IMSA Fusion is a teacher professional development and student STEM enrichment program for Illinois students who are talented, interested and motivated in mathematics and science. IMSA Fusion places a special emphasis on students who are historically underrepresented in those areas. Fusion works with teachers and students in grades 4-8.
In brief, the program goals are:
- Maintain or increase students interest, involvement and literacy in science and mathematics
- Enhance the knowledge and skills of teachers in science, mathematics, and technology; stimulate excellence in schools
- Stimulate excellence in schools’ science and mathematics programs
- Help increase access to programming for students who are historically under-resourced in science, mathematics and technology and for all areas of the state
By design, the IMSA Fusion curriculum is inquiry based, problem centered and integrative. The learning experiences focus on helping students “learn how to learn” and emphasize logic, mathematical thinking and experimental scientific thinking. Topics relate to the students’ lives, thereby arousing their curiosity and increasing their motivation to learn in mathematics and science. Teachers from each participating school are supported with on-going professional development for the delivery of the curriculum and use of appropriate pedagogy. Teachers select two STEM modules from a menu of twelve to learn and deliver each year. Partner schools are provided with curriculum, classroom kits, and ongoing teacher development and support for the annual delivery of two units of hands-on, minds-on STEM.