SPARK! Workshops

Available SPARK! Workshops

Biology – Neurobiology / Tuesday, Sept. 13 (virtual) 

Have you ever wondered what organ makes you who you are? In this lesson, participants will be learning about the anatomy and physiology of the brain including how the brain is responsible for sensations, emotions, and personalities, and contributes to our everyday lives! 

Chemistry - Chemical Compounds / Thursday, Sept. 15 (virtual) 

Have you ever wondered where H2O got its name? Almost everything around you -- water, soda, paper, your backpack -- is made of chemical compounds. Elements bond in different ways to form substances with completely different properties. H2O is water, but with the addition of an Oxygen molecule, H2O2 becomes hydrogen peroxide! In this lesson, we will explore molecular bonding, elemental properties, chemical compound structure, and more. Join us to learn about the building blocks of the world around you! 

Chinese/Asian Studies - A Dive into the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival / Tuesday, Sept. 20 (virtual) 

Do you like learning about other cultures and their holiday traditions? Have you ever wondered what types of holidays China celebrates? If so, you should check out SPARK! Chinese! In this lesson, students will learn about different holidays celebrated in Chinese culture and their traditions. Specifically, students will learn about the Mid- Autumn Festival and its fun traditions of lantern lighting, dragon dancing, and mooncake making. This will be a fun and interactive lesson on the Mid-Autumn festival including hands-on activities of how to make a traditional Chinese lantern and a beautiful mooncake! 

Computer Science - Code Making and Code Breaking / Thursday, Sept. 22 (virtual) 

Have you ever wondered how spies talk to each other? Or created your own secret language with your friends? Do you have what it takes to think like a computer and be a real-life code breaker? Learn about the world of cryptography and the impact it has on computer science. We will dive into different ciphers and codes while exploring how computers decrypt and encrypt messages. Students will be able to decipher messages and even create their own cipher. Join us to learn about the vast field of cryptography. 

Environmental Science - Go Green: The Carbon Cycle / Tuesday, Sept. 27 (virtual) 

Do you know how important plants are to the environment? Do you want to learn more about our Earth? Come join us in SPARK! Environmental Science where we will discuss how the carbon cycle works, how plants play a part in this, and how we as individuals can reduce our carbon footprint. From oceans to the atmosphere, carbon is everywhere and continues to have an impact on our lives. Come to SPARK! Environmental science and learn how you can make our Earth a happy planet. 

Government/Economics - Cryptocurrency: The Basics / Thursday, Sept. 29 (virtual) 

Has the world of cryptocurrency confused you? How does digital currency even hold value? Who decided that it meant anything at all? Cryptocurrency can be seen as quite a daunting concept for many. It can be hard to wrap one's head around the idea of digital currency, let alone how it works. Join us for an interactive guide to the world of crypto, as we dive into the currency that has taken the digital world by storm. In this lesson, we will learn about the basics working of cryptocurrency, the history behind it, why it has become so popularized, the downsides of crypto, and some of the ways cryptocurrency influences pop culture today. 

History - Famous Explorers that Changed the World Forever / Tuesday, Oct. 4 (virtual) 

Have you ever wondered how people explored our planet before the creation of computers? Or how about how the Americas were discovered, at a time when people hadn't even discovered "germs"? Or how about how a woman could fly a tiny propeller plane across the huge Atlantic Ocean, before navigation systems like GPS were invented? Today, you can go onto Google Earth and view a digital 3D map of the world. But technology like this is rather new - before the age of computers and phones, human exploration was marked by tales all about danger and courage, about tales where the impossible happened. In this SPARK! lesson, we'll cover the history of exploration and the famous explorers that forever changed our world over the past 1000 or so years: all the way from Leif Erikson, the first European to discover America, to Amelia Earhart, the first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean by plane! If you want to learn more about the awesome history of exploration, come join us! 

Literature - Why Poetry Works: Mind, Meter, Matter / Tuesday, Oct. 11 (virtual) 

Have you ever wondered why iambic pentameter sounds pleasant to the ear? There’s a whole world of science behind the stanzas! In this SPARK! Lesson: we'll dive into the rhythm, rhyme and meter. Join us on our walk through the structure of poems and how that impacts the message it sends. We’ll examine famous poems that have inspired change throughout human history and talk about why they were so effective.  

Marine Biology - All About Adaptations / Thursday, Oct. 13 (virtual) 

Have you ever seen a jellyfish glow in the dark? Or maybe an angler fish? If you’re interested in knowing how marine animals produce their own light and use it daily, then you will love SPARK! Marine Biology’s “All About Adaptations- Bioluminescence.”  In this lesson, students will be able to learn lots about the different ways that organisms use their own light, different types of bioluminescence seen in marine life, and more! Hope to see you there!  

Math - Mathematics Around the World / Tuesday, Oct. 18 (virtual) 

Have you ever wondered where all the math you learn in class comes from? How do we know how decimals and fractions work? How did we find out how to find surface areas or volumes of shapes? In this lesson we'll learn about all sorts of historical events, innovations and groundbreaking discoveries that make math what it is today. We'll especially focus on how math can be thought of in different ways and explore the different paths various societies around the world took when expanding mathematical knowledge. Mathematics usually is thought of through numbers, symbols, equations and graphs, but this lesson will reveal the cultural and historical perspective of mathematical thinking that is often overlooked. 

Music - Yodeling, Scream Singing, and Everything in Between / Thursday, Oct. 20 (virtual) 

Do you ever sing along to the radio in the car? What about in the shower? Well, if you do either of those things, then you’ll love this lesson! We’ll talk about singing styles like Death Metal, K-pop, Jazz, Yodeling and many more! We’ll also talk about the mechanics of singing (mouth shape, muscles used, etc.) and we’ll look at some examples of what not to do. If you want to become a better singer or just listen to some interesting performances from us Govies, feel free to sign up! 

Psychology - The Psychology of Dreams / Tuesday, Oct. 25 (virtual) 

Have you ever had a dream about a cat painting a watermelon in a submarine in space and wondered, where did this crazy dream come from? While scientists still don’t know exactly why we dream, they have come up with many theories. Join us to explore some of the theories behind our dreams and where they come from! 

Physics - Waves and Particles / Tuesday, Nov. 1 (virtual) 

Have you ever wondered exactly how we can see and hear things? Or what happens when you connect to Wi-Fi? Or what's going on with mirrors? These things may seem a little disconnected, but they're all related by the focus of this lesson: waves! In this lesson, we'll find out what waves are, the different types of waves, how they work, and how we use them. We'll also learn some additional facts about a different part of physics, particles, and the bridge between them both: light. I hope to see you there! 

Robotics - Design Your Own Robot / Thursday, Nov. 3 (virtual) 

Have you ever wanted to automate your life? Maybe make a task 1000 times easier with a gadget? More and more, robotics is becoming an increasingly larger part of our everyday life, and with this the need for brilliant young minds to operate and create these robots grows by the second. Join us to learn about the wide range of robotics and how they are used, from online food delivery to soil sampling on distant planets. We will also go through the step-by-step process of how robots are designed and produced. Participants will then get the opportunity to apply their new skills in engineering and knowledge of robotics to design and develop their own robotic solutions. 

Spanish - Un Año de Celebraciones / Tuesday, Nov. 8 (virtual) 

¡Bienvenida a todos! Do you have a favorite holiday or celebration and an interest in Hispanic culture? If so, take a journey with us as we travel to different Spanish-speaking countries and learn about many different Hispanic celebrations that take place throughout the year. From Cinco de Mayo and Los Sanfermines to the Day of the Dead and la Navidad, we will dive into the culture, food, music, and events that take place during these celebrations. ¡Espero verte pronto!