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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 11, 2011

Governor Quinn Recognizes Participants of the Illinois Innovation Talent Program
Students from 28 Schools Present Final Projects to Peers, Industry

CHICAGO – April 11, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today recognized students from 28 Illinois high schools for their participation in the Illinois Innovation Talent Program. Through the program, students team up with private sector companies or public agencies to compete and collaborate on real world, problem-based learning challenges. The program is designed to improve student achievement and increase college and career readiness.

“Innovation is key to ensuring our state’s long-term economic growth. This program is challenging Illinois businesses to be more innovative, while getting our future workforce ready for college and careers,” said Governor Quinn. “Through the Innovation Talent Program, we’re helping to enhance the learning environment in Illinois and preparing Illinois students to compete in today’s global economy.”

The state developed the Illinois Innovation Talent Program to help students be able to compete in the global marketplace. The initiative promotes innovation-centered education and increased student achievement in math, science and engineering. Under this unique program, Illinois high schools are paired with industry, government and community organizations to critically examine and solve complex problems. Students participate as members of diverse, interdisciplinary teams utilizing cutting-edge information technology tools.

Students compete and collaborate in a diverse set of fields, including: agriculture, healthcare, energy efficiency, renewable energy, finance and transportation. Illinois Innovation Talent also demonstrates one of the critical work-based learning functions of the proposed Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Learning Exchanges described in the State of Illinois' Race to the Top proposal.

Students from the 28 schools worked on 10 challenges through the duration of the program. Participating schools received $5,000 stipends to cover project related costs. Students met at the District 214 Forest View Education Center in Arlington Heights today to present their final projects in front of their peers and challenge sponsors. A list of participating schools is attached.

The Innovation Talent Program is administered jointly by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), with support from the state Department of Transportation and the Illinois Math and Science Academy. DCEO and ISBE contributed a combined $165,000 in federal Workforce Investment Act funds in support of the program.

Governor Quinn remains committed to fostering an environment of innovation in the state. As part of his fiscal year 2012 budget, Governor Quinn called for creation of the Illinois Innovation Council. The Council will help ensure Illinois remains on the cutting-edge in the global economy and is creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Illinois that promotes innovation and intelligent risk-taking. The state is also helping promising entrepreneurs turn their innovative concepts and ideas into market successes while creating jobs through a wide range of programs and services supported by the Illinois Entrepreneurship Network.

School(s) Partner
Alton High School Ameren
Chester High School Astellas
Decatur Area Technical Academy Ameren
Dunbar Vocational Career Academy Baxter
Fenton Community High School Western Illinois University/Illinois State University
Glenbrook North High School Allstate
Instituto del Progresso Latino Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council
Kankakee High School - Finance Allstate
Kankakee High School - Health Science Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council
Lindblom Math and Science Academy Baxter
Maine East High School - Energy Western Illinois University/Illinois State University
Maine East High School - R&D Astellas
Maine South High School Astellas
Maine Township High Schools Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council
Morgan Park High School Baxter
Mother McAuley High School ComEd
Neuqua Valley High School ComEd
New Millennium School of Health Abbott
North Shore Academy ComEd
Niles North High School Western Illinois University/Illinois State University
Niles West High School Illinois Department of Transportation
O'Fallon High School Ameren
Palatine High School - Applied Technology Abbott
Palatine High School - Consumer Science Chicago Botanic Gardens
Rolling Meadows High School Western Illinois University/Illinois State University
Schurz (Carl) High School Illinois Department of Transportation
Wheeling High School Abbott
Woodstock Community Unit School District Chicago Botanic Gardens


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