Columbia University

NYC Teachers in COSMOS-NewLAW-CS3 Summer Program recognized at National Conference

Teachers shared their experience using the COSMOS Education Toolkit with students to run experiments on the NSF testbed in West Harlem.

Original article by Trey Greene | Photo Credit: Trey Greene

Teachers participating in the 2024 Cohort of the COSMOS-NewLAW-CS3 Research Experience and Mentoring for Teachers (REM/RET) program were recognized at the annual Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference in STEM on March 14-16 in Washington, D.C.


The ERN Conference is organized and supported by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). It brings together over a thousand participants from all over the country. During the conference, the NSF Research Experience for Mentors (REM) program held a satellite meeting where grantees from around the country met to share updates about their projects and best practices.

Eleven NYC teachers from the 20-teacher 2023 cohort presented their work from this past summer’s COSMOS-NewLAW-CS3 program, jointly organized by Columbia EngineeringColumbia Data Science Institute, and NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering. One of the teachers was selected as a Runner Up for the Best Presentation Award for her presentation: Sharon Bottu, from Brooklyn HS for Law and Technology.

During the program’s first week, the teachers went through a basic training about the fundamentals of wireless technologies, which was presented collaboratively by teacher peer-mentors, researchers, and educational experts leading the project. Next, the teachers, together with the research team, jointly learned and enhanced innovative real-world experiments and lessons that were organized as automated and repeatable labs tailored to their curriculum. The labs were executed on the COSMOS Remote Education Toolkit, which is able to run labs in the COSMOS testbed and allows teachers and students to run the experiments using a web browser on any PC. Via the browser, students can interact with the testbed located in West Harlem, near the Columbia Morningside campus.

Sharon Bottu explained why she joined the program. “I am passionate about STEM education and was excited to join the COSMOS program. This program greatly benefited me and other educators in New York by allowing us to gain in-depth knowledge, explore wireless technologies and STEM education, and make it accessible to all students.

The COSMOS program is phenomenal as it equipped me to master advanced approaches to wireless technology through support and guidance from NYU and Columbia University researchers and mentors trained in conducting lab experiments. The mentors in this program were like a family and guided me to use the COSMOS remote tool kit and develop and incorporate math lab experiments in my classrooms. I was able to spark curiosity in students to engage and connect STEM education to their everyday lives. Another highlight of this program is attending the Emerging Researchers National (ERN) conference in STEM, where I presented my work and won the ‘First Runner-Up’ award. Overall, this is an invaluable experience, and I feel empowered to inspire my students and their STEM educational journey.”

“Since 2018, the COSMOS-NewLAW-CS3 Research Experience and Mentoring for Teachers (REM/RET) program has been an excellent collaboration between NYU Tandon and Columbia,” said Professor of Electrical Engineering Gil Zussman “This past summer, we focused on transitioning the education toolkit to a virtual setting where educational labs can be executed remotely on the COSMOS testbed and on partnering with the Engineering Research Center for Smart Streetscapes (CS3). During the school year, we were thrilled to visit the teachers in their classrooms and to see the students engaged in hands-on activities. It was great to see our teachers’ presentations at the ERN conference and the recognition they received from the NSF.”

AAAS S&T Policy Fellow at the National Science Foundation’s Dr. Kay-Marie Lamar, who led the organization of the meeting, shared the following, “I was happy to see the COSMOS-NewLaw teachers back in full-force at the REM Grantees meeting and ERN conference in STEM this year; their REM program has so many unique aspects that deliver impact and inspire people at multiple levels. As the organizer of the REM Grantees meeting for the past two years, I have heard the poster judges rave about the presentations given by the high school teachers. I only wish we could give out more prizes!”

About the COSMOS-NewLAW-CS3 Program

The COMOS-NewLAW-CS3 program was co-organized by Kostas Chounos, Panagiotis Tzimotoudis, Ben Esner (NYU Tandon), Kristian Breton and Trey Greene (Columbia Engineering), along with Professors Thanasis Korakis (NYU Tandon), Zoran KosticHarish Krishnaswamy, and Gil Zussman (Columbia Electrical Engineering and Data Science Institute). It is supported in part by REM supplement to NSF award EFMA-1641100 (NewLAW EFRI), NSF awards CNS-1827923 (PAWR COSMOS) and EEC-2133516 (CS3 ERC), and the Columbia Data Science Institute.