Inspiration Software Congratulates Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, Named “Star Innovator” in 2009 Intel Schools of Distinction Awards

PORTLAND, Ore. – Sept. 15, 2009 – Inspiration Software®, Inc., the leader in visual thinking and learning, congratulates the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, Aurora, Ill., named today as the “Star Innovator” in the 2009 Intel Schools of Distinction Awards. As a sponsor of this prestigious awards program recognizing K-12 schools across the country that are role models for excellence in science and mathematics, the company also applauds the five other winners and 12 finalists honored this year.

The Intel Foundation and sponsoring companies, such as Inspiration Software, will distribute more than $1 million in cash, products and services to the winning schools. Inspiration Software’s sponsorship of this awards program builds on the company’s more than two-decade-long tradition of honoring innovative educators from around the world.

            The internationally recognized Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, a teaching and learning laboratory created by the State of Illinois, enrolls academically talented Illinois students (grades 10-12) in its advanced, residential college-preparatory program and  serves thousands of educators and students in Illinois and beyond through innovative instructional programs that foster imagination and inquiry.

In addition to the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, this year’s Intel Schools of Distinction Awards winners for mathematics excellence are Cedar Park Elementary School, Trumann, Ark.; Urban Assembly for Applied Math and Science, Bronx, N.Y.; and Lynn English High School, Lynn, Mass. Schools honored for science excellence are Oakcliff Elementary School, Doraville, Ga.; and Palm Desert Middle School, Palm Desert, Calif.

“The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy and the five other winners in this year’s Intel Schools of Distinction Awards exemplify the innovative ways that educators are using the power of technology to educate our country’s next generation of mathematicians and scientists,” said Mona Westhaver, president and co-founder, Inspiration Software. “Our company sponsors this important award program with Intel to recognize the accomplishments of these schools as well as to promote models for innovative instruction that can be replicated around the country.”

            All six of this year’s winning schools, honored today at a gala in Washington, D.C., receive a $10,000 grant from the Intel Foundation and an award package that includes curriculum materials, professional development resources, hardware and software.

            The elementary schools honored in this year’s Intel Schools of Distinction Awards will receive 100 licenses for Kidspiration® 3, Inspiration Software’s award-winning visual learning software for young learners, as well as licenses for the company’s Kidspiration lesson plan books: “Kidspiration in the Classroom: Reading Essentials,” “Kidspiration in the Classroom: Math Made Visual” and “Kidspiration in the Classroom: Writing Essentials.” Created for K-5 learners, Kidspiration develops thinking, literacy and numeracy skills using proven visual learning principles.

 Inspiration Software’s award package for Intel Schools of Distinction elementary schools also includes 60 licenses for InspireData®, the visual way to explore and understand data. Learners use InspireData to build critical data analysis skills.  To help these exemplary teachers use InspireData with their students, Inspiration Software will provide them with the supporting lesson plans books “Developing Data Literacy with InspireData,” “InspireData and Social Studies: Explore, Analyze and Understand,” and “InspireData and Science: Question, Analyze and Predict.”

This year’s middle and high school Intel Schools of Distinction Award winners will receive 100 licenses for Inspiration®, the essential tool to visualize, think, organize and learn. With Inspiration, learners in grade 6 to adult develop a deeper understanding of difficult concepts and build stronger critical-thinking skills. Inspiration Software’s prize package for secondary schools also includes materials that support using the visual learning software with students, such as “The Thinking Classroom: Using Inspiration to Meet Curriculum Standards.” Secondary school winners will also receive 60 licenses for InspireData and schoolwide licenses for its lesson plan books.

As the Star Innovator, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy will also receive 20 additional licenses for Inspiration and InspireData.

Instructional teams at all six 2009 winning schools will have the opportunity to participate in four hours of online professional development from Inspiration Software to help them integrate the visual learning software into teaching and learning.

For more information on the Intel Schools of Distinction Awards and to view the complete list of winners, visit For more information about Inspiration Software, visit



About Inspiration Software, Inc.

Recognized as the leader in visual thinking and learning, Inspiration Software, Inc.’s award-winning software tools, Inspiration, Kidspiration and InspireData, are based on proven visual learning methodologies that help students think, learn and achieve. With the powerful combination of visual learning and technology, students in grades K-12 learn to clarify thoughts, organize and analyze information, integrate new knowledge and think critically. Founded more than 25 years ago by Donald Helfgott and Mona Westhaver, the company’s visual learning software tools are used today by more than 25 million students and teachers worldwide.


For more information, press only:

Wendy Lienhart, L.Wolfe Communications, 630-920-0182,

Lisa Wolfe, L. Wolfe Communications, 773-227-1049,

©2009 Inspiration Software, Inc. All rights reserved. Inspiration Software®, Kidspiration®, InspireData® and Inspiration® are registered trademarks of Inspiration Software, Inc. All other brands are the property of their respective owners.


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