SIR History - Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

SIR History

Program History

Student Inquiry and Research supports student investigations conducted on and off-campus.  This program began in 1989 with twenty-eight student participants and has grown steadily as the program matured. Student participation varies slightly each year, but recent trends suggest that about 75% of all IMSA students will conduct at least one investigation during their enrollment at the Academy.

In 2018, IMSA announced that Dr. Don Dosch, Dr. Dave DeVol, and Dr. Eric Smith had been appointed to lead the Student Inquiry and Research (SIR) program at IMSA.  Joining them as Grainger Lab supervisor is David Hernandez and Cathleen Cunz, administrative assistant.

The team is developing new guidelines and requirements for the SIR Program that is responsive to the interests of students and rigorous inquiry that runs the range from publication quality research to personal interest.  This work involves the development of discipline-specific outcomes while maintaining uniformity in expectations and rigor. The minimum commitment for students will be one academic year, but a two-year commitment is encouraged as a way to deepen involvement and learning. IMSA faculty and staff will be invited to serve as SIR mentors.

The work of the research faculty will be to pursue original research that potentially leads to publication or conference presentation.