Professional Development

IMSA’s Signature Strategy of Professional Development

IMSA offers professional development sessions on mathematics, science, technology, and pedagogy for pre-service and in-service educators and administrators. These professional development opportunities align with IMSA’s signature strategy of learning: Inquiry-Based, Problem-Centered, Competency-Driven and Integrative. Professional learning experiences include events held at IMSA, sessions presented at conferences, on-line courses and workshops delivered in schools across the state and beyond. Educator workshops can be customized to meet any school’s specific needs

STEM Thinking Thursdays – Professional Learning Experiences

Thursdays are professional learning experience days at IMSA. Each Thursday beginning in September, IMSA will offer a different full day of workshops focused on key concepts, critical thinking skills, and instructional strategies in math, science, engineering, computer science, technology or integrated STEM. Specific session titles will be updated regularly.

Thursday, September 5 8:30-11:30 PreK-2 Spark – K-2 Computer Science & Coding
Thursday, September 12 8:30-4:00 3rd-5th Engineering is Elementary
Thursday, September 19 8:30-4:00 6th-8th Medieval STEM Through the Ages
Thursday, September 26 8:30-4:00 9th-12th CTE: Beyond the Shop
Thursday, October 3 8:30-4:00 PreK-2 Little Big Minds
Thursday, October 10 8:30-4:00 3rd-5th NGSS inquiry and Investigations
Thursday, October 17 8:30-4:00 6th-8th Use Your Noodle: Using Neuroscience to Sauce up your lesson
Thursday, October 24 8:30-4:00 9th-12th The Art of Chemistry

Medieval STEM Through the Ages

  • Who: Middle School teachers and administrators (6th-8th)
  • When: Thursday, September 19th, 8:30-4:00
  • Where:  Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy – Center for Teaching and Learning, 1500 Sullivan Road, Aurora, IL
  • Registration: $20

Spend the day in the Middle Ages and:

  • Explore how Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) were developed,altered and utilized by civilization during the medieval period.
  • Understand how modern STEM concepts are derived from historical information.
  • Experience how the engineering design process works, and how innovation often arises out of need.
  • Integrate history into the understanding of how science and math developed as disciplines.


CTE – Beyond the Shop

  • Who: High school CTE teachers & administrators
  • When: Thursday, September 26th, 8:30-4:00
  • Where:  Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy – Center for Teaching and Learning, 1500 Sullivan Road, Aurora, IL
  • Registration: $20

The demand for a skilled workforce has never been higher and the demands on CTE teachers also continue to grow.  In this workshop, educators will explore innovative integrated curriculum projects which promote CTE and math competencies for all learners.


Little Big Minds: Our Youngest STEM Learners

  • Who: PreK-2nd grade teachers and parents
  • When: Thursday, October 3rd, 8:30-2:00
  • Where:  Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy – Center for Teaching and Learning, 1500 Sullivan Road, Aurora, IL
  • Registration: $20

There are no limitation in the mind of a young child – so let’s let them explore, design, think, and create.  This workshop will focus on STEM centered children’s literature paired with coffee table books PLUS engineering and design activities intended for children age 3-8. Come play, learn, discover, and create with us.


3rd-5th NGSS: Inquiry and Investigations

  • Who: 3rd-5th grade teachers & administrators
  • When: Thursday, October 10th, 8:30-4:00
  • Where:  Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy – Center for Teaching and Learning, 1500 Sullivan Road, Aurora, IL
  • Registration: $20

Explore NGSS model lessons focusing on inquiry based instruction.  Learn how to turn questions into investigations and let the students lead the learning.


Use Your Noodle: Tips from Neuroscience to Sauce up your Lessons

  • Who: 6th-8th grade teachers & administrators
  • When: Thursday, October 17th, 8:30-4:00
  • Where:  Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy – Center for Teaching and Learning, 1500 Sullivan Road, Aurora, IL
  • Registration: $20

How many times in a day do you look at your students and internally scream for them to use their noodle while hiding the fact that your internal waters are boiling? Turn the heat down and join us for an interactive and informative session exploring ways to engage your students to use their noodles and save yours from being cooked. We will experience activities designed to engage the brain, and explore the research behind why these technique may work to enhance learning. Leave with tips from the neurosciences that are easy to reproduce in your classroom.


The Art of Chemistry

  • Who: Chemsitry Teachers: 6th-12th grade
  • When: Thursday, October 24th, 8:30-4:00
  • Where:  Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy – Center for Teaching and Learning, 1500 Sullivan Road, Aurora, IL
  • Registration: $20
In this workshop, teachers will experience an inquiry and hands-on approach to teaching polarity. Participants will also get to do some fun, safe and student-friendly activities and take a look at what’s going on at the molecular level. While these lessons are designed for a high school chemistry class, the activities can be adapted for use in a biology or middle school science class.
Concepts covered: polarity, solubility, covalent bonding, Lewis structures, molecular shape, intermolecular forces.