The Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship (AEF) Program provides a unique opportunity for accomplished K-12 educators in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to serve in the national education arena. Fellows spend eleven months working in Federal agencies or in U.S. Congressional offices, applying their extensive knowledge and classroom experiences to national education program and/or education policy efforts. At the end of the Fellowship, educators are prepared to return home, equipped with access to a national network of education leaders and programs, a better understanding of the challenges and possibilities in STEM education, and a renewed passion for teaching, ready to make significant contributions to their schools and school districts.
Current sponsoring agencies include: the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The DOE sponsors up to four placements in congressional offices.
The Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Act (Fellowship Act Public Law 103-382, Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994) was signed into law in November 1994 and gives the DOE the responsibility for managing the program. The DOE Office of Science’s Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists (WDTS) manages this program for DOE in collaboration with the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) and other partners.
Some outstanding contributions of past AEF Program Fellows include:
- Designing new elements of national STEM education programs;
- Implementing major components of national STEM education programs;
- Initiating collaborations and partnerships among Federal agencies;
- Drafting legislation and advising on policies that seek to improve K-12 education in the United States;
- Creating web-based science education tools; and
- Establishing and evaluating national and regional programs centered on school reform and teacher preparation in STEM.