Meet the Teachers: Insights from Our NSF COSMOS-NewLAW-CS3 REM/RET Program

August 03, 2023

On Friday, July 28th, 2023, we successfully wrapped up the NSF COSMOS-NewLAW-CS3 Research Experience and Mentoring for Teachers. We are thrilled to present exclusive interviews featuring some of the exceptional teachers who played a pivotal role in making this year’s program a huge success. The program is led by Prof. Thanasis Korakis (from NYU) and Electrical Engineering faculty Professors KrishnaswamyKostic, and Zussman, along with a large team of students and staff from Columbia and NYU.

Brooke Williams

“Hello, everyone! I’m Brooke Williams, a math teacher at PS 46 Arthur Tappanin in West Harlem.

As a returning mentoring teacher, I’m excited to support fellow educators in the program. I’ve also successfully helped other teachers in my school get involved and teach lessons from this program. The COSMOS teachers group feels like family; we attend conferences together and stay connected even after the summer ends.

Seeing my students realize that teachers have lives outside the classroom is one of the best parts. They get excited about the program and its real-world impact through pictures and research I share with them.

I always look forward to this program every year, as mentoring and coaching other teachers brings me joy and complements my career as an educator. It’s an extension of what I love doing.”

Dustin Mink

“My name is Dustin Mink, and I come from Donna Klein Jewish Academy in Florida. We are partnered with Florida Atlantic University.

I’m having a fantastic time in the program and have been focused on creating lessons using COSMOS’ remote toolkit. These resources are not only beneficial for teachers within the program but also for educators outside of it.

The experience has been exciting and relevant to my teaching, and I’m eager to integrate the program’s resources into my curriculum. While I plan to continue teaching for the next year or two, my ultimate goal is to pursue grad school. Staying connected with COSMOS could greatly benefit me if I choose to pursue wireless technology research.”

Monica Woolard

“Hi, I’m Monica Woolard, a high school math teacher at DreamYard Preparatory School in the Bronx.

My main goal is to make STEM education accessible to all students, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds. The COSMOS program has taught me valuable knowledge about electromagnetic and wireless communications, which I’m excited to bring back to my school community.

My aim is to create entry points for my students to engage in STEM fields and have a better understanding of real-world applications. I want my students to feel connected to STEM and see what happens in labs and research. Even if they don’t choose STEM careers, sparking curiosity and interest in these subjects would mean making a positive impact on their education. By relating complex concepts to everyday experiences, I hope to make STEM more relatable and engaging for them.

Overall, I feel I’m in the right place with the right people, and I believe this program will benefit both me and my students in achieving our goals.”

Richard Foster

“Hi, I’m Richard Foster, a science teacher at Parkside Preparatory Academy in Brooklyn. I teach grades six through eight and absolutely love this program! I’ve been with the program since the beginning, and it provides me with excellent educational toolkits for science.

The best part is that it aligns perfectly with my curriculum, which centers around the evolution of technology and science, with a special emphasis on wireless technology. Over the past six years, this program has been a major highlight for me because it excites and engages my students like nothing else. It’s simply phenomenal!”

I am genuinely excited about this program and eagerly looking forward to participating again next year.”

Cherrilyn Badilla

“Hello, I’m Cherrilyn Badilla, a teacher at The Clinton School in Manhattan. I’ve always been passionate about STEM, and this program provides a wonderful opportunity for me to explore it further.

Many of my students are interested in STEM careers and are preparing for college, so this program allows me to bring relevant and hands-on activities to the classroom.

This is my second year participating in the program, and one of the highlights was presenting my work from the COSMOS Education Toolkit at the Emerging Researchers National Conference in STEM (ERN) earlier this year. It was a proud moment for me when I won the “Best Teacher Presentation”.

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