IMSA (Illinois Math and Science Academy) Fusion is currently in its 9th year at Churchill Junior High. The IMSA program originated in Aurora, Illinois and started with two goals; to further expand the expertise of science teachers across the state and to expand the horizons of students with a challenging curriculum that extends beyond the everyday science and math in the classroom.
"I was in IMSA Fusion 7th and 8th grade, and I learned so much about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). What I learned in IMSA has helped me this year, and I can also see it helping me in the future", according to Brady W., freshman at Galesburg High School.
The group meets after school mid-September through May on Tuesdays from 3 to 4:45 p.m.
Approximately 30 students participate and 7th grade Science teacher, Brandy Dornan, and 8th grade Math teacher, Katrina Johnson, lead the students
The students are not always in the classroom, according to Dornan, "We try diligently to take the kids on at least one field trip related to our curriculum a year. A couple of field trip examples have been going to an escape room for our secret codes unit and we have taken the kids to Challenger Learning Center at Heartland Community College so they could engage in a mission to Mars for our Mars unit."
Parents believe the program has been an added benefit to their students as well, "IMSA Fusion has been a great program for my kids. It allows them to pursue a specific topic over a sustained period of time, working with other students who share their interest and enthusiasm. I love that the structure of the program allows for pure inquiry without the added burden of required projects, homework or deadlines," Molly Palmer, Churchill parent.
IMSA Fusion is truly an educational yet fun experience for all involved.