The Albert Einstein Fellowship Alumni Association (AEFAA) is the exclusive organization of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers who sacrificed a year of teaching in the classroom to serve education at the federal level as Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellows in Washington, DC.
The Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship program places outstanding K-12 STEM educators from public or private schools across the United States into offices on Capitol Hill or in Federal agencies. The placement is strategic; offices hosting Einstein Fellows are affiliated institutionally or programmatically with K-12 STEM education.
The Einstein Fellowship program began in 1990 with the placement of four Fellows in offices on Capitol Hill. Four years later, with the value of the program firmly established, Congress officially passed the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Act (H.R.4759/S.2104).
As of spring, 2012, over 200 educators from across the United States and U.S. Territories have served as Einstein Fellows. While the Capitol Hill placements remain a cornerstone of the program, Fellows have also contributed to STEM education programs throughout the federal agency network, including the Department of Energy (DOE), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Education (DOEd), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The alumni of the Einstein Fellowship Program bring to the discussion on STEM education a highly unique set of skills. Each fellow possesses a professional portfolio distinctively richer in education experience, deeper in education policy knowledge, stronger in communication skills, higher in personal confidence and more robust in professional networks than other outstanding educators. These skills are a result of a combination of three professional assets:
1. The diversity and excellence of teaching experiences brought into the fellowship
2. The unique experiences and connections amassed while serving the fellowship
3. The myriad professional opportunities capitalized on following the fellowship.
In the summer of 2010, a group of former and current Einstein Fellows organized a two-day Fellowship Summit in Washington, DC. The purpose of the Summit was twofold: to honor the 20th anniversary of the program, and more significantly, to re-energize and coalesce efforts to impact STEM education that were kindled during each fellowship year. Sustaining those efforts became a goal; the alumni association was born.
The Albert Einstein Fellowship Alumni Association will leverage the skills and assets of its members as it seeks to impact local, state, regional and national STEM education.