Education Specialist (4650)

Education and Outreach Charlottesville, Virginia


Position Description:


Position Summary

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is recruiting for a full time Education Specialist within the Education and Public Outreach division at their headquarters in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Education Specialist will work with the STEAM Education Manager and the Education Specialist (both based in Socorro, New Mexico) in designing, creating, implementing, and executing formal and informal education programs for K-12 students and teachers, and other K-12 focused STEM groups. Subject matter will include a broad range of subjects related to radio astronomy, to be presented online and/or in person. The Education Specialist will also work with and support the greater EPO team efforts.


In addition to competitive pay, NRAO provides excellent paid time off benefits (vacation and sick leave). Medical, dental and vision plans are effective first day of employment. NRAO’s retirement benefit contributes an amount equal to 10 percent of a qualified participant’s base pay. No contribution is required of the employee; we also offer an optional supplemental, tax-deferred plan for employee retirement contributions.


Job Duties Summary

Reporting to the STEAM Education Manager, the ideal candidate will be responsible for, but not limited to:


  • Developing and implementing formal education, informal education, and professional development programs related to astronomy, radio astronomy and the NRAO for K-12 teachers and students.
  • Identifying K-12 STEM/STEAM stakeholders and organizations at the city- (Charlottesville) and state- (Virginia) levels and working to establish ongoing relationships, understanding their needs, and proposing how NRAO EPO/STEAM Ed can be of support.
  • Planning and coordinating EPO Events such as Open Houses, Science Fairs, and exhibition booths with hands-on activities at local and state STEM events (when applicable).
  • Working with EPO News and Multimedia Groups and actively contributing to EPO short and long-term planning, program development, and reporting.
  • Compiling evaluation metrics and feedback to measure impact.
  • Delivering programs and presentations for the students, educators, and the public.
  • Answering queries from students, educators, and the general public about the NRAO and astronomy.
  • Others duties as assigned.


Work Environment

Work is typically performed in a research or development environment. May occasionally work at high altitudes. Occasional domestic travel is required. May work occasional evening or weekend events, potentially some outdoors. Must be able to work a varied flexible work schedule.


Position Requirements:


Minimum Education

A Bachelor's degree in astronomy, physical science, education, or a related field is required. Enthusiasm for astronomy education is required.

Minimum Experience

Two to five years of classroom teaching experience (middle or high school) in physics, astronomy, or related subjects.


  • Experience facilitating research experiences in the classroom (posing a research question, collection of data, data analysis and reporting on results) with actual data sets preferred.
  • Demonstrates ability to create inclusive and culturally responsive curricula that uses knowledge of ethnically diverse cultures and diverse teaching strategies, in order to engage a broad range of students, create a safe and respectful learning environment, and promote equitable learning.
  • Demonstrates commitment to promoting and sustaining principles of diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Strong ability to work in a collaborative team-based environment with both remote and non-remote colleagues (including a remote direct manager).
  • Proactive self-starter who is comfortable operating with some autonomy while maintaining the ability to drive a shared vision, mission, goals and objectives;
  • Flexible and adaptable, with the proven ability to maintain successful outcomes in changing environments.
  • Willingness to travel, if necessary.
  • Working knowledge of social media, multimedia applications, and office software such as MS Office. Experience with organization/productivity tools such as Trello, Slack, and Google Drive preferred.
  • Active learner with a desire to learn and grow through this opportunity.


Competency Summary

  • High level of competency in Microsoft software products and web-based systems, Visio and SharePoint.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with the proven ability to establish and maintain working relationships with a wide range of people and personality types.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including public speaking; and the ability to communicate comfortably and effectively with scientists, the public, educators, students, senior managers, and the media.

Additional Requirements
The Observatory requires staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to access our facilities. An offer of employment will be considered contingent until the selected applicant provides proof of vaccination. A selected applicant may request consideration for an accommodation for a disability or for a sincerely held religious belief.

The selected candidate must successfully pass a post-offer, pre-employment background check as a condition of employment.

Application Instructions:


Select the Apply button. You will need to be prepared to upload the following items as a single PDF document:


  1. Cover letter describing your interest in this position, how your education and experience match, and outlines what you will bring to the NRAO. (maximum 2 pages)
  2. Curriculum vitae (maximum 5 pages)
  3. Sample(s) of K-12 curriculum frameworks/content developed and implemented by you


Please direct inquiries to Summer Ash, [email protected].


Equal Opportunity Employer Statement:


AUI is an equal opportunity employer. Women, Minorities, Vietnam-Era Veterans, Disabled Veterans, Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities are encouraged to apply. To view our complete statement, please visit If you require reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process due to a disability, you may submit your request by sending an email to [email protected].



The NRAO is an equal opportunity employer (M/F/D/V)