She was one of two other teachers selected from BISD to take part in a special training in California.
Now the Garcia Middle School teacher has the responsibility to take her new found knowledge back to the classroom and share it with her colleagues and of course her students.
News Center 23 Reporter Na'Tassia Finley has more on getting students excited about careers in the stem category.
She's a seventh grade Math teacher, but Lani Smith's job requires teaching more than just numbers.
She's gained yet another responsibility when it comes to teaching and molding these pre teens' minds… to get kids pumped up and prepared for STEM careers; careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
Over the summer she was hand selected by administrators to attend the Sally Ride Science Academy in California. Her new responsibility now involves integrating what she picked up there, back here in BISD.
"We need to train the teachers to be able to take the information, the lessons and the activities back to the classroom and once again, it's all about getting students excited about math and science," says Garcia MS, 7th grade Math teacher, Lani Smith.
With this being the second week of school Ms. Smith is starting to implement those new found teaching tactics. In the lesson today, her class is being introduced to those STEM careers and talking about why they're so vital to the future of our nation.
"Right now nine out of ten jobs are STEM careers, so we need to have students prepared for these jobs of the future," says Smith.
She says in her every day teachings, she and other Math and Science educators across the district will relate the lessons to the real world and how these STEM careers are tied in.
"Currently right now, in elementary, about two-thirds of the kids say they like Math and Science, but it drops once they get to the middle school level and even less in high school and college," says Smith.
While interest drops in these subject areas for all students as they get older, studies out of the Sally Ride Science Academy have found girls lose even more interest, so right now keeping them focused on STEM related studies is a top priority since they too make up half the workforce.
Ms. Smith says lessons she's learned at the Sally Ride Science Academy will help her better prepare our youth for college and beyond.