Educator Development & Curricular Programs

IMSA’s Educator Development and Curricular Programs

IMSA’s Outreach Department offers educator professional development trainings and pedagogy-rich student curricular programs in STEM/STEAM experiences and content. These opportunities align with IMSA’s four core competencies for teaching and learning: Inquiry-Based, Problem-Centered, Competency-Driven, and Integrative. Educator development opportunities include events held at IMSA, sessions presented at conferences, and workshops delivered in schools across the state and beyond. Student curricular programs for learners in all grades incorporate mathematics and science content with best learning practices and rich teacher pedagogy..

Educator workshops can be customized to meet the needs of individual educational settings and often provide Illinois State Board of Education professional learning credits. Please reach out to for more information and to discuss how these offerings may be used within your educational setting.

Institute Day 2024 at IMSA

In March 2024, the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) served as a professional development site for Illinois educators, including those from DuPage and Kane Counties. IMSA welcomed classroom teachers, specialists, administrators, and other school personnel for a day of valuable professional development that focused on 6th-12th Grade math, science, engineering, and technology. Professional workshops were presented as a collaboration between IMSA's faculty, Outreach Department, and staff.

Please view the Conference Program and Conference Schedule to review session summaries and download presentation materials from Digital Commons.

Individual Learning Experiences

These learning experiences are offered in the Fall (September-December), Spring (January-May), and Summer semesters and allow participants to work at their own pace through asynchronous, virtual courses. Enrollment is ongoing throughout the semester. Each course has an assigned facilitator dedicated to monitoring participant progress, submissions, and questions. Upon completion of a reflection assignment and the required Illinois State Board of Education evaluation form, each course will earn the educator 3.0 CPDUs. With the exception of the FREE Introductory Courses, the cost of each Individual Learning Experience is $50.00, and may be applied to the IMSA Educator MicroCertification Program.

Problem-Based Learning (PBL) 

Problem-based learning is a student-centered, inquiry-based instructional approach utilizing a real-world, ill-defined (messy) problem to both introduce and explore specific content. PBL institutes are designed for educators of all disciplines and introduce participants to an instructional technique that is designed to engage their students in deep, meaningful learning. PBL is rooted in real-world experiences, therefore, we highlight the how-to for designing and successfully implementing original PBL units unique to your classroom. The Center for Teaching and Learning is able to customize a school-wide plan for individual educational settings upon request. Workshops may be held in-person or virtually.

IMSA Fusion Program

The IMSA Fusion Program is a teacher professional development and STEM enrichment program for students in grades 3-5 and 6-8. By design, each of the 15 IMSA Fusion curricula are inquiry-based, problem-centered, competency-driven, and integrative. The learning experiences focus on helping students “learn how to learn” and emphasize collaboration, mathematical thinking, and experimental scientific thinking. Topics relate to student interests and modern real-world topics, and therefore arouse curiosity and a need to explore mathematics and science concepts and skills. Participating teachers are supported with ongoing professional development to deliver the curriculum with confidence while enhancing their toolbox with pedagogy-rich instructional methods.

Little STEAMers Early Learning Program

Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) based enrichment program for early childhood students. Designed to offer integrative learning experiences for young students, Little STEAMers seeks to support and enrich the preschool curriculum by increasing intentional time spent on STEAM activities and encouraging STEAM skills in children’s play.

All activities within the Little STEAMers program are aligned with the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards (IELDS) and reflect the ten indicators of effective pre-K through 3 curricula as identified by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education (NAECS/SDE). While engaging in activities designed to develop student proficiency in kindergarten-readiness mathematics and science skills, the overall design of Little STEAMers is largely play-based and incorporates opportunities for young learners to build executive functioning skills essential for social, emotional, and academic success through appropriate developmental progression activities.

STEM Teaching Resources

  • Next Generation Science Standards Model Lessons
  • K-12 STEM Snack Boxes
  • Digital Commons
  • Artificial Intelligence in K-12 Education
  • STEM al Estilo Latino: Celebrate Hispanic heritage through STEAM! This curriculum is designed for students to explore and embrace the Hispanic/LatinX culture. Included activities will guide the students to experience a combination of STEAM and traditions focusing on the Hispanic influence on America culture. Students will learn and create “Alebrijes” the STEAM way.
  • Fire Prevention Curriculum: This curriculum is focused on the study of STEM in the field of fire science. Students will experience hands-on and inquiry-based activities to develop an understanding of the type of knowledge required to become a firefighter, such as fire tactics, rescue procedures, fire behavior, and combustion, fire scene investigation, innovations of fire prevention, and extinguishment equipment. In addition, students will have a deeper understanding of fire safety by being familiar as to why things happen in a fire and how to manage them.


Meet the Center for Teaching and Learning Team!