Teaching Science and Mathematics

Through her Science Research course, students are paired with scientists and ... to make sure that all students receive opportunities to excel academically.
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The Fund for the City of New York and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation congratulate the winners of the

2015 Sloan Awards for Excellence in Teaching Science and Mathematics Celebrating Extraordinary Teachers in New York City Public High Schools Shanaz Baksh

AP Biology, Freshman Research, Advanced Science Research Queens High School for the Sciences at York College Shanaz Baksh is not simply a teacher of science; her purpose is to convert students whose goal is to get a high score on AP exams into students who love biology and are thoroughly at home in scientific research. She instills in her students an excitement about learning, an understanding of what it means to be model scientists and how to work out complex assignments in teams. Through her Science Research course, students are paired with scientists and professors across the city who guide students in crafting original scientific research projects. Says one such professor “Her students do serious investigative science. They show respect to processes, ask penetrating questions, are inspired by the possibilities of scientific research and their focus is intense.”

Patrick Callahan

AP Biology, AP Environmental Science, Science Research, Earth Science The Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics When Patrick Callahan arrived at The Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics in 2012, the only science course the school offered not tied to a Regents Exam was AP Biology. Upon arrival, Mr. Callahan created a Science Research course in which students independently design their own scientific research project and present their research at science fairs and competitions across the city. This past year, Mr. Callahan also advocated for, designed and is teaching the school’s first AP Environmental Science course. Says Principal Edward Tom, “He is a superstar as a teacher and scientific role model for our students. His work ethic is unparalleled and he is always working to level the playing field for students in the South Bronx.

Patricia Peña Carty

Sophomore Biology, AP Biology, Genetics University Heights High School For Patricia Peña Carty, exposing students to professional-level science research opportunities while fostering an understanding in students of how science can be used as vehicle for social change is paramount. Her biology students have conducted original research on air quality concerns in the South Bronx and have presented their research to professional scientists and local lawmakers, while also researching wildlife forensics at the Museum of Natural History. Ms. Peña Carty has also created a Genetics course at University Heights High School, with students designing and conducting their own genetic research projects to be presented at the Urban Barcode Project. Says one colleague, “Students feel like scholars in her class. Their mastery of difficult scientific content is exceptional.”

Joseph Danquah

AP Calculus AB & BC, Integrated Algebra, Pre-Calculus, Geometry Bard High School Early College, Manhattan Joseph Danquah’s main goal is to encourage students to think about math in ways that are not only relevant to their daily lives, but as a conceptual framework built off critical thinking and logic. The rigor of his classroom, and his renowned tutoring and summer “boot camp” sessions, allowed his former students at DeWitt Clinton High School to excel on the AP Calculus exam and pursue careers in math and science after graduation. Now teaching at Bard High School Early College, Mr. Danquah is already having a profound effect on students. Says Principal Michael Lerner, “Joseph is a mathematics instructor that is almost too good to be true. He mixes his generosity and willingness to work with students at any time with a remarkable mathematical skill and unparalleled work ethic.”

Dieudonne Egotanda

AP Calculus BC, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, Repeater Algebra New Utrecht High School Raised in the former Belgian Congo, Dieudonne Egotanda is ever mindful