Summer@IMSA features week-long programs like STEMvironment, E2:
Engineering Explorations and MicroSTEM.
Students grades third through fourth get their green on in
STEMvironmen, and exploration on the STEM in everything. While
providing an integrated experience to various STEM fields, students
apply them in an environmental context. A week of hands-on
activities on the chemistry of recycling, solar and water power, and
energy transfer culminates in an environmental engineering project
where students design, build and improve their own energy efficient
E2: Engineering Explorations, teaches students grades fifth through
sixth to design, tinker, build, test and then do it again! Students
engage in hand-on activities including designing, building and
racing boats, performing a calculator dissection, building a
Bristlebot, and more as they explore the engineering design process
through electrical, chemical and biomedical engineering.
Students grades seventh and eighth think big while going small in
MicroSTEM, the exploration of the STEM of tiny things from
microwaves, to molecules, to circuits and code. Harnessing the power
of smartphones and innovative scope lenses, students will find the
answers to the most microscopic of conundrums.
IMSA also offers an online research study program called Research,
Inquiry Skills & Experimentation (RISE) for all students in
Illinois. RISE enables students from across the state to conduct
in-depth research on a subject of their choice, learning all of the
research methods necessary and presenting their research outcomes at
events throughout the state.
IMSA’s STEM outreach programs that delve deep into fascinating STEM
subjects for both students and educators are a direct result of the
exceptional STEM education model taught at the residential academy
in Aurora, Illinois. Founded 30 years ago, by a group of pioneering,
innovative scientists and educators, with the support of
progressive-thinking state officials, IMSA continues to lead the
nation in STEM education and was recently ranked the #2 public high
school in the country by Niche.com. Niche is similar to the U.S.
News and World Reports university ranking for K-12 schools.
Specifically, IMSA had the best teachers nationally, placed first in
STEM within Illinois and second for STEM education across the
With an emphasis on advanced science, technology, engineering and
mathematics classes, IMSA provides educational experiences to
students at the residential academy that they may not have access to
at their home schools. Additionally, IMSA employs Google’s 80/20
model – with 80% of coursework following traditional studies and 20%
allocated to independent research on topics specific to each
students’ individual interests. Students, through IMSA’s Student
Inquiry and Research (SIR) program have the opportunity to work with
leading experts, conducting research on topics such as Parkinson’s
disease, Almost Dark Galaxies (ADG), and breast cancer, just to name
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The 2016-2017 Academic year ushered in new resources for expanding
student learning at IMSA. IN2 – the Steve and Jamie Chen Center for
Innovation and Inquiry opened and is home to TALENT, a program that
prepares teen entrepreneurs for successful start-ups, innovation and
even pitching on programs like Shark Tank. In addition to TALENT,
IN2 houses two IMSA start-ups, think tanks, makerspace, programs for
Another new resource that expands student learning opportunities at
IMSA is the newly renovated science laboratories. With new
state-of-the-art equipment, IMSA students are able to learn in an
environment that closely resembles research labs found at
universities and R&D facilities. Additionally, these labs now enable
faculty to lead students in experiments they were not able to
successfully conduct in the old labs.
Any student residing in Illinois is eligible to apply for IMSA’s
tuition-free residential academy, and all students are encouraged to
participate in IMSA’s STEM Outreach programs.
For 30 years, the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy® (IMSA)
has developed creative, ethical leaders in science, technology,
engineering and mathematics.
As the leading teaching and learning laboratory created by the State
of Illinois, IMSA enrolls academically talented Illinois students,
grades 10-12, in its advanced residential academy.
Additionally, IMSA serves thousands of educators and students in
Illinois through innovative instructional outreach programs that
foster imagination and inquiry.
For more information on Summer@IMSA and the residential Academy,
please visit www.imsa.edu.