Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

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

IMSA Receives $100,000 Grant From Motorola Foundation

AURORA– For the second consecutive year, the IMSA Fund for Advancement of Education ( received a $100,000 Innovation Generation Grant from the Motorola Foundation to help spark Illinois students' interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields.  

Teachers at the Miles Davis Magnet Academy for Children's Engineering in Chicago participate in an IMSA Problem-Based Learning (PBL) Design Institute.

IMSA President Dr. Glenn "Max" McGee gratefully thanked the Motorola Foundation for their continued support and generous gift, which will enable IMSA to provide advanced Problem-Based Learning (PBL) professional development for teachers in Central and Southern Illinois and the city of Chicago, and to begin professional development with teachers in a new site.  

"Thanks to the continued generous support of the Motorola Foundation, IMSA's Problem-Based Learning (PBL) Initiative will now provide regional advanced professional development sessions for teachers from 23 K-12 schools in Central and Southern Illinois and Chicago schools including the Miles Davis Magnet Academy for Children's Engineering, and Chicago Public School's five Technology Magnet Academies (Spencer, Dunne, Dumas, Dvorak and Nicholson)," McGee said.  "In addition, Motorola's grant will allow IMSA to expand its PBL professional development to a new site in Illinois and increase its statewide pool of PBL workshop facilitators, bringing the power of problem-based learning to more of  tomorrow's leaders," he added.

IMSA's PBL Initiative, funded by this Innovation Generation Grant, will provide advanced PBL Design Institutes, PBL Coaching Institutes or a Facilitator Academy to Springfield and Carterville area schools in Central and Southern Illinois and selected Chicago Public Schools.  

Teachers learn how to incorporate the Illinois Learning Standards into designing, implementing and evaluating classroom units that address problems that affect their community (see

The Motorola Foundation's Innovation Generation grant program seeks to spark students' interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and to help develop critical-thinking skills for the long term. Providing $4 million to K-12 programs throughout the U.S. in 2008, the initiative supports hands-on, innovative after-school programs, science and math clubs, teacher training and mentoring programs.  

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs requiring science, engineering, or technical training will increase 24 percent to 6.3 million between 2004 and 2014, creating greater demand for critical thinkers fluent in technology.  

The Problem-Based Learning Initiative is one of several programs IMSA provides for teachers and students throughout Illinois to help ensure that Illinois' young students, especially the historically underrepresented, have opportunities to excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  

"By showing students the real-world applications of concepts they learn in the classroom, Innovation Generation programs open their eyes to possibilities," said Eileen Sweeney, director of the Motorola Foundation. "Programs like IMSA's Problem-Based Learning Initiative develop students' confidence and skills to succeed in a sophisticated world and dynamic and competitive global marketplace."

Since 2000, Motorola Foundation has contributed more than $35 million in grants to a variety of programs that draw students closer to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  For a complete list of grant recipients, visit

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. (