Gov. Rauner and Lt. Gov. Sanguinetti award 25 schools with Bicentennial STEM curriculum

Gov. Rauner and Lt. Gov. Sanguinetti award 25 schools with Bicentennial STEM curriculum. (WRSP)

Gov. Bruce Rauner announced Tuesday that 25 Illinois elementary and middle schools were awarded a three-year Bicentennial STEM Fusion Program, the Illinois Math and Science Academy's (IMSA) renowned teacher development training initiative for math and science.

Of the 25 schools, Dubois Elementary in Springfield, Booker T. Washington STEM Academy in Champaign, Pikeland Community School in Pittsfield and Garrison School in Jacksonville were included as some of the recipients.

IMSA Fusion is a teacher professional development and student STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) enrichment program for Illinois students who are talented, interested and motivated but underrepresented in mathematics, science, and technology.

The program solely focuses on teachers and students in grades 4-8 and hopes to stimulate STEM careers.

“Educating our young and preparing them for work are endeavors that are bipartisan,” Gov. Rauner said. “Through this program, the Bicentennial is helping us see what we have in common. STEM Fusion from IMSA represents a unique asset that Illinois is applying to help encourage children set out on a path to the 21st century workforce.”

“I am so excited to receive this wonderful opportunity, and looking forward to what it will mean for teaching and learning at Dubois as we continue to forge pathways into inquiry-based learning that is engaging and authentic,” Dubois Elementary Principal Donna Jefferson said.

More than 100 schools applied for the 25 Fusion programs.

The 25 selected schools serve predominately under-served populations who demonstrated a commitment to embedding IMSA Fusion into their curriculum and presented a sustainability plan to carry the program forward after the three-year period expires.

A total of 70 other schools qualified for the programs, and they will receive a one-year curriculum.

“For me, the issue of educational opportunities is personal. My schools didn’t have the resources they needed to provide me with a quality education,” said Lt. Gov. Sanguinetti. “I’m proud that these underserved schools are getting that educational opportunity to participate in this amazing STEM program. The future of our state depends on our young people developing STEM skills because this field is quickly becoming very high in-demand.”

The STEM Fusion school selection committee was led by Emily Bastedo, Senior Advisor to the Governor. The committee included: Dr. Kevin Pitts, Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education-University of Illinois; Ross Hemphill, Board Member-IMSA Fund for Advancement of Education; Jenna Daugherty, Divisional Vice President of Global Social Responsibility-Abbott; and Kandace Lenti, Executive Vice President, Managing Director-Wintrust Bank.

The entire program was privately funded. Abbott and Wintrust Bank are the co-presenting sponsors. Additional funding for this campaign was provided by Boeing, Ingredion, Motorola Solutions, Nicor Gas and Takeda.

The 25 awarded schools are:

  • Akin CCSD 91 – Akin
  • Arthur Dixon Elementary School – Chicago
  • Barack Obama School of Leadership and STEM – Chicago Heights
  • Bernard Long Elementary School – Madison
  • Booker T. Washington STEM Academy – Champaign
  • Brown County Middle School – Mt. Sterling
  • Dallas City Elementary School – Dallas City
  • Dubois Elementary – Springfield
  • Earle STEM Elementary School – Chicago
  • Frazier International Magnet School – Chicago
  • Galva Junior Senior School – Galva
  • Garrison School – Jacksonville
  • Gifford Grade School – Gifford
  • Herrin Junior High School - Herrin
  • Kimball Hill Elementary School – Rolling Meadows
  • LEARN 10 – North Chicago
  • LEARN 6 – North Chicago
  • Mozart Elementary School – Chicago
  • Murray Language Academy – Chicago
  • North Ridge Middle School – Danville
  • Peck Elementary School – Chicago
  • Pikeland Community School – Pittsfield
  • San Miguel School – Chicago
  • Whittier Primary School – Peoria
  • Windsor Elementary – Loves Park
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