ORISE Featurecast

ORISE Featurecast

Teaching about the environment in the classroom: A conversation with Albert Einstein Fellows

February 28, 2024

This episode of the ORISE Featurecast continues our monthly exploration of the Albert Einstein Distinguished Fellowship. This month, host Michael Holtz and guest co-host Amy Szczepanski talk to two educators who are AEF Fellows at the USGS. They talk to Sarah Slack and Samantha Willsey about a day in the life at USGS, what inspired them to become educators, what they hope to take back to their communities when their fellowships end, and so much more.

Sarah Slack, who has taught middle school science and STEM in Brooklyn, NY for the past 14 years, is spending a year as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow with the USGS in the Office of Youth and Education in Science (YES). She is currently working on using USGS resources to create curricula that build science and engineering skills in K-12 students by providing opportunities for them to engage in authentic research and design activities.


Samantha Willsey, a science teacher from Bremen, Indiana, is currently serving as the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in the Youth and Education in Science (YES) office. She supports YES programing and outreach to encourage positive action in a changing world.

The Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Act gives the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) the responsibility for managing the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship. The DOE Office of Science’s Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists (WDTS) manages this program for DOE in collaboration with the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) and the partnering Federal agencies, which, at the time of this recording, included the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Energy (DOE), the Library of Congress (LOC), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the US Geological Survey (USGS), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the National Science Foundation (NSF). The DOE sponsors five placements in congressional offices.

To learn more about the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship, visit https://science.osti.gov/wdts/einstein.