Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

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

Intersession 2016 Blog

_mg_5527.jpgIntersession, a unique, week-long learning opportunity at IMSA consisting of more than 50 on- and off-campus mini-classes, begins on Monday, January 11, 2016.

Students participate in morning, afternoon, evening and off-campus sessions of their choice, led by faculty, staff, alumni, outside guests and fellow students. Courses range from specially focused math and science topics, such as “Cutting Edge Biotechnology” and “Robotics Engineering,” to the humanities, including “Sovereign of the Seas: The Rivalry for the World's Oceans, 1580-1989” and “Experiencing Chicago Theatre.”

Intersession is an opportunity for students and faculty to explore interdisciplinary connections, engaging in classes like “Modern Science, Military Technology, Policy, and Ethics," that they would not otherwise have the opportunity to experience.  Many students will also take their studies off-campus, experiencing other cultures and communities through educational trips to Spain, Hawaii, Italy, Colorado.  Budding student entrepreneurs will visit numerous new business and technology incubators in the Chicago area.

This page will be updated with coverage of 2016 Intersession, sharing stories, pictures, and videos of students exploring areas of interest outside the curriculum. Check this page from January 11-18 for daily updates.

Update 1/14/2016 - 


Students work on buildign a bridge out of balsa sticks and glue in the Balsa Bridge Design, Building, and Testing Intersession. Over the course of the week, students research design principles, design the bridge, build it, and on Friday, they will test the strength of their creations in a "Bridge Bust" competition.







IMSA Faculty Dr. Eric Hawker teaches students Modern Science, Military Technology, Policy, and Ethics along with Dr. Lee Eysturlid and Dr. Robert Kiely.The Intersession discusses the role of science id developing modern military technology, as well as policies and ethics behind using this technology.






Update 1/13/2016 -


IMSA Sophomore Sonja Gupta practices respiratory techniques at the Jumptrading Simulation & Education Center in Peoria as part of the IN2 Launch Prep Intersession. This course has students split into technology and program teams to prepare for the IN2 innovation hub opening in the summer of 2016, gaining inspiration by visiting labs in Rockford, Peoria, and the University of Illinois.







Students in Chicago Museums and Architecture Tour visited three museums in Hyde Park today - the DuSable Museum of African American History (pictured here), the Oriental Museum, and the Smart Museum. Throughout the week they will also tour the Museum of Science and Industry, the Adler Planetarium, the Field Museum, and more.






In Beginning European Knitting led by CAC Staff Member Julia Husen, students relax by learning to knit in the "continental" European style.







Update 1/12/2016 - 

_dx_9789.jpgIn Intentional Lighting: Advance from Taking Photos to Making Photos three recent alumni and ITMC staff Kevin Broy are teaching students how to use lighting to enhance hteir photo-taking skills. Using professional lighting equipment in IMSA's studio, students are learning how to uitlize lighting in portrait, product, food, action, and sports photography.







The Martial Arts Training Camp Intersession, a mainstay of IMSA's catalog the last few years, teaches the history and techniques of Matsubayahsi Shorin-Ryu, among other styles of martial arts. Additionally, students will take a self-defense class from Sensei Wyman Clark, a 2nd degree black belt. 








The Intersession Xtreme Dance Studio Comes to IMSA teaches students a variety of dance moves through the Xtreme Dance Studio of Naperville.







Update 1/11/2016 - 


_dx_9705.jpgIMSA is in the second week of its three-week student exchange with St. Petersburg Lyceum Physical-Technical High School (PTHS), a high school in St. Petersburg, Russia. The IMSA-PTHS Student Exchange Intersession features IMSA and PTHS students touring IMSA and Chicagoland, including Argonne National Laboratory, Fermilab, and museums in Chicago.






boardgames.jpgIn "Sovereign of the Seas: The Rivalry for the World's Oceans, 1580-1989" Faculty Dr. Claiborne Skinner uses a board game to simulate the historical rivalry between world powers for control of oceans. Dr. Skinner is also using readings, films, and a trip to the Museum of Science and Industry to teach students about naval power, from the Spanish Armada to the fall of the Soviet Union.