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Green Slime, NLU Prof Help Alum Win Science Teacher Award Andrew Bean won grant to install solar panels at his CPS School

Andrew Bean ’12 Congratulations to NLU alum Andrew Bean ’12, who recently received a national award for new science teachers. He had the strong backing of his mentor and NLU prof, Vito Dipinto, Ed.D., who frequently visits Bean’s classroom to whip up green slime, and other science oddities, to attract 13-year-olds’ interest in science.

Bean, who earned an M.A.T. in Elementary Education, is an eighth grade science and social studies teacher at William E. Dever Elementary School in the Belmont Heights on the Northwest side of Chicago.

DiPinto mentored Bean during his time at NLU and saw him through one of the most challenging experiences in teacher preparation: student teaching. Thanks to his mentor, Bean found his calling.

“Dr. D. is the reason I decided to teach science, because I found a passion and wonder inside of myself that I did not know could exist.”

Now as a teacher, Bean partners with Dipinto on science lessons at least four times during the school year, a few of which resulted in presentations at National Science Teacher Association (NSTA) conferences.

And it’s the NSTA that conferred Bean with his most recent award, the Maitland P. Simmons Memorial Award for New Teachers. Along with the recognition, he’s been granted funds to attend the annual National Conference on Science Education, and access to mentorship opportunities from nationally renowned science education experts.

NLU prof, Vito DiPinto, Ed.D., with one of his science oddities.

NLU prof, Vito DiPinto, Ed.D., presenting one of his science oddities.

Where does Dipinto fit into all this? He submitted Bean’s nomination for the award in the first place.

One of the accomplishments which earned Bean the Simmons award is that he helped obtain a grant through the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation to cover 90% of the cost of solar panels that were installed on his school’s roof. The school’s new teaching tool was debuted at a school-wide event dubbed the “Solarbration.”

When it comes to dedicated passion for science education, Bean is clearly in his element.