The Illinois Math and Science Academy’s FUSION afterschool student enrichment programs are making a difference for 200 teachers and almost 3,000 students in Illinois. The program has been shown to boost students’ skills in math and science, and it encourages more students to take advanced math and science classes in high school.
Director of State and Federal Educator Outreach
- Need Accomplished
- Evaluation Accomplished
- Sustainability Accomplished
- Replication & Scalability Accomplished
- Partnerships Accomplished
- Capacity Accomplished
- Challenging & Relevant Content Accomplished
- STEM Practices Accomplished
- Inspiration Accomplished
- Under-Represented Groups Developing
The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against the Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy. Programs must be Accomplished () across all Design Principles, or be Developing () in a maximum of three areas.
Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.
Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.
Ensure work is sustainable.
Replication & Scalability Accomplished
Demonstrate replicability and scalability.
Create high impact partnerships.
Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.
Challenging & Relevant Content Accomplished
Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience.
STEM Practices Accomplished
Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.
Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.
Under-Represented Groups Developing
Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.
IMSA FUSION is an award-winning, research-based after-school enrichment program for Illinois 4th- through 8th- grade students who are talented and motivated in mathematics and science. The program provides ongoing professional development, curricular materials and support to teachers.The goals of the IMSA FUSION program are to: 1. Increase access to STEM programming for students who are historically underrepresented and under-served in mathematics and science; 2. Increase student interest, involvement and literacy in mathematics and science; 3. Enhance the knowledge and skills of teachers in mathematics and science; 4. Stimulate excellence in school mathematics and science programs. Bayer Corporation named FUSION as one of the nation’s Best Practice K-12 STEM Education Programs in 2006 and 2010. FUSION provides an array of problem-centered, inquiry-based lab work. These can include rocket launches, bridge creations, landfill designs, crime investigations, green roof and wind turbine building, and electromagnetic motor construction. FUSION also offers Inquiry Workshops, Online Monthly Problems, Family Events, STEM Webinars and Global Biodiversity Studies.
Funders and Partners
The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy would like to acknowledge FUSION partner schools, the Illinois General Assemby, the Illinois Board of Higher Education, ComEd, William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, Inc., The Harris Family Foundation, The Pritzker Foundation, Chicago Community Trust, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Underwriters Laboratories, and other donors to the IMSA Fund for Advancement of Education.