APS and the American Institute of Physics (AIP) announced in early September the formation of a new policy fellowship that will send recipients to work at the Department of Education for up to two years. The purpose of the fellowship is to place a PhD scientist within the department to advise on STEM education issues and policy. Organizers hope that the "STEM Education Policy Fellowship" will help the federal government better promote science, technology, engineering and math education in classrooms.
"The Department of Education has historically not done very much in STEM education," said Theodore Hodapp, APS's Director of Education and Diversity, adding that there is only one person devoted full time to STEM issues.
APS has been trying to establish a fellow at the Department of Education for some time. It has helped support the AAAS Congressional fellowships since 1973, but has had a harder time placing someone at the Department of Education.
"It started with our placing a science student as an intern last summer," said Tyler Glembo, Government Relations Specialist at APS. "Now we also have a fall intern. Due to the success of that… [it] has now given us the opportunity to take that up to the next level."
The focus changed last year when the administration announced the formation of the STEM Master Teacher Corps. As the program ramps up, the Department of Education intends to subsidize as many as 10,000 STEM teachers in four years.
"Because of this STEM Teacher Corps, there is interest from the Department of Education in having a science policy fellow," Hodapp said. "This is a unique opportunity to come in at the ground floor when the Department of Education is just starting to think about STEM issues."
The deadline for the 2014 fellowship has passed and the first fellow should be announced later this Fall. For more information visit the STEM Education Policy Fellowship page.