Padma Paramananda

Sloan Awards for Excellence in Teaching Science and Mathematics • 2024

Title and Organization Physics, Robotics, AP Biology, Brooklyn School for Math & Research


Among Padma Paramananda’s students, he’s called Mr. P—and MVP. That shows just how beloved he is in his Physics, Robotics, and AP Biology classes at the Brooklyn School for Math and Research (BSMART), where his students transform into budding engineers and scientists. Mr. Paramananda also facilitates this evolution through his collaboration with Medgar Evers College, which allows his AP Biology students to receive a $2,000 scholarship to attend Early Entry Program courses. Mr. Paramananda wrote the curriculum for the Robotics course, rewrote the curriculum for the AP Biology and Physics courses, and—on top of that—launched a drone program, introduced 3-D printing to the school, and created a robotics team that went from an after-school group to the first-place winner of the city-wide 2019 VEX Robotics Competition. His student champions, who built their reputation from scratch have a remarkable role model in Mr. Paramananda. He and his family fled from war-torn Sri Lanka to the Bronx when he was a teenager, losing financial security to secure peaceful lives. Seeing his parents persevere, Mr. Paramananda was driven to teach himself English and excel in school—he is now not only a STEM teacher, but he also works after school teaching English as a Second Language classes and preparing adults for their GED exams. Mr. Paramananda, a member of Math for America, is currently in his 11th year at BSMART and is the Chairperson of the school’s Science Department.