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Madison school among Bicentennial STEM program winners

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Bruce Rauner announced today that 25 Illinois elementary and middle schools, including one in Madison, have been awarded a three-year Bicentennial STEM Fusion Program, the Illinois Math and Science Academy’s teacher development training initiative for math and science.

illinoisbicentenniallogo2The governor revealed the list of awardees during a visit to one of the recipients, Dubois Elementary School in Springfield. Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti made a parallel visit to Peck Elementary School, an awardee in Chicago.

IMSA Fusion is a teacher professional development and student STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) enrichment program for Illinois students who are talented, interested and motivated but underrepresented in mathematics, science, and technology. The program focuses on teachers and students in grades 4-8 and hopes to stimulate STEM careers.

“Educating our young and preparing them for work are endeavors that are bipartisan,” Rauner said. “Through this program, the Bicentennial is helping us see what we have in common. STEM Fusion from IMSA represents a unique asset that Illinois is applying to help encourage children set out on a path to the 21st century workforce.”

“I am so excited to receive this wonderful opportunity, and looking forward to what it will mean for teaching and learning at Dubois as we continue to forge pathways into inquiry-based learning that is engaging and authentic,” Dubois Elementary Principal Donna Jefferson said.

More than 100 schools applied for the 25 Fusion programs made available through the Bicentennial. The 25 schools selected serve predominately underserved populations who demonstrated a commitment to embedding IMSA Fusion into their curriculum and presented a sustainability plan to carry the program forward after the three-year award period expires. STEM training is considered critical to work in the future.
Seventy other qualifying schools will receive a one-year curriculum.

“For me, the issue of educational opportunities is personal. My schools didn’t have the resources they needed to provide me with a quality education,” said Sanguinetti. “I’m proud that these underserved schools are getting that educational opportunity to participate in this amazing STEM program. The future of our state depends on our young people developing STEM skills because this field is quickly becoming very high in-demand.”

“Peck Elementary School is a level 1+, one to one Pre-K through 4th grade school that has been deeply immersed in STEM. We practice through inquiry based, problem centered, and integrated teaching and are very excited about being selected as an elementary school recipient to receive the STEM Fusion award,” said Peck Elementary School Principal Okab Hassan. “This curriculum will help enhance our STEM enrichment program and support our vision of providing underrepresented communities with the opportunity to compete with their peers worldwide in both academics and the workforce.”

“IMSA is pleased to be leading the charge to continually innovate K-12 STEM education, creating a strong and diverse talent base through turnkey STEM curricula and student enrichment through our flagship Fusion program,” commented Illinois Math and Science President Dr. Jose Torres.

The STEM Fusion school selection committee was led by Emily Bastedo, Senior Advisor to the Governor. The committee included: Dr. Kevin Pitts, Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education-University of Illinois; Ross Hemphill, Board Member-IMSA Fund for Advancement of Education; Jenna Daugherty, Divisional Vice President of Global Social Responsibility-Abbott; and Kandace Lenti, Executive Vice President, Managing Director-Wintrust Bank.

“We were very pleased to have so many interested schools from all over the state,” commented Bastedo. “The committee reviewed many wonderful applicants to select the top twenty-five.”

The entire program was privately funded. Abbott and Wintrust Bank are the co-presenting sponsors. Additional funding for this campaign was provided by Boeing, Ingredion, Motorola Solutions, Nicor Gas and Takeda.

The 25 awarded schools are:

Akin CCSD 91 – Akin
Arthur Dixon Elementary School – Chicago
Barack Obama School of Leadership and STEM – Chicago Heights
Bernard Long Elementary School – Madison
Booker T. Washington STEM Academy – Champaign
Brown County Middle School – Mount Sterling
Dallas City Elementary School – Dallas City
Dubois Elementary – Springfield
Earle STEM Elementary School – Chicago
Frazier International Magnet School – Chicago
Galva Junior Senior School – Galva
Garrison School – Jacksonville
Gifford Grade School – Gifford
Herrin Junior High School – Herrin
Kimball Hill Elementary School – Rolling Meadows
LEARN 10 – North Chicago
LEARN 6 – North Chicago
Mozart Elementary School – Chicago
Murray Language Academy – Chicago
North Ridge Middle School – Danville
Peck Elementary School – Chicago
Pikeland Community School – Pittsfield
San Miguel School – Chicago
Whittier Primary School – Peoria
Windsor Elementary – Loves Park

About Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy develops creative, ethical leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. As a teaching and learning laboratory created by the state, IMSA enrolls academically talented Illinois students (grades 10-12) in its advanced, residential college preparatory program, and it serves thousands of educators and students in Illinois and beyond through innovative instructional programs that foster imagination and inquiry.

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.

On Dec. 3, 1818, Illinois became the 21st state in the union. The Illinois Bicentennial is a yearlong celebration of what has been “BORN, BUILT & GROWN” in the state.

Citizens are encouraged to participate in the celebration by visiting and using the hashtag #IllinoisProud. Partners and event and project managers planning activities between Dec. 3, 2017, and Dec. 3, 2018, can apply for endorsement to become an official part of Illinois Bicentennial by visiting the PARTICIPATE page at

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