Lynn Foshee Reed

2012-14 Albert Einstein Fellow

National Science Foundation
Directorate for Geosciences, Division of Polar Programs

High school mathematics teacher
Richmond, VA

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Lynn Foshee Reed has been a mathematics instructor at Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School (MLWGS) in Richmond, Virginia, since 1998.  Reed currently teaches sections of Advanced Placement Calculus AB and BC as well as the dual enrollment Calculus II course that the school offers in conjunction with Virginia Commonwealth University.  In past years, Reed has also taught Calculus I and Multivariable Calculus as well as Algebra II, Trigonometry and Mathematical Analysis, and the History of Mathematics.  Before she and her family moved to Richmond, Reed taught mathematics at Virginia Tech for eight years.

Reed originates from southern Illinois, and she was a mathematics major and chemistry minor at the University of Evansville (Indiana) where she earned her Bachelor of Arts.  After two years of teaching high school, she enrolled at The Ohio State University where she received both her Master of Arts and Master of Sciences in Mathematics.  Reed earned her Gifted Education endorsement in 2002 and achieved National Board Certification (Mathematics — Adolescence and Young Adulthood) in 2009.

Lynn Reed served a two-year Fellowship with the National Science Foundation’s Division of Polar Programs in the Geosciences Directorate from 2012-14.   Working closely with both the Arctic and Antarctic Science Sections of the division, she identified, created, and facilitated meaningful educational opportunities in which to share the message that what occurs at the Poles affects people everywhere on the planet.   Reed often made polar science presentations to schools and hands-on activities for STEM expeditions in informal and outreach settings.  Reed deployed to both the Arctic and Antarctica during her Fellowship, observing and participating in science and logistics experiences in order to advise on education and outreach opportunities.

In particular, Reed co-directed each summer the Joint Science Education Project which brought high school students and teachers from the United States, Denmark, and Greenland together to experience polar science in Kangerlussuaq and Summit Station, Greenland.  For three weeks each summer the participants worked alongside scientists in field experiences (such as digging a back lit snow pit at the top of the Greenland Ice Sheet) as well as through classroom lessons (for example examining and modeling data on Arctic Sea Ice Extent).  Students and teachers alike built strong international ties as they also engaged in cultural exchanges.

For three weeks in December 2012 and two more weeks in January 2014, Reed deployed to McMurdo Station in Antarctica, including a day trip to the Amundsen-Scott Station at the South Pole.  Additional highlights included learning about the great polar explorers by visiting and studying the historic huts of Shackleton and Scott located on Ross Island.  Reed was part of a science group that helped to band and measure Adelie penguin fledglings, and she hiked and camped in the Dry Valleys as she learned more about the Long Term Ecological Research.

Over the course of her second year, Reed played an instrumental role in the creation of a new international education project, the Joint Antarctic Science Expedition.  Building on the success of JSEP as well as the Chilean Antarctic Institute’s (INACH) ten-year experience with an Antarctic School Expedition, Reed worked closely with the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States and INACH to launch the pilot program in February 2014.  Reed accompanied the U.S. teacher and three students to Punta Arenas, Chile, and observed the synergies as the students and teachers from both countries shared their Antarctica-based research projects.

In addition to working with U.S. teachers involved with PolarTREC (Polar Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating), Reed embraced the opportunity to collaborate with polar educators from New Zealand, Chile, Denmark, Greenland, and the United Kingdom during her two year Fellowship.  MLWGS has a focus on government and international studies which will provide additional ways for Reed to share experiences with students and teachers alike.

Reed is a 25+ year member of both the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Mathematical Association of America (MAA).  She has served as an AP Reader of AP Calculus exams.  In April 2013, Reed was named Distinguished Alumnus by the Mathematics Department of the University of Evansville.

“I welcome opportunities to stretch my own understanding of the world in general and mathematics in particular, and I consciously try to demonstrate my delight in mathematics and joy in learning new things to my students and colleagues.”    For example, at the 2013 MathFest, Lynn taught a mini-course entitled “Mathematical Expeditions in Polar Science” in which she was able to share mathematical lessons built upon polar science contexts.

“I have always been a proponent of using multidisciplinary explorations in teaching mathematics, and I emphasize to my students how mathematics opens doors to many careers and fields of interest.”  Through her Fellowship in Polar Programs, Lynn learned about the incredibly diverse range of science supported in the Arctic and Antarctica – biology, geology, glaciology, astrophysics, just to name a few, and she explored the common threads of climate change, mathematics, international collaboration, and the unique beauty and pristine nature of the polar regions.  “I was so fortunate to be assigned to Polar Programs – I was encouraged to pursue my multiple interests in history, science, art, as well as mathematics, and I am now eager to share what I have learned with others.”