Barbara Buckner

Fellowship Placement: National Science Foundation
Cohort: 2013-2014

Dr. Barbara Buckner is currently working as an Educator Professional Development Specialist at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, California. Her responsibilities include supporting the mission and leadership of the NASA STEM Educator Professional Development Collaborative by delivering professional development programs in their respective service area to K-12 in-service and pre-service teachers as well as to educators in informal settings. In addition, Barbara supports the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center Education Office by providing programs and delivering instruction that leverages expertise in NASA STEM content and other NASA educational resources as a means to engage the general public and educators. Prior to moving to California, Barbara was a 20-year veteran teacher of mathematics and science at Bradley Central High School in Cleveland, Tennessee where she taught Mathematics, Chemistry, and Physics.

Barbara received her Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Lee University in Cleveland, TN. She earned her Master of Arts degree in education from Tusculum College in Greeneville, TN. Her Ph.D. in mathematics education from the University of Louisville in Kentucky included a quasi-experimental research on the impact of technology in a first year algebra class while studying the concept of functions on student achievement and teacher behavior variables of planning, teaching, and assessing. Her doctoral coursework involved a National Science Foundation funded collaboration project with University of Tennessee, University of Kentucky, West Virginia University, and Ohio University.

Barbara served the 2013-2014 year as an Einstein Fellow at the National Science Foundation in the Education and Human Resources Directorate under the supervision of Assistant Director Dr. Joan Ferrini-Mundy. Her main projects included a portfolio analysis of the Education Core Research Program and a review analysis of the education components of the NSF funded Science and Technology Centers. The opportunity to collaborate with colleagues on learning, learning environments, boarding participating and workforce development will serve to further her as she returns to education.

Barbara received the 2007 East Grand Division Tennessee Teacher of the Year award. Texas Instruments published Barbie’s dissertation and Rural Mathematics Education published “The Impact of Using TI-Nspire Technology on Student Achievement” by Buckner. She also wrote a chapter entitled “Choices” for the book Young Women on a Journey to Excellence. Barbara has taught internationally in Ukraine, Germany, and Philippines. Barbara’s classes were the first in the state of Tennessee to participate in NASA’s Mars Student Imaging Project (MSIP). Through MSIP students participate in standards based authentic scientific research, which is peer-reviewed by a NASA Scientist and published by Arizona State University. In 2013, Barbara served as a Master Teacher for NASA Airborne Research Experiences for Educators Program and presented on Excel, Google Docs, and Grant Writing.

Barbara sees education is her calling and has spent her life sharing her love for learning with everyone around her. As a teacher, she motivates her students to reach a potential that often, before working with Barbara, they did not know existed. “I love that moment of discovery you see on a student’s face when they have made the connection between what is being taught and the practical application.” Knowing that today’s student will compete in a global economy, Barbara says that “It is imperative that today’s students are prepared with consistent rigorous and relevant standards that produce more STEM majors, particularly women, to keep this great nation at the forefront in technology, innovation, and advancement.”