A physics teacher has been chosen for a prestigious Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship.
Steve Bartlett will join other Einstein fellows selected from a nationwide pool of 200 educators who applied to work with the U.S. Department of Energy in partnership with host agencies including NASA and the National Science Foundation.
The program begins in September and lasts 11 months. Fellows include science, technology, engineering and math teachers (STEM) who will work with public policy makers to provide insight on developing education programs.
“I figured if I did get involved the best way to influence the government is from the top down,” Bartlett said.
He will be working with the National Science Foundation in D.C. under the Division on Research and Learning in Formal and Informal Settings.
“I’d like to see more of an overlap between math and sciences from K through 12,” Bartlett said. “I would ideally like to see Fairfax County create a STEM diploma."
Bartlett will take a leave of absence from teaching during the program. He has taught at Robinson for the last two years, and has spent 10 years teaching in Fairfax County Public Schools.
He came to teaching after 25 years as an aerospace engineer. Bartlett and his wife purchased a Christmas tree farm in Culpepper years ago to settle into what he thought would be his retirement, but quickly he became bored.
“I had always wanted be a teacher so I figured I’d try that,” Bartlett said.
In his time teaching, some of the most rewarding moments are when former students have contacted him saying that they’ve chosen a career in the sciences.
“Teaching his the hardest job I’ve ever had,” Bartlett said. “Keeping kids on task and teaching them to want to learn is a challenge. If a student is inspired to learn, they don’t need a teacher. They teach themselves.”