excellence in Math & Science Teaching) State Finalist Award 1999 • DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) Outstanding Facilitator Award 1999 • PAEMST (Presidential Award for Excellence in Math & Science Teaching National Award 2000 • Paulsboro Public Schools District Teacher of the Year Award 2000 • Billingsport Elementary School Teacher of the Year Award 2000 • Gloucester County Teacher of the Year 2000 • One of 5 finalists for NJ Teacher of the Year 2000 • CES-NJ (Council of Elementary Science – New Jersey) Audrey Brainard Make a Difference Award 2003 • Paulsboro Public Schools District Teacher of the Year Award 2004 • NJSTA (New Jersey Science Teachers Association) Fellow Award 2010 • International Technology and Engineering Education Association (ITEEA) Special Recognition Award 2014 • NJSTA (New Jersey Science Teachers Association) Citation Scroll recipient 2014