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Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, IMSA, STEM, career readiness, residential high school, gifted, student inquiry, student research, NGSS, Next Generation Science Standards, National Education Trends, teaching and learning, inquiry-based, instruction, learning experience, teacher preparation, professional development


Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Science and Mathematics Education


Illinois adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) on February 19, 2014 with implementation scheduled to begin in the 2016-17 school year. This article explores (1) the national and statewide need for STEM college and career readiness based on current data; (2) the research on best practices in STEM teaching and learning; and (3) the work of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) to create IMSA Fusion, a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) educational program that is aligned with NGSS and utilizes research-based best practices to serve Illinois educators and students.

The introduction of the Next Generation Science Standards, following closely on the heels of the Common Core State Standards, provides an opportunity for a national discussion on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) readiness in America. Dixon and Moon suggest what is at stake: “To maintain a healthy society capable of either collaboration or competition with international counterparts, the U.S. must continue to prepare students who are capable of becoming experts in science.” (2014, p. 334) Although the implementation of Common Core State Standards across the country focused our attention on national standards in education, many have felt that the conversations regarding science education have lagged behind those in mathematics and English.


Originally published May 2015 © Journal of Success in High-Needs Schools; Associated Colleges of Illinois



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