Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

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

IMSA Students Win Prestigious Awards in National Science Competition

Five students at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) were named Regional Finalists in the prestigious national Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology.   In addition, 10 other IMSA students were named Semifinalists in the competition.

Only 96 students nationwide were named Regional Finalists in the competition.  The five students named were Yaseen Jamal of Glen Ellyn, Kelsey Lawhorn of Chatham, Eric Shyu of Naperville, Karthik Vantakala of Aurora and Anthony Yunker of Arlington Heights. In addition, 311 students were named Semifinalists; see below list of IMSA’s Semifinalists.

The Siemens Competition is the nation’s premier science research competition for high school students.  The annual competition, administered by the College Board, awards college scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $100,000 in individual and team categories.  

IMSA President Dr. Max McGee said he is pleased that so many of IMSA’s students achieved either Semifinalist or Regional Finalist standing, showcasing the unbelievable breadth and depth of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) talent among IMSA’s students.

“I am proud to say that this year, IMSA had more semifinalists and regional finalists named than in any other year we have competed in the competition,” Dr. McGee said.  “I am thrilled that the products of IMSA’s Student Inquiry and Research program are being recognized by one of the nation’s most coveted science competitions for high school students,”  he added.

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. (


Siemens Award IMSA Semifinalists

First name     Last name      Hometown
Travis               Mui           Arlington Heights
Edward           Song            Claredon Hills
Kevin              Crews           Crystal Lake
Anamaria         Filipac               Elgin
Jimmy               Liu             Lake Zurich
Bob                   Lee              Naperville
Suganya           Rajendran       Naperville
Hyunjii              Cho              Orland Park
Yize                  Leng               Palatine
Matthew          Castillon            Skokie

Siemens Awards IMSA Regional Finalists        

First name    Last name        Hometown
Anthony           Yunker         Arlington Heights
Karthik            Vantakala           Aurora
Kelsey               Lawhorn         Chatham
Yaseen               Jamal             Glen Ellyn
Eric                    Shyu             Naperville