Lori Ann Pawlik

The U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board has announced that Lori Ann Pawlik, physics teacher and instructor for the Teachers for Tomorrow program at Charles J. Colgan Sr. High School, is a recipient of the prestigious Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Program award. Pawlik was selected by a presidentially appointed 12-member board to participate in this program, the world’s largest and most diverse international educational exchange program. She joins the ranks of other distinguished participants who have included Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and leaders from across private, public, and nonprofit sectors, such as heads of state, judges, ambassadors, cabinet ministers, and university presidents.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world. As a Fulbright recipient, Pawlik will share knowledge and foster meaningful connections across communities in the United States and abroad. Pawlik will conduct cutting-edge research and expand international partnerships and relationships with a goal toward finding solutions that address shared international concerns.

Pawlik has been an educator in Prince William County Public Schools since 2012 and has taught physics at Colgan High since August 2020. She is known for using project-based learning to weave authentic, real-world problems into her classes, taking examples from aspects of engineering and/or United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on which her students can collaborate and present. In addition to the Fulbright award, Pawlik was invited to attend the National Congress on Science Education workshops this summer with the National Science Teachers Association and has served on National Science Foundation panels. She is currently president-elect of Virginia Association of Science Teachers  and will serve as its president for the 2023-24 year.

Pawlik shared that her engineering and coaching background helped her to develop curriculum to include problem- and project-based learning with student collaboration and presentation for all age levels.

“My destination has not yet been released, but this is a yearlong professional learning opportunity with a three-week international field experience for educators from the United States to develop skills to prepare students for a competitive global economy,” stated Pawlik. “I am excited for this opportunity to further connect students with the world and share global cultures through education with them, my colleagues, and everyone. Stay tuned!”

Pawlik is also the previous recipient of a number of other impressive awards: in 2021, she received the Virginia Association of Science Teachers’ Recognition in Science Education award for Outstanding Physics Teacher for finding creative ways to teach high school physics during the 2020-21 school year; in 2020, she was one of only 15 in the world selected to partner with a National Geographic Explorer with a goal toward helping her physics students see themselves as global citizens who care about the world and their place in it; and, in 2018, Pawlik was the Virginia recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching as a K-6 Educator.