The Illinois Math and Science Academy's FUSION afterschool student enrichment programs are making a difference for 200 teachers and almost 3,000 students in Illinois. The program has been shown to boost students' skills in math and science, and it encourages more students to take advanced math and science classes in high school.
The goals of the IMSA FUSION program are to:
1. Increase access to STEM programming for students who are historically underrepresented and under-served in mathematics and science;
2. Increase student interest, involvement and literacy in mathematics and science;
3. Enhance the knowledge and skills of teachers in mathematics and science;
4. Stimulate excellence in school mathematics and science programs.
Bayer Corporation named FUSION as one of the nation's Best Practice K-12 STEM Education Programs in 2006 and 2010.
FUSION provides an array of problem-centered, inquiry-based lab work. These can include rocket launches, bridge creations, landfill designs, crime investigations, green roof and wind turbine building, and electromagnetic motor construction. FUSION also offers Inquiry Workshops, Online Monthly Problems, Family Events, STEM Webinars and Global Biodiversity Studies.
For $25,000, a donor can sponsor a program for three years, giving 90 students 200 hours of hands-on STEM activities and teachers at least 120 hours of professional development. For $50,000, a donor can sponsor a curriculum that could reach roughly 250 teachers and 1,000 students over 6 years. General donations help programs sponsor field trips, create STEM night events, or buy materials.Funders and Partners
The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy would like to acknowledge FUSION partner schools, the Illinois General Assemby, the Illinois Board of Higher Education, ComEd, William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, Inc., The Harris Family Foundation, The Pritzker Foundation, Chicago Community Trust, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Underwriters Laboratories, and other donors to the IMSA Fund for Advancement of Education.
The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against CTEq's Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy.
Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.
Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.
Ensure work is sustainable.
Demonstrate replicability and scalability.
Create high impact partnerships
Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.
Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience
Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.
Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.
Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.