Interactive Mathematics Program


“The students who went through IMP were so different from the kids who went through the traditional approach. They were confident and they had a belief that they could see any math problem and solve it.  I would say that IMP is the best high school curriculum that I know of. And certainly in all the (IMP) classes we worked with we found great engagement and mathematical thinking. I’m a big fan.”

- Jo Boaler, Professor of Mathematics Education, Stanford University

Program Type

Curriculum/Instructional Materials
Teacher Development/Training
Hands on/Project-Based
Work Readiness/Employment
College Readiness

Target Audience

All Students




Grades 6 - 8
Grades 9 - 12

 Promising link

Program Impact

We estimate that currently 50,000 students and 500 teachers are using IMP.  Our goal, with the addition of key partnerships, is to grow those numbers to over a million students and 10,000 teachers. Students who have taken IPM have out-performed their peers with twice the level of mathematical proficiency and are up to 50% more likely to complete at least 3 years of high school mathematics.


Program Overview

The Interactive Mathematics Program (IMP) is an exemplary high school problem-based mathematics curriculum, now available in both integrated and traditional pathways, that prepares all students to be career and college ready.

IMP is built on the same research, principles, and underpinnings as the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSS-M) and the program deploys a proven research-based way for high school students to learn math in a student-centered learning environment that encourages conceptual thinking, problem solving, and communication.  It calls on students, in collaboration with their peers, to experiment with problem solving, look for and articulate patterns, and make, test, and prove conjectures. Students discuss problems, use writing to clarify and express complex mathematical ideas, and present findings to the rest of the class expanding everyone’s thinking.

Preparing students for the challenges of business and industry requires a shift in instruction away from routine manipulation of symbols and procedures toward an in-depth, conceptual understanding of mathematics.  Aligned with CCSS-M, all eight of the mathematical practices are deeply embedded in the activities of the curriculum. IMP meets college entrance requirements and has proven to prepare students to use problem-solving skills at school and on the job.

How To Get Involved

There are significant opportunities and reasons for corporate involvement. IMP students have the skill-set that corporations need. There is also flexibility in how corporations can become involved.  They could support a classroom teacher ($2,500), a school with 4 teachers ($10,000), or a cluster of schools ($10,000 - $250,000). There is an immediate need for IMP Regional Implementation Centers that can support the growing interest in IMP. For example, the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has recently approved IMP as a recommended option for their city-wide mathematics adoption and now our team is working on implementation and scale-up plans with CPS. 

Funders and Partners

Funding for the development and implementation of the IMP started with public funds from the California Postsecondary Commission, the U.S. Department of Education, and the National Science Foundation. Support also came from private foundations such as The Noyce Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, The San Francisco Foundation, the Stuart Foundation, and the Intel Foundation.

Currently IMP is working in partnership with:

  • AMSTI (Alabama Math Science Technology Initiative)
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • NYCDOE (New York City Department of Education)


Barbara Zahm, Director of Grants

914.273.2233 x520

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Design Principles

The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against the Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy.

  • Accomplished
  • Developing
  • Undeveloped

Overarching Principles

  • Need

    Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.

  • Evaluation

    Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.

  • Sustainability

    Ensure work is sustainable.

  • Replication and Scalability

    Demonstrate replicability and scalability.

  • Partnerships

    Create high impact partnerships

  • Capacity

    Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.

STEM Principles

  • Challenging and Relevant Content

    Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience

  • STEM Practices

    Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.

  • Inspiration

    Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.

  • Under-Represented Groups

    Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.