Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

To ignite and nurture creative, ethical, scientific minds that advance the human condition.

13 State Gold and 3 National Awards for First Class of IMSA’s RISE Online Course


IMSA’s inaugural Research, Inquiry Skills & Experimentation (RISE) course, which teaches research skills through independent, higher-level study of a science topic of each student’s choosing, guided 13 students this year to winning Gold Awards at the Illinois Junior Academy of Science (IJAS) State Exposition, as well as an Intel Award, two best in category awards, and three invitations to present research at national events. 16 students total were given awards, more than one-third of the forty students who enrolled in the course.

“As an educator, you do everything you can to prepare a course, online or otherwise, that allows students to succeed,” said Jacklyn Naughton, who led both sections of RISE. “RISE teaches the skills needed to do this high-level research, but ultimately it was the students’ passion and hard work on topics they chose that helped so many of them to be recognized, and I’m proud to see this work pay off.”

In addition to the Gold Awards, individual RISE enrollees have received recognition and invitations to further present their research in national venues, including:

  • An all-expense paid trip to the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium in Washington, D.C. for one student’s project, The Effect Of Nitrogen Content of Eight Soil Amendments On Microbial Biomss, Respiration, and Metabolic Quotient
  • The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics invited a RISE student to present her poster at a special session at the AIAA Propulsion and Energy 2014 Forum
  • The state winner from Illinois of the U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize from the Water Environment Federation (WEF)—the most prestigious youth award for a water-related science project, was a RISE student. This student also earned a sponsored trip to the Washington, D.C. area to attend the national competition.

Additionally, one student wrote a research paper that was awarded Best Paper in the Senior Division of the IJAS competition and two others received First Place Senior Division Awards, all of which included cash prizes.

RISE is now accepting applicants for its second class of students in 9-12th grade looking to do independent, high-level research with an expert in their field of inquiry, with the opportunity to present their research findings at various regional/state venues.

The internationally recognized Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy® (IMSA) develops creative, ethical leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. As a teaching and learning laboratory created by the State of Illinois, 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 also advances education through research, groundbreaking ventures and strategic partnerships.