OLHMS scholars took a field trip to IMSA (Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy) on Wednesday, February 22nd to learn more about their state of the art learning spaces. OLHMS Counselor, Vanessa Follmar, spearheaded the field trip for 40 of OLHMS’ students. Mrs. Follmar first learned about IMSA while preparing for the first high school fair. Mrs. Follmar shared, “ There has been a large focus on the importance of STEM programs, specifically the growing interest for STEM learning opportunities that help increase STEM related occupations. I absolutely wanted to share IMSA with our scholars and families.”
Mrs. Follmar was able to take a total of 40 students from 6th-8th grade. Her hope was that the field trip to IMSA would motivate and encourage students to continue to “Dream Big” in the field of STEM which was this year’s theme for National School Counseling Appreciation Week. To choose this deserving group of scholars, Mrs. Follmar reached out to OLHMS Math and Science teachers for their recommendations of high achieving students and those who have expressed interest in Math and Science. All of these students also scored above the 80th percentile on the MAP test.
During the visit, students were able to take part in a guided tour of the campus seeing all the unique learning spaces, student labs, and student art. OLHMS scholars also heard first hand experiences from current IMSA students with a personal Q&A session at the end of the tour. Our scholars were so engaged and very much interested in learning more about IMSA opportunities. After the tour, students were able to participate in a STEM activity led by IMSA students. The activity included learning about all the parts of a catapult, along with making a prototype on paper and getting to bring it to life with the provided art supplies! Scholars were even able to test their invention for accuracy and distance! Mrs. Follmar shared her excitement, “Gosh, our scholars are so creative and very talented! This field trip was very important to me and our scholars for many reasons. First, I wanted students to be proud of being excelled in Math and Science, along with embracing their inner “nerd” like myself. I am so proud of those scholars who continue to challenge themselves academically on a daily basis and wanted to reward them for their academic achievement. This field trip was so much fun!”