New York City teachers selected to participate in competitive STEM training program

BROOKLYN, New York, Thursday, June 27, 2019 – Today, AT&T and the universities building one of the country’s first and largest real-world testbeds of advanced wireless communications announced the names of ten teachers from schools throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens who earned spots in an intensive summer program that will prepare them to return to their classrooms this fall ready to engage their students in the transformative technology of 5G and beyond.

The teachers selected for this competitive program and their students will become part of a massive National Science Foundation-funded test of next-generation wireless communications in West Harlem called COSMOS – Cloud Enhanced Open Software Defined Mobile Wireless Testbed for City-Scale Deployment.

A grant from AT&T will provide stipends and fellowships to graduate students from Columbia Engineering and New York University Tandon School of Engineering, who will support the teachers in their classrooms and mentor students as they learn the fundamentals of electrical engineering and conduct exciting hands-on projects using the ultra-fast wireless network. The AT&T support will also allow the teachers to purchase additional materials and supplies needed to execute these STEM lesson plans.

The program begins July 1, 2019 at NYU Tandon during its giant summer program for students and teachers called STEMnow, under the auspices of the School’s Center for K12 STEM Education. Two weeks later the teachers will move to Columbia, where they will develop educational experiments that will use the COSMOS network.  Rutgers University, another academic participant in COSMOS, will be the third stop for the selected teachers. The NSF provides teacher stipends for the summer program as part of the effort to attract the most qualified candidates from diverse communities throughout New York.

“The generous support of AT&T will introduce students throughout the city to smart-city technology that will shape their future and that of our planet,” said NYU Tandon Dean Jelena Kovačević. “We are proud to be a world leader in wireless research, and the COSMOS student and teacher outreach will help ensure that the pipeline of engaged and capable students in New York City will remain filled for years to come.”

“The path to success in STEM careers remains out of reach for too many young people. But training teachers about the innovative ways to incorporate STEM into their lesson plans will help open students’ eyes to the possibilities around them,” said Amy Hines Kramer, President, AT&T New York. “The COSMOS program is an incredible opportunity for teachers, challenging them to utilize real-world resources in their classroom. The practical skills they pass on to their students will open doors for them to thrive in college, their chosen careers and beyond.”

The winning teachers include:

  • Joel Bianchi, Frederick Douglass Academy (Manhattan)
  • Basil Masood, The Mott Hall School (Manhattan)
  • Brooke Williams, PS/MS 46 Arthur Tappan School (Manhattan)
  • Anne Williard, Mott Hall 2 (Manhattan)
  • Juditha Damiao, Joseph F. Lamb, PS/IS 206 (Brooklyn)
  • Richard Foster, Parkside Preparatory Academy (Brooklyn)
  • Jason Econome, Stuyvesant High School (Manhattan)
  • Martina Choi, The Beacon School (Manhattan)
  • Adam Seidman, The Beacon School (Manhattan)
  • Qiaochu Jia, Forest Hills High School (Queens)

This contribution is part of AT&T Aspire, AT&T’s signature philanthropy initiative to drive student success in school and beyond. The initiative supports STEM programs reaching students throughout the five boroughs. Along with its support of the COSMOS program and York College’s NASA MUREP Aerospace Academy, AT&T collaborates with Girls Who Code, First Star College of Staten Island Academy, and DreamYard. AT&T is also connecting underserved students to arts and science education this summer and fall through its support of Win (formerly Women in Need), East Flatbush Village’s STEAM workshops and BRIC’s 2019-2020 Youth Media Fellowship, which gives high school students the skills and professional insight needed to plan, curate, and promote a media festival.

About the New York University Tandon School of Engineering

The NYU Tandon School of Engineering dates to 1854, the founding date for both the New York University School of Civil Engineering and Architecture and the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute (widely known as Brooklyn Poly). A January 2014 merger created a comprehensive school of education and research in engineering and applied sciences, rooted in a tradition of invention and entrepreneurship and dedicated to furthering technology in service to society. In addition to its main location in Brooklyn, NYU Tandon collaborates with other schools within NYU, one of the country’s foremost private research universities, and is closely connected to engineering programs at NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai. It operates Future Labs focused on start-up businesses in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn and an award-winning online graduate program. For more information, visit

About Columbia Engineering

Columbia Engineering, based in New York City, is one of the top engineering schools in the U.S. and one of the oldest in the nation. Also known as The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School expands knowledge and advances technology through the pioneering research of its more than 220 faculty, while educating undergraduate and graduate students in a collaborative environment to become leaders informed by a firm foundation in engineering. The School’s faculty are at the center of the University’s cross-disciplinary research, contributing to the Data Science Institute, Earth Institute, Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, Precision Medicine Initiative, and the Columbia Nano Initiative. Guided by its strategic vision, “Columbia Engineering for Humanity,” the School aims to translate ideas into innovations that foster a sustainable, healthy, secure, connected, and creative humanity.

About Philanthropy and Social Innovation at AT&T

AT&T is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities, and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; and address community needs. The Company’s signature philanthropic initiative, AT&T Aspire, drives innovation in education to promote student success in school and beyond. With a financial commitment of $400 million since 2008, AT&T is leveraging technology, relationships, and social innovation to help all students make their biggest dreams a reality.