Statewide Student Initiatives News and Updates - Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Statewide Student Initiatives News and Updates


By Aziza Darwish

Edutopia, the influential website that covers innovative practices in education, published a must-read article by written by Aziza Darwish, Statewide Student Initiatives Director and Robyn Lee-Diaz, Statewide Educators Initiatives Partnership Manager.

"Field Trip Partnerships: Student-to-Student Mentoring" gives an in-depth look at how IMSA utilizes students and educators alike to create inquiry-based STEM field trips, and advises school districts on how to start similar educational programs.

Read the article here.


Professional Field Services welcome Illinois middle school students to the IMSA campus for Field Trips …

Every Wednesday, large groups of 100-180 middle students can be seen traveling the IMSA halls as they visit our school to participate in Field Trips run by Professional Field Services. They attend a math extension class with hands-on activities, and a sea star dissection lab.

The middle school attendees come from Fusion schools, which are part of an ongoing partnership with the Statewide Educator Initiatives program at IMSA providing their teachers with pedagogical training in inquiry and supplemental curricular content materials.

The math portion is taught by professionals from Statewide Educator Initiatives, and dissections are led by IMSA students who are in the Allies program (kids teaching kids). Allies students are trained by the Statewide Students Initiatives staff. Many of the visiting students ask not only about sea star anatomy and physiology, but also about students' experiences at IMSA. Many come with aspirations of one day being part of the IMSA family as a residential student.


Addition to Allies program in Chicago …

In the 2014 – 2015 school year, with partners from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT)/ Perspectives Math & Science Academy, Statewide Student Initiatives added one more program to the two existing Allies programs (kids teaching kids). The student Allies come from four different Perspectives campuses on the south side of Chicago. They meet with Mr. Sima Faik, IMSA Allies teacher on Saturday mornings for training to learn content, pedagogy, critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration skills to deliver FUNShops and summer programs to students in Chicago.

Read more about the Allies program here.


“Survey of Organic Chemistry” online course opened registration on November 10 …

Dr. Anita White, IMSA chemistry faculty, developed the curriculum for this online course, designed to explore organic chemistry. External high school students will have the opportunity to pursue a high-level, semester-long, in-depth study of Organic Chemistry. Students registering for the course must have completed one year of chemistry as a prerequisite. Scholarships are available. Online classes begin in January. Register your student here.