IMSA’s Professional Development Day

On February 27, many IMSA students enjoyed their Friday I-day by leaving campus a day early. However, it was IMSA’s Professional Development Day. Over 250 teachers and educators from all over the state gathered to discuss teaching initiatives and learn about a variety of subjects, ranging from the Cold War to Pascal’s Triangle, that could later be taught in the classroom.

Professional Development Day was created six years ago to introduce teachers from all around Illinois to the various topics covered in IMSA’s learning curriculum. The Academy offers a unique brand of inquiry-based teaching that IMSA faculty wanted to share with other Illinois educators. Now, session participants can bring back the lessons to their own classrooms.

Every hour, different sessions were held and teachers were able to attend whichever session they liked. Over 36 STEM sessions and 11 History sessions were offered, most of which were taught by IMSA faculty. One popular session was ‘3D Printing for the Next Generation Learners’ where session instructors scanned various objects and printed them using a 3D printer. Attendees were given the opportunity to experiment with the technology, such as doodling with 3D pens, and asking questions.

Dr. Kai Orton, an assistant professor at Northwestern University, delivered this year’s STEM keynote address. Prior to becoming an assistant professor, Dr. Orton was involved in several cancer research projects.  Dr. Robert D. Johnston,  a Professor of History and the Director of the Teaching of History Program at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), delivered this year’s History keynote address. Dr. Johnston specializes in the Progressive Era and  post-1970 U.S. History.

As always, IMSA’s Professional Development Day went terrifically bringing appreciation from teachers and educators from across the state.


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