Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

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

IMSA Announces Name, Plans for IN2 Innovation Center Sparked by YouTube Co-Founder’s $1 Million Gift


Also read in the Chicago Tribune Life & Style section, Chicago Tribune Blue Sky Innovation, the Chicago Sun-Times, and the Aurora Daily Herald. You can also hear an interview with Dr. Torres and Britta McKenna about IN2 on WBEZ's Techshift.

_dx_5524.jpgFaculty, staff, students, and community members from the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy celebrated the unveiling of the official name, logo, and renderings of the $1.9 million IN2 Steve and Jamie Chen Center for Innovation and Inquiry, which will bring highly advanced technology and workspace to the world-class STEM academy in Aurora. The announcement is the culmination of a year of planning that followed the designation of a $1,000,000 lead gift by IMSA alumnus and YouTube co-founder Steve Chen. IN2 will feature a modern open space design furnished with a maker space, 3D workstations, a media wall, an idea bar, an entrepreneur-in-residence office, and a café, and it will be optimized for entrepreneurial incubation.

"January 21st was more than the long-awaited announcement of IMSA's new innovation center name – it was the culmination of a year's worth of sharing and synthesizing ideas and involving stakeholders in creating the first secondary school location in the Illinois innovation hub ecosystem," said Chief Innovation Officer Britta McKenna. “Student interaction with peers, teachers, mentors, and community partners is at the heart of what makes IMSA a unique learning laboratory, and this event brought us one step closer to realizing our new collaboration space that will prepare students for the future of STEM.”

The event featured a welcome by IMSA President Dr. Torres, the new name and logo unveiling, a walkthrough of potential designs, easels to help envision the future of the center, and strategic programs developed by students in the recent mini-course “Chicago Innovation Ecosystem and the IMSA Innovation Hub.”