Last week YouTube co-founder Steve Chen was in Aurora for the grand opening of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy’s (IMSA) new on-campus innovation hub, a building constructed in part thanks to a $1 million donation from Chen, who graduated from the high school in the 1990s.
The new building, called IN2, is a 6,400 square foot space that’s modern, open and optimized for collaboration. The space, which cost $1.9 million in total to build, houses 3D workstations, a touch screen video wall, and 3D scanners and printers.
Designed to model Chicago’s 1871, as well as the openness of Silicon Valley offices, the space is intended to promote free thinking and problem solving from IMSA students. The space will house the IMSA TALENT program, internships, business startup pitch contests, workshops, networking events, Fox Valley entrepreneurship programs, IMSA said.
IMSA, a selective STEM-focused public high school, boasts some impressive alumni such as Palantir co-founder Nathan Gettings, Yelp co-founder Russel Simmons, Chicago tech leader and former Match Group CEO Sam Yagan, and Jessica Droste Yagan, head of Impact Engine.
“IMSA meant a lot to me when I was growing up, especially from an introduction to technology, to programming, and to the internet in general,” Chen said.
Check out the new IN2 space at IMSA below.
Images courtesy of IMSA