Aurora, IL – The IMSA Fund for the Advancement of Education, the philanthropic arm of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy this spring launched a new pitch competition for faculty, staff, students and alumni to support entrepreneurship and innovation related to advancing IMSA’s mission to advance the human condition by addressing one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

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 in all academic departments, including innovation and entrepreneurship.

With cash prizes of up to $5,000 on the line, students, alumni and staff pitched ideas in a Shark Tank like contest, that addressed Sustainable Development Goals such as 3: Good Health and Well-Being, 4: Quality Education, 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, and 15: Life on Land.

Taking home top prize was alumnus and Resident Counselor Dane Christianson ’11 for IMSA Composting, a method of putting organic waste to better use on campus. Following Christianson and in a 4-way tie were Agrassistant, Rethink Numeracy, Amenity and The Oil Magnet. Agrassistant, led by the team of IMSA students Andrew Weidenmann and Tommy Neidlein uses drone technology with IR infrared radiation and visual light cameras to provide actionable recommendations to mid-sized farms. Akshaya Raghavan, a rising senior at IMSA, is the innovator of Rethink Numeracy, software to help teach autistic students math skills to increase independence. Amenity offers multifaceted solutions for teen depression and continues development by rising seniors Milica Barac and Sonia Edassery. The final recipient was The Oil Magnet, method of using nanoparticles and electromagnets to aid in oil spill clean-up designed by IMSA students Marisa Patel O’Connor, Sol Hwangbo and Eden Gorevoy.

To encourage collaboration on projects like these, related to the sustainable development goals, IMSA developed an app detailing the current projects on campus. For more information on this, please visit

IMSA’s mission to significantly influence life on our planet by instilling an awareness of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, many of which address issues that surpass national boundaries and cannot be resolved by any one country or school acting alone, is being taken to a global high school audience this summer. The 2018 International Student Science Fair, hosted by IMSA, will feature a program that addresses three of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – SDG: 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,, and


Meeting Link: International Student Science Fair (ISSF) 2018