Patrick Sean Smith, President of Horizon Research, Inc. (HRI), received a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry, a Master’s Degree in Science Teaching, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before joining HRI in 1991, Dr. Smith taught high school chemistry and physics. In addition, he was a member of the Education Studies Department at Berea College, where he taught courses in elementary science methods and the philosophical foundations of education.
Dr. Smith worked extensively on materials development for Project Earth Science, a middle-grades earth science project, authoring or co-authoring three widely used collections of earth science activities published by the National Science Teachers Association. He also worked on the evaluation of the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Statewide Systemic Initiatives for North and South Carolina.
He was the Principal Investigator of ATLAST (Assessing Teacher Learning About Science Teaching), a project that created instruments that are widely used by researchers and evaluators to measure teacher and student science content knowledge. He was also the Principal Investigator for the NSF-funded Knowledge Assets to Support the Science Instruction of Elementary Teachers (ASSET) project. He was a co-Principal Investigator on three NSF-funded projects: Assessing the Impact of the MSPs: K-8 Science (AIM: K-8 Science); Investigating Teachers’ Learning, Practice, and Efficacy Using Educative Curriculum Materials (ELECTS); and the 2012 NSSME. He is currently co-Principal Investigator for the 2018 NSSME+ and the Principal Investigator for two NSF-funded projects: (1) Supporting Elementary Teacher Learning for Effective School-Based Citizen Science (TL4CS) and (2) Responding to a Global Pandemic–The Role of K-12 Science Teachers. Dr. Smith also leads the evaluations of several projects funded by NSF and the US Department of Education.