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Illinois Mathematics & Science Academy

The Future of Education

Steve Chen, the co-founder of YouTube and AVOS Systems, generously designated a $1,000,000 lead gift, through the Schwab Charitable Fund, to the IMSA Fund for Advancement of Education to benefit his alma mater, the Illinois Math and Science Academy. This gift to IMSA was the start of what is now called IN2, The Steve and Jamie Chen Center for Innovation and Inquiry. IN2 is a 1.9 million, 6,500 SF innovation, collaboration, prototyping, and business incubator space located within IMSA's campus.

The design of IN2 resembles a contemporary office space more than a traditional academic classroom. Students have control over where and how they work. IN2's Maker Space is a place to tinker, a place to design and create by doing. And it is not just about soldering, 3D printing, or painting but also about online content creation, gaming, and coding. The center also features office space for an entrepreneur-in-residence, as well as a media wall, idea bar, and cafe. IN2 gives students the tools to present, share, discuss, and build their ideas. It is designed to provide tools for students to not only ask the important questions but to also create answers. It is a new classroom prototype and an "on-ramp" to the future world market.

IN2 was named a winner of the 16th annual Chicago Innovation Awards; and received a 2018 "Outstanding Design" Award from American School & University for design excellence. IN2 also received a 2018 "Outstanding Project" award from Learning by Design.


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