Newswise — Aurora, IL – The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy is leading the emerging trend in education of developing the next generation to solve global challenges and living one of its founding principles to “significantly influence life on our planet.”
In 2015, countries adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. In 2017, IMSA adopted these 17 Sustainable Development Goals and started to incorporate them into content and pedagogy for all subjects.
IMSA is known for its outstanding academics in STEM areas, however, it excels in all facets of education. The History and Social Science faculty, nearly all of whom hold doctorate degrees, are innovating in their curricula with the addition of sustainable development goals as a final project. The last three weeks of the semester move senior level students into a problem-centered effort to more deeply explore a specific, student-selected sustainable development goal. This approach allows students to bring together practices and habits of mind they have acquired through their five semesters of history and social science classes with content and skills inherent in their science experiences.
In Topics in Current Affairs, a senior elective taught by Dr. Lee Eysturlid, students are asked to explore any of the Sustainable Development Goals 1 through 15 under the general consideration of Sustainable Development Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. An example is a student project from Spring semester that addresses Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education. In this project, the student team posits that in Illinois, while there is not a lack of primary and secondary school education, there is a disparity in the resources and curriculum available across the state, with the largest disparity in access to computer science courses in rural and underserved communities. Their project not only details the issue, but proposes three possible solutions, concluding with their recommendation and a proposed plan of action that includes input and assistance from both governmental agencies and private companies. This approach encourages students to go beyond simply learning about one of the Sustainable Development Goals to gaining a level of understanding that enable them to think critically to develop potential solutions.
While IMSA is working to instill a broader understanding of the overall impact of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, many address issues that surpass national boundaries and cannot be resolved by any one country or school acting alone. This summer, IMSA is taking its vision to a global high school audience. The 2018 International Student Science Fair, hosted by IMSA, will feature a program that addresses three of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – SDG 2: Zero Hunger, SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, and SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy. This trailblazing event will encourage and foster cooperation and collaboration among participating students and educators while addressing these global goals to improve people’s lives around the world.
Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) is the world’s leading teaching and learning laboratory for imagination and inquiry and an esteemed three-year residential high school.. Students hail from across Illinois and are enrolled in tuition-free, rigorous college preparatory classes. Graduates are leaders in the business, education, scientific, and civic sectors.
Notable technology alumni include YouTube Co-Founder Steve Chen, PayPal Co-Creator Yu Pan, Yelp Co-Founder Russell Simmons, SparkNotes and OkCupid Co-Founder Sam Yagan, and Hearsay Social Founder, Clara Shih. IMSA is proud to have been named among the top 40 public and private college preparatory institutions in the world by The Wall Street Journal. It was the 2009 winner of the Intel Schools of Distinction Star Innovator Award and has been profiled by NBC-TV's Dateline, CNN's Science and Technology News, USA Today, New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.
To find out more about IMSA, the 2018 International Student Science Fair and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, please visit imsa.edu, issf2018.com, and un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/