The History and Social Science Team at the Illinois Math and Science Academy plays a complex role in the intellectual life of the institution. We strive to provide our remarkable students with university-level experiences that expand their perspectives, hone their analytical skills, and provide context for their work in math and science.
As a history department, we seek to prepare our students for citizenship in the American republic and the larger global community. Our sophomore core experience focuses on the place of the U.S. Constitution in American history, while the junior core program combines a topical, comparative approach to world cultures in the fall semester with a rigorous examination of 20thcentury global history in the spring. Taken as a whole, the core courses give students the chance to explore the myriad factors and forces that lay at the foundations of contemporary institutions and events. In addition, the department stresses the complexity of pursuing equitable public policy in an atmosphere of cultural pluralism.
As a History/Social Science department in a STEM academy, we encourage our students to place math and science in social and intellectual context through a series of interdisciplinary courses and experiences. A departmental emphasis on the history of ideas gives students the opportunity to trace the intellectual roots and assumptions of modern ideologies and methods of inquiry, particularly scientific ones. Studies in the history of technology allow students to explore the complex relationships between human society and the physical world. Quantitative approaches to history and society require students to apply their mathematical acumen to the study of the human experience and to reflect on the complexities of data gathering and analysis. Finally, the History and Social Science Department at IMSA shares the Academy’s commitment to the UN Strategic Development Goals (SDG’s) as a means of focusing their studies on the practical problems that confront humanity in the 21stcentury. Many of our courses include material that relates to these goals, and all of our senior students are required to produce a project relating their years of study at IMSA to a specific SGD. As a department, we believe that the UN Strategic Development Goals serve as an effective means of combining our priorities: global citizenship, interdisciplinary study, critical analysis, science and society, and equitable policy- making.