John F. Smith

Fellowship Placement: Capitol Hill
Cohort: 2014-2015

John F. “Trey” Smith taught science, social studies, and engineering in Philadelphia public schools. As a science department chair, Trey created a monthly science speaker series, a monthly field trip program, and a curriculum that integrated topics in biology and chemistry with real-world contexts. Trey founded and coached two robotics teams and a junior chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers.

Trey has been a teacher consultant with the Philadelphia Writing Project since 2009, securing a grant to partner with the Academy of Natural Sciences to create an afterschool program for middle school students that integrates gaming, science, and literacy. Smith has served as an adjunct instructor in the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education and was named Philadelphia's 2012 Outstanding Science Teacher by the Philadelphia Chapter of the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers. In 2013, Trey partnered with The Math Forum to create the Philadelphia Engineering and Math Challenge, which convenes teams of students from local public schools for events in engineering and math.

As a 2014-15 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow placed on Capitol Hill in the office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Trey participated in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. He helped Senator Gillibrand secure bipartisan STEM amendments, which were included in final version of the Every Student Succeeds Act. The following year, Trey served as the Science Teacher-in-Residence at the Library of Congress, exploring the use of historical primary sources to support STEM learning goals.

Trey studied Political Science and Communication Studies at Louisiana State University and earned a Master of Science degree in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently a Learning Sciences Ph.D. student at Northwestern University.