Maywood, IL...Students in Ed Beidas’ aviation and physics classes at Proviso East High School will get a boost in their education, thanks to the Common Roots Initiative.
Mr. Beidas was awarded a $1,000 teacher scholarship in December from the group, which was formed by Proviso East alumni to raise money to give back to the school. He is the second recipient of the award, following Glenn Lid, a Proviso East chemistry teacher who won a $1,000 teacher scholarship in spring 2012.
Tony Valente, principal at Proviso East High School, said that it was right that Mr. Beidas won the award.
"Mr. Beidas works diligently with our students to ensure they achieve," Mr. Valente said. "He’s a student-centered teacher who wants what’s right for his kids, and I’m glad the award went to him."
With the scholarship money, Mr. Beidas plans to further the cooperative aviation program with Lewis University School of Aviation. In addition to the 20 aviation lab-training stations that he has helped to bring to Proviso East for student training, he also plans to use the scholarship money to fund a workshop at Lewis University where students can practice on flight simulators and practice building wings for aircraft. He said that he also plans to take the students to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago to learn more about space flight and to Six Flags Great America in Gurnee to conduct labs on the physics of the rides at the amusement park.
omes more real for them," Mr. Beidas said. "Our students get to fly their simulators, and if we get the funding, they get to go up in a plane."
Jennifer Cassell, chairperson of the Common Roots Initiative’s 2013 scholarship committee and the group’s secretary, said that the group was impressed by Mr. Beidas’ idea to provide students with hands-on experiences that tied into his lessons.
"Mr. Beidas has proven longevity at Proviso East and a clear desire to expose students to a variety of science-based careers," said Ms. Cassell, a 1996 graduate of Proviso East. "We felt the students would most benefit from unique in-the-field experiences that could have a life-changing impact on the trajectory of their careers."
Mr. Beidas said that the experiences in the aviation and physics classes can encourage students to eventually pursue careers in the five main aviation-related majors offered at Lewis University, including piloting, aeronautical engineering, airport management, airport security, and aircraft maintenance.
"These are really nice skills for the kids to learn," he said.
Mr. Beidas is yet another example of teachers in District 209 who devote themselves to their students and look for ways to improve their education, said Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent.
"Projects such as this not only make the instruction more relevant for the students, they also support the renewed focus on both college and career readiness," she said. "This represents the best of the best because we are also partnering with our community partners through the alumni group."