11:26 AM EST
Judy Biggert, R-IL 13th

Mrs. BIGGERT. I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time.

Madam Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H. Res. 862, which congratulates the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, commonly known as IMSA, which is located in Aurora, Illinois, for winning the 2009 Star Innovator award. And I would like to commend the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Foster) for offering this resolution and also for all of the work he has done in math and science and in education. We really do need to continue to work to have more scientists, more engineers,

and more mathematicians if we are going to compete in the global economy.

IMSA was founded in 1985. It does enroll the most talented 10th through 12th graders in the State of Illinois. Since its founding, it has graduated 4,000 students, including many from nearby communities. I have had the opportunity to have many of those students come from my district. IMSA students go on to pursue exciting careers in the latest cutting-edge fields: mathematics, engineering, and science. And just a few more facts on where these IMSA alumni have gone. They were founding teams for

many Web sites, many Web site innovations, including Netscape, PayPal, and YouTube, as the gentleman from Illinois recognized.

Each year Intel gives this Star Innovator award to a school that provides high quality, cutting-edge math and science instruction in a unique and enriching environment. It is a boarding school, but the kids have the opportunity to go home on the weekend, but they work really, really hard and concentrate on their studies and they come out with a great education and are able to move forward.

I am a long-time advocate also of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM education, and I have been since my tenure here in Congress. I am really delighted to see that this school is recognized for its innovative curriculum, its administration, its teachers, and the high caliber of graduates that it produces. If we are really to strive to develop a workforce for the 21st century and be able to participate in the global economy--we always think of our country as having the

innovation and the creativity--well, this is where it comes from. It is from schools like this that produce the graduates that are able to carry forth in these fields.

I hope that IMSA will be a model for other schools throughout the country. I think the more recognition it gets, the more we will find that these schools are so important to our economy.

Please join us in supporting this important resolution in encouraging excellence among our Nation's schools and giving those best students the opportunity to participate in something like this.

[Time: 11:30]