Bartlett snags science award

Physics teacher Steve Bartlett was recently chosen for the Einstein Fellowship program. This program is a professional development opportunity for kindergarten through grade 12 teachers. The teachers must be involved in teaching a field of science, technology, engineering or math, otherwise known as STEM. 

Because of his award, Bartlett will take next year off to help in a sponsoring agency. The “Einstein Fellows” were selected from a nationwide pool of over 200 applicants.

“I got a phone call telling me that I had been selected,” Bartlett said. “I was very excited.”

Bartlett will be working with the National Science Foundation in D.C under the Division of Research and Learning in formal and informal settings. He is working to improve science education in our schools.

“My goal while I am with the Einstein Fellowship program is to make a positive contribution to STEM education and hopefully merge math and physics more completely,” said Bartlett.

Some of the accomplishments of past Einstein fellows included initiating collaborations and partnerships among Federal Agencies, creating web based science programs, drafting legislation and advising on policies which seek to improve K-12 education in the United States.

“I was filling out my application from October to January,” Bartlett said.

They then narrow down the applications and the top 25 percent are sent to government agencies for more interviews. He was interviewed in the first week of March and then received a call in the third week of March telling him that he had been chosen.

Bartlett will be taking an absence from the school for all of next year and plans to return after he has worked with the Einstein Fellowship program.

He first became interested in science as a kid.”I have always been fascinated by the universe we live in and the wonder of the natural world” Bartlett said. But “it wasn’t until high school when my physics teacher showed me Newton’s law of gravity that I understood how the moons’ motions could help me calculate Jupiter’s mass.”

Bartlett got involved with physics during his career as an engineer. After leaving that job, he decided to pursue a career as a teacher. “Besides, where else can I tell my corny physics jokes?” he said.

He started teaching high school physics in 2004 after being a teaching assistant at University of Maryland, and calls teaching “the hardest job he’d ever loved.”

Bartlett will be working under the guidance of Janice Earle at the National Science Foundation for the fellowship.

All of the people chosen to work with the Einstein Fellowship program will be researching methods for improving science education in American schools, and it can be sure that Bartlett will bring his enthusiasm and love of science to this new and engaging opportunity.