A-Z Index

Dr. Rena Smith

Dr. Rena Smith



3605 Garrett-Strong


660.562.1188 (fax)

Joined Northwest in 2010

Senior Instructor


  • Ph.D. Curriculum and Instruction (emphasis in Science Education); University of Missouri - Columbia, 2017
  • M.S.Ed. Teaching: Science; Northwest Missouri State University, 2003
  • B.S. Elementary Education (emphasis in Science, Social Studies and Language Arts); Missouri State University, 1995

Courses Taught

  • 28-226 Science in the Elementary School

  • 28-380 Methods in Elementary School Science

  • 28-550 History of Science and Technology
  • 28-580 Methods in Secondary School Science
  • 28-582 Methods in Middle School Science
  • 40-103 Physical Science Lab
  • 62-228 Delivering Integrated Curriculum Part II

  • 62-229 Professional Learning Community V

Academic Interests

  • Science Note booking
  • Curriculum Topic Study, including formative assessments
  • How to use Trade books in the classroom

Scholarly Activity


  • Arbaugh, F., Marra, R., Lannin, J. K., Cheng, Y. W., Merle-Johnson, D., & Smith, R. (2016). Supporting university content specialists in providing effective professional development: the educative role of evaluation. Teacher Development20(4), 538-556.

  • Smith, S. R., & Abell, S. K. (2013). Assessing and addressing student science ideas. In D. Hanuscin & M. P. Rogers (Eds.), Perspectives: Research and tips to support science education, k-6. Arlington, Va.: NSTA Press.

  • Smith, S. R., & Abell, S. K. (2013). Using analogies in elementary science. In D. L. Hanuscin & M. P. Rogers (Eds.), Perspectives: Research and tips to support science education, k-6. Arlington, Va.: NSTA Press.

  • Hanuscin, D., Garderen, D. v., Menon, D., Jeni Davis, E. L., & Smith, S. R. (2013). Quality elementary science teaching: A professional development quest. In S. B. Koba, B. S. Wojnowski & R. E. Yager (Eds.), Exemplary science: Best practices in professional development (2nd ed.). Arlington, Va.: NSTA Press.

  • Hanuscin, D., vanGarderen, D., Menon, D., Davis, J., Lee. E., and Smith, S.R. (2010). PD pathways: Teacher? Learner? Both! Science and Children, 48(6), 55-9.
  • Marra, R. M., Arbaugh, E., Lannin, J., Abell, S., Ehlert, M., Smith, R., et al. (2011). Orientations to professional development design and implementation: Understanding their relationship to pd outcomes across multiple projects. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 9(4), 793-816.


  • Smith, S. R., Barton, S., Bowlick, A., Dobney, A., Fish, K., & Hagiss, G. (2014).  Tradebooks in the classroom and preservice teacher's experience. Workshop presented at the National Science Teacher’s Association (NSTA) Conference, Boston, Massachusetts, April 5.


    Arbaugh, E., Marra, R. M., Abell, S., Lannin, J., Cheng, Y., Gagnon, M., et al. (2010, May).  The impact of evaluation on professional development design and implementation. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association, Denver, CO.
  • Hanuscin, D., vanGarderen, D., Menon, D., Hager, T., Smith, S. R., Davis, J., et al. (2010, October). In QUEST of  quality elementary science teaching. Workshop presented at the Natinal Science Teacher's Association (NSTA) Area Conference, Kansas City, Missouri.

Other Professional Experiences

  • Participate in the AAAS Project 2061 Energy Assessment Project- instrument pilot test. 2015

  • NSTA Conference Proposal Review for Kansas City, 2010 & 2015

  • NSTA Conference Proposal Review for Kansas City, 2010

  • State of Missouri, Science Model Curriculum writer, July 2006-May 2007
  • Enhancing Math and Science in Middle School-Central Methodist Grant- Pre/Posttest developer, July 2006-May 2007
  • U.S. Satellite Laboratory: Project 3D View- Beta School teacher, 2006-2007
  • NAEP Item Writer- Social Studies, October 2003
  • Missouri State Teacher Certification 1-8; Language Arts, General Science and Social Studies 4-8.


Personal Interests

  • Spending time with family
  • Photography and Scrapbooking
  • Geocaching