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Intel Honors Illinois Mathematics & Science Academy as ’Star Innovator’ at Schools of Distinction Awards in Washington, D.C.


Six Schools Honored For Science and Math Programs

SANTA CLARA, Calif.– Intel Corporation today named Illinois Mathematics & Science Academy (IMSA) of Aurora, Ill. as the “Star Innovator” among six winners of the 2009 Intel Schools of Distinction Awards.

The winning schools were honored today at an awards reception in Washington, D.C., and serve as outstanding examples of leaders in preparing tomorrow’s innovators.

Intel sponsors the Schools of Distinction Awards to honor schools for implementing innovative math and science programs and serving as models for other schools. The Intel Foundation and sponsoring companies will distribute to this year’s winning schools a total of more than $1.3 million in cash, products and services.

Each winning school received $2,500 from the Intel Foundation when they were named finalists in April. As winners, each will receive another $10,000 from the Intel Foundation plus an award package valued at $200,000 that includes curriculum materials, professional development resources, hardware and software prizes and services from sponsors. As the “Star Innovator,” IMSA will receive an additional $15,000 from the Intel Foundation and additional prizes and services from sponsors with a cash value of $50,000, bringing the cash value of IMSA’s total award to $277,500.

“It is critical for U.S. schools to invest in math and science education,” said Shelly Esque, vice president, Legal and Corporate Affairs director, Corporate Affairs Group. “Because education is the foundation for innovation, the schools recognized as Intel Schools of Distinction are performing valuable services that will open doors to unprecedented opportunities for their students.”

Oakcliff Elementary School in Doraville, Ga. and Palm Desert Middle School in Palm Desert, Calif. joined IMSA in winning 2009 Schools of Distinction awards for science excellence in their respective levels. Awards for mathematics excellence at the elementary, middle school and high school levels, respectively, went to: Cedar Park Elementary School, Trumann, Ark., Urban Assembly for Applied Math and Science, Bronx, N.Y., and Lynn English High School, Lynn, Mass.

The winning schools in science provide a rich science curriculum incorporating hands-on investigative experiences that prepare students for 21st century jobs. Programs encourage student achievement in sciences and engineering, while simultaneously helping students to become knowledgeable consumers of news and data in order to be active and informed citizens.

The winning schools in mathematics offer their students a rigorous, challenging and engaging program that teaches mathematics skills and how to apply them to solve real-life problems, approach projects as a member of a team, and communicate succinctly on the subject.

The Making of a Star Innovator in Mathematics Education
IMSA is a state agency created to ensure that the needs of students highly talented in mathematics and science were being met. At the center of student achievement at ISMA is an excellent staff in a position to utilize flexible schedules, cutting-edge facilities and technology to advance student achievement. Of the 18 science faculty members, 11 have a Ph.D with the remaining holding master’s degrees.

Students at IMSA design and conduct hands-on experiments, make observations, analyze data, draw conclusions and communicate evidence-based principles. Students also delve into the scientific literature and build understanding by synthesizing information and investigation through writing. These skills and abilities are then extended with electives and through the Student Inquiry and Research (SIR) program. Through SIR, students partner with cutting-edge scientists on diagnostics, nanotechnology, medical research, and much more.

All IMSA students take a “Methods in Scientific Inquiry” skills class, then move on to rich and varied science coursework. The outcome is consistent, strong performance. In 2008, 86 percent scored three or higher out of five on AP exams. The highly trained faculty focuses on their areas of specialization, modeling a depth of investigation and scholarship. Every day, the IMSA creates exceptional opportunities for young scientists dedicated to improving people’s lives.

For more information on the Intel Schools of Distinction Awards and to view the complete list of winners, visit

Intel’s sponsorship of the Schools of Distinction Awards is part of the Intel® Education Initiative, a sustained public-private partnership with governments in more than 50 countries. Through this $100 million a year initiative, Intel delivers programs that improve the effective use of technology to enhance 21st century skills, and encourages excellence in mathematics, science and engineering. For more information, visit

In addition to Intel, Schools of Distinction award sponsors include Absolute Software, Brainware, Safari, DyKnow, eInstruction, Elluminate, Global Scholar, I-CAN, Inspiration Software, Microsoft, Pearson, SAS, Scantron, Smart and Toshiba.


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