A Bronx teacher was recently the recipient of a prestigious award for science education in the NYC.
On Wednesday, December 11, Aida Rosenbaum, who teaches earth science and AP environmental science at the Bronx Latin School, 800 Home Street, was one of seven teachers recognized at the city’s 11th Annual Sloan Awards for Excellence in Teaching Science and Mathematics in New York City Public High Schools.
The awards ceremony was held at the Great Hall at Cooper Union. Each winner received $5,000 and their respective school’s science or mathematics department got $2,500 towards strengthening their program.
“It feels very surprising; surreal almost,” Rosenbaum said. “Going into this field, you don’t expect to get awarded or recognized.”
Rosenbaum, 39, who has been teaching for 16 years, grew up in Washington Heights, but today resides in Riverdale.
She told the Bronx Times that teaching runs in her family. Her mother, Marian Brady, was an educator for many years, her sister, Leola Brady Price is an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher and her husband, Dan Rosenbaum, is also an earth science teacher.
She followed in her mom’s footsteps and enjoys what she does for a living. However, she originally wanted to be a scientist, but eventually realized teaching has much more an impact on students.
“She definitely taught me from the beginning that you have to take care of children and children are first, no matter what’s going on in your career,” she said.
She earned her B.A. in Environmental Studies from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass., and her M.P.A. in Earth System Science, Policy and Management from Columbia University.
“I became a teacher when I realized basic knowledge about science is lacking,” she commented. “I fortunately had a lot of wonderful teachers growing up.”
Science always fascinated her, she said. She spent her summers in day camp exploring nature and loved it.
As she got older she saw the importance of educating children about climate change, the environment and environmental justice.
She is also the Science Department team leader, a facilitator of the Youth Court, the Gardening Club teacher, a coach of new-teacher mentors, the school EDTech specialist and a member of the Learning Partners Program working to share best practices between schools.
“I love science,” she stressed. “I think teaching earth science is amazing. Teaching climate change has been a big part of my day.”
According to Rosenbaum, the award came as a total surprise. She found out her principal Annette Fiorentino nominated her and five of her colleagues and three students spoke on her behalf.
Rosenbaum noted that her family and students attended the award ceremony.
“To get recognition and to get prize money, honestly I’m flattered,” she said.