Grainger Inventors' Workshop - Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Grainger Inventors’ Workshop

Facilities: Grainger Inventors' Workshop

The IMSA Grainger Inventors' Workshop was made possible by the generous donation of the Grainger Foundation of Lake Forest, IL., established in 1952 by William Grainger – founder of W.W. Grainger, Inc.

The Grainger Inventors' Workshop expands IMSA's physical space for tinkering in approved electrical, mechanical, metal, and woodworking projects in the Student Inquiry and Research Program. The Grainger Inventors' Workshop is generously equipped for students to pursue investigations through all stages of concept, design, engineering, and construction.

Using the Grainger Inventors' Workshop

Before using the Grainger Inventors' Workshop, the student must:

  • sign a safety agreement
  • demonstrate proficient use of needed equipment
  • receive a demonstration of correct equipment operation
  • receive a safety orientation
  • read safety materials on power tools

The Grainger Inventor's Workshop is equipped with a full spectrum of stationary power tools, portable power tools, and hand tools for metalwork and woodwork projects.

General Facilities

  • construction benches
  • design bench
  • layout bench
  • material shelving
  • storage areas

Power Tools

  • Electronics Workbench:
    • constant voltage source
    • constant power source
    • hood magnifier 
  • Multipurpose milling, lathe, and drill machine
  • Welders:
    • A/C arc welder
    • MIG welder
    • Resistance welder
  • Woodworking hand and power tools:
    • sander
    • saws:
      • band saw (metal, wood)
      • circular saw
      • jig saw
      • radial arm saw
      • table saw 

Safety Equipment and Facilities

  • dust control:
    • dust collection system (full shop)
    • electronic dust preciptators
    • individual machine dust collectors
  • ear muff hearing protectors
  • eyewash station
  • fire blanket
  • fire extinguisher
  • flammable liquids storage
  • gloves (hand protection)
  • goggles
  • scram-switch for complete machine shut-down

Grainger Inventors' Workshop Hours and Director

The Grainger Inventors' Workshop is typically open during the following hours:

  • Monday: closed
  • Tuesday: 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Any I-day: 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Thursday: 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 pm.
  • Friday: closed

Other hours may also be available by appointment.

Please ensure that the Grainger Inventors' Workshop Director is aware of your usage needs as occasionally the lab may need to be closed during regularly scheduled hours. For additional information about the Grainger Inventors' Workshop please contact its director, Mr. Ray Urbanski:

  • email:;
  • phone: (630) 907-5959; or
  • Room B127, the Grainger Inventors' Workshop.