A STEM specialist has the unique opportunity to take her teaching experiences from the School District of Palm Beach County to the Capitol.
“I am deeply honored that I have been granted this prestigious opportunity, and I am also humbled, knowing that representing my fellow educators as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow is bringing our voices to the national stage,” said Alexandra Laing, a STEM instructional specialist in the Teaching and Learning department.
Laing is one of nine teachers from around the country who have been selected for the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship, which offers STEM educators the opportunity to bring their teaching experiences to the federal level.
Laing has worked as a K-12 STEM instructional specialist serving schools across the District for the past two years. Prior to that, she taught fifth grade STEM integrated courses for six years and eighth grade physical science for three years.
“I decided to apply for the Fellowship because impacting change has always been my primary focus, the reason I first became a teacher, and the sustaining force of my career,” she said.
Starting in August, Laing and eight other educators will live and work in Washington D.C., serving federal agencies and U.S. Congressional offices.
Laing said she will work in a Congressional office, either for the U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives. She will represent the office on Congressional committees, meet with state constituents, organize briefings, collaborate with staff on hearings, among other duties.
“I am looking forward to being able to share a broadened perspective of education and other policies and unite perspectives to support the growth of students, teachers, and leaders in Palm Beach County,” she said.
The purpose of this 11-month fellowship is for K-12 educators specializing in science, technology, engineering, and math to use their experiences in today’s classrooms to help guide national education programs and policies.
“In return, Einstein Fellows will gain understanding of the role of the Federal Government in the U.S. education enterprise, knowledge of resources available to students and educators, and broader perspectives on national education issues that can be applied to the classroom or to leadership positions in their districts or elsewhere,” according to the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship.
The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education manages the fellowship and places five of the educators in U.S. Congressional offices. The National Science Foundation, the Library of Congress, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration also participate in the program.