Click here to go back to the home page Click on this link to view the screenreader friendly and text only version of this website

Vito M. Dipinto


Associate Professor

Programs/Classes Taught:


SCE480B: Methods of Teaching Elementary School Science
SCE485: Methods of Teaching Middle School Science
SCE520: Chemistry for Teachers
SCE521: Astronomy for Teachers
SCE510: Physical Science for Teachers
SCE500: Science, Technology and Society
SCE501: Advanced Methods for Teaching Elementary School Science
SCE504: Teaching for Conceptual Development in Science
SCE593: Seminar in Science Education
SCE525: Using Informal Sites for Teaching Science-Introduction
SCE526: Using Informal Sites for Teaching Science-Internship
SCE594: Independent  Study/Green  Organic Chemistry for Teachers
SCE594: Independent Study/ Classical Thermodynamics for Teachers
SCE594: Independent Study/ Quantum Mechanics for Teachers
SCE594: Independent Study/ History and Philosophy of Science and Science Education
SCE594: Independent Study/Biotechnology for Teachers
SCE594: Independent  Study/ Naked Eye Astronomy in the City
SCE594: Independent Study/A Study of Vitamin C
SCE529: Zoology for Teachers
SCE595: Special Topics/Science Education/Beyond Text Book Science: Intermediate Grades
SCE595: Special Topics/Science Education/Beyond Text Book Science: Primary Grades
SCE582 WS/Science Education/Topic: Science and Toys—Hands-on Physical Science for the Elementary School
SCE582: WS/Science Education/ Topic: Science Fair Series
ESR507: Graduate Research: Empirical/Quantitative
MLE500: The Middle School: An Overview
MLE 502: Middle School Curriculum
TIE595: Special Topics/Technology In Education/Using Computers for Teaching Science
ESR 505 Educational Inquiry and Assessment
ESR 514 Research in Action: Becoming Practitioner Researchers
ELE 547: Methods of Teaching Health and Physical Education
ELE 545  Methods of Teaching the Arts
SEC 516 Methods of Teaching  Physical Science Secondary
SEC 590A-F: Secondary Education Student Teaching Seminar
Student  Teaching Supervision (K-12)


SCE480A: Methods of Teaching Elementary School Science
SCE481: Methods for Teaching Primary Grade Science
CIS 481: Methods for Teaching Primary Social Studies
ELE347: Methods for Teaching Health and Physical Education
ELE 345: Methods of Teaching the Arts

Areas of Expertise:

K-12 science methods, astronomy, chemistry, middle school education, classroom teacher 4-8 grades, interactive online  teaching and learning;, multimedia authoring and learning; using children’s  literature for teaching and learning science; science fiction and fantasy expert; storytelling; gifted education; digital storytelling; MakerSpaces and Innovation  Labs; integrating visual literacy into the  secondary  science classroom; teaching the Nature of Science (NOS); designing and using virtual labs; clowning, puppetry, performance art


Vito M. Dipinto began his professional career as an organic chemist. Realizing later in life that he was really a performance artist he became an educator- a Montessori teacher, a science teacher, curriculum designer and coordinator at the Baker Demonstration School, past chair of NLU’s Science Education Department, and the senior science education faculty member at NLU. However, since the birth of his granddaughter he has become a fulltime grandpa and a full time absent-minded professor.


The above is what I usually have included in my published papers. I have been an organic chemist for over two decades. Prior to  entering undergrad I worked on research teams at Harshaw Chemical and Case Institute of Technology both in Cleveland. I attended Lake ‘Forest College which had a nationally ACS recognized undergrad chemistry program. For over three years I worked part time at Abbot synthesizing novel substrates for chemical models leading to the design and synthesis of a new class of drugs: antidepressants. My first job out of undergrad was as a research chemist at Kraft Foods R & D where my primary task was to invent new salad type dressing products. I then became the lead chemist at a small pharmaceutical start up where I synthesized a whole new class of monosaccharaides that had potent antiviral properties. Finally, I landed at IIT Research Institute, which did contract research for the government and industry. I was the bench chemist on many FDA, EPA and National Cancer Institute projects. I am still recognized as an international expert on polychlorinated dibenzofurans  and dioxins, PCBs and synthesis of N-nitrosamines.  I worked on an FDA project looking at ways to improve  bonding capacity of  opioid  blockers like Naltrexone. I also have the dubious distinction of  inventing the “pop” in Pop Rocks. This is my 30th year at NLU where I guess I am still known as the “Science Guy”.




National-Louis University                                   Ed.D.(instructional  leadership)           1998
    Dissertation Title: “Sciencing with Vito in the Seventh Grade or Teaching as Performance Art” Minor Concentration:  Curriculum & Instruction:          Science  Education
National College of Education                             MAT (science ed)                                1987
American Montessori Society                              Pre-primary certification  (0-6 years)  1979
Lake Forest College                                           B.A. (chemistry)                                   1970


Honors and Awards:

2013 Dean’s Award
2012 NLU Teaching Excellence Award
1998 NLU Teaching Excellence Award


Research and Interests:

Conference  Presentions:

2 December 2016 It’s In the Bag: The Greening of the NGSS an interactive workshop presentation at the MidWest Regional NSTA Conference, Columbus, OH with P. Fisher and  N. Hershiser.

30 September 2016 Engaging Students in Systems Thinking Across the Curriculum a presentation at the Illinois Reading Conference Peoria, IL with P. Fisher, N. Hershiser, C. Hershiser, and R. Turner.

8 April 2016 It’s in the Bag: Ready-to-go Outdoor Learning Experiences a presentation at the Illinois Healthy & High Performing Schools Annual Symposium with  C. Herisher and  P. Fisher

13 March 2015 Oobleck in the Secondary Education Classroom: Implementing NGSS and CCS With an Oldie but Goodie a presentation at NSTA International Conference, Chicago, IL with A. Bean, F. Prill, and  D.  Murphy

13 March 2015 It’s a Gas The Movie: Grades 8-12 Students Producing Virtual Labs a presentation at NSTA International Conference, Chicago, IL with F. Prill, A. Bean and D. Murphy

13 March 2015 You Thought You Were THE Science Teacher: Wrong We Are All Teachers of Reading a presentation at  NSTA  International Conference, Chicago, IL with A. Dipinto

12 March 2015 The STEM Challenge: Integrating Engineering into a College Secondary Physical Science Methods Course a presentation at NSTA International Conference, Chicago, IL  with A. Cerqua

4 April 2014 Using Virtual Labs in the  Secondary Science Classroom a  presentation at the  NSTA International Conference Boston, MA with A. Bean, F. Prill & D.  Murphy

5 November 2014 Melting Ice: Discovering the wondrous in the mundane. a   presentation at International Visual Literacy Association International Conference. Toledo OH with J. Sandoval, D. Murphy, K. Dipinto  and A. Dipinto

16 May 2013: The Thought Experiment: Integrating the Arts into STEM (+ A = STEAM); a presentation at the National Science Teachers Summit on STEM, St., Louis, MO with Anna Dipinto.

30 November 2011: Digital Storytelling: the Arts and the Preservice Teacher: a presentation at the International Conference on Education,Informatics,and Cybernetics. Orlando, FL



20 February 2012: What’s in Dr. D (XXX) Julius’s Hat? A Storytelling Experience for the National Louis University Library Faculty Author Series, Lisle, IL

31 January 2012: What’s in Dr. D(XXX) Julius’s Hat? A Storytelling Experience  for the National Louis University Library Faculty Author Series, Chicago, IL.


Work with K-12 Students and My Esteemed Colleagues (All graduates of ourTeacher Preparation Programs)

27 October 2016 The Lady Who Put Salt in Her Coffee: A STEAM  investigation  with eighth  graders at  ASPIRA  Haugen  Middle School, Chicago, IL

13-14 October Coffee Can Stoichiometry: Exploring the Pop in Pop Rocks an investigation with third graders at MCC Academy (a Muslim day school), Skokie, IL

7 October 2016 Oobleck Reprise: Introducing Non-Newtonian fluids to chemistry students at Bolingbrook High School,  Bolingbrook, IL

6 October 2016 Legoman: Introducing the Use of Qualitative Data in Science an investigation with seventh graders at Devers Elementary School, Chicago, IL

6 October 2016 Oobleck: Exploring qualitative data with 8th graders at Devers Elementary School Chicago, IL

1 September 2016 Inventing A Roller Coaster: Introducing Engineering Practices to sophomores as part of the new NGSS redesign of the physics curriculum St. Charles East High School, St Charles, IL

20 April 2016 Oobleck: Celebrating Earth Week an interactive presentation for third graders at  Prairie Crossing Charter School, Grayslake, IL

14 March 2016 MakerSpaces: Building Light Sculptures  to  Learn Engineering Practices with 8th  graders at Devers Elementary School Chicago, IL

3 March 2016 50 Degrees Below Zero: An Introduction to a Weather unit for sixth graders at   Devers Elementary School, Chicago, IL

5 December 2015 A Night of Science, presentations to students and their parents as  part of  Science Family Night at Devers Elementary School, Chicago, IL.

8 December 2015 What Makes the Pop in Pop Rocks an interactive presentation   with sixth graders at ASPIRA Haugen Middle School. Chicago. IL\

6 October 2015 Oobleck: An Introduction to States of  Matter to 8th graders  Devers Elementary  School Chicago, IL

8 September 2015 The Engineering Challenge:  Introducing high school  physics  students  to  design  thinking. St. Charles East High  School St. . Charles, IL

14 April 2014 Ramps and Balls: Using the Engineering Practices of NGSS with sophomore physics students at St. Charles East High School, St, Charles , IL

16 September 2014 Oobleck: Using the Scientific and Engineering Practices of  NGSS for 8th grade  students  at  Devers Elementary School, Chicago, IL

31 October 2014 Oobleck: Recycling an Oldie But Goodie for sophomores and juniors at Bolingbrook High School, Bolingbrook, IL


Recent  Publications:

Dipinto, V. M. Murphy, D. and Dipinto, A (2014) Messin’ around: The role  of play in middle  level science education.   International Journal of Liberal Arts and Social Science, 2(2), 55-66

Dipinto, V., Dipinto, K. & Rios, J. (2012) Digital Storytelling: The Arts and the Preservice Teacher.  Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics, 10(5), 36-38.

Dipinto, V. & Dipinto, A. (2012) You Wonderful You: Developing the Social and Emotional Health of the Gifted Adolescent. Journal of Illinois Association for Gifted Children, 14-17.

Salmon, D., Rossman, A. & Dipinto, V.  (2012) Knowing by Doing and Doing by Knowing. Science Scope, 35(6), 70-76.

Dipinto, V. (2011) Clowning around: Nurturing creativity in middle school students. Illinois Association for Gifted Children Journal 2011, 29-33.

Contact Information:
847 947 5193


    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Established in 1988 and located in one of Tampa's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to its classrooms, the National Louis University Tampa Regional Center features a computer lab, student lounges, and conference room.

    5110 Sunforest Drive, Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
    Info » | Directions »