Integrated Science Program

Integrated Science Program

This is an IMSA-created blended (on-line followed by an on-campus portion) program for students entering 9th grade. With continued support of funding from Abbvie this summer, IMSA is able to offer this program to 40 promising students from backgrounds that are under-represented in STEM fields.

Students will first complete a two-week, 40 hour on-line course followed with one week of face-to-face experience at IMSA’s Aurora campus. The course incorporates both a chemical and biological exploration of water, and students will be learning about everything from the very small (like how bonds form between molecules in water) to the very large (like how changes in our global environment impact the water cycle).

The over-arching goals of this course include helping students develop the skills necessary to be successful in science. These include critical reading and thinking, data analysis, and written communication, just to name a few.  The course will also provide students with a taste of the kind of work that we do with students here at IMSA during the regular school year.

We are happy to report that many of the students who successfully completed the pilot program in summer 2015 decided to apply to IMSA, and we’re looking forward to seeing the thirteen who were offered and accepted admission in our classrooms and residence halls beginning this fall!


Engineering @ IMSA

Engineering @ IMSA

Innovate through engineering! This course will engage learners in the application of the engineering process, as well as explore various types of engineering fields.  Working in teams, participants will apply the Engineering process to a relevant social issue in order to generate a possible solution.  The week will culminate with the participants presenting their solutions at an Engineering Showcase.

Math @ IMSA

Math @ IMSA

Geometry, Algebra and Calculus.  Why do I need to know that? Join us as we explore the real world application of mathematical concepts.  Participants will be guided by IMSA staff as they collaborate to apply math to their own world.

Here’s a problem to start you of. The clue: describe the previous number. Can you figure out what number will continue the pattern?








… What comes next?

Science @ IMSA

Science @ IMSA

Inquiring minds want to know! Whether in a laboratory or out in IMSA’s Prairie, this program will get minds and hands engaged in science, the IMSA way.  During this one-week residential program, students will engage in scientific inquiries and collaborate with others in hands-on, inquiry-based explorations led by IMSA staff.

Gold Medal STEM: The Science Behind the Olympics

Gold Medal STEM:

The Science Behind the Olympics

Can’t make it to Rio this summer? Come to IMSA to examine the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math behind the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Students will design, build and race a robotics swimmer, re-engineer an archer’s bow, test cycling tires and gears, and more!  Participants will leave with an understanding of how STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) concepts can be harnessed to help athletes maximize their performance.

C.S.IMSA: Calling all Forensic Investigators!

C.S.IMSA: Calling all Forensic Investigators!

We’ve come across a mystery and need your help to crack the case.  As part of this program, participants will work in teams to gather evidence as they unravel the science and mathematics behind crime scene clues like finger and footprints, DNA, handwriting, voice identification and more!  At the end of the week, teams will analyze their evidence, make deductions and propose their theories in an effort to solve the mystery.

What is Up with Water?!

What is Up with Water?!

Where is all our water? Is water a renewable resource? In this program participants will explore this question through hands-on water chemistry experiments and other investigations that will help explain why access to clean fresh water has become one of our WGP—World’s Greatest Problems—and why we need to solve it. Participants will develop a website to communicate what they have learned as well as explore other technical solutions that can help us all make every drop count!

STEMvironment: Saving the World one Worm at a Time


Saving the World one Worm at a Time

Get your green on as you explore how STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is a part of everything around us. This program will give participants an integrated exposure to the various STEM fields and how they can be applied within an environmental context.

Explorations will include the chemistry of recycling, creating power from worms, and energy transfer. The week will culminate in an environmental engineering project where students will use these real-world STEM concepts to create their own energy-efficient home.

Vital Signs: Is there a Doctor in the House?

Vital Signs: Is there a Doctor in the House?

This program will give budding medical students a general understanding of human anatomy through hands-on explorations of the heart, blood, bones and muscles! Participants will also engage in a fun and challenging bioengineering project that will allow them to apply engineering principles and practices to the structure and function of the human body.