SPARK! Workshops

Available SPARK! Workshops (virtual)

Biology – The Science of Bioluminescence: Nature's Glow-in-the-Dark Phenomenon / Tuesday, September 26, 2023 

Have you ever seen the sea glow when it is disturbed by a wave? Well, this phenomenon is caused by bioluminescence in algae. Bioluminescence, the ability of living organisms to produce light, is a fascinating phenomenon found in various forms of life on Earth from glowing jellyfish to fireflies lighting up the night. In this interactive SPARK! lesson, we will explore the science behind bioluminescence, including chemical reactions and mechanisms that allow living organisms to emit light. Join us as we delve into the diversity of organisms and uncover the significance of this phenomena!

Chemistry – Chemical Equilibrium & Titration / Wednesday, September 27, 2023 

Why do mixtures of acids and bases always result in the same number of products? How do we know when a chemical reaction stops? In this SPARK! lesson, we will explore the concept of chemical equilibrium and titration, a common method used to determine the point of equilibrium. We will delve deeper into what acids and bases are and how they interact. We will also look at why chemical equilibrium is important in science and our everyday lives!

Chinese Culture – Roaming the Ghost Festival / Thursday, September 28, 2023  

Have you ever heard of the Hungry Ghost Festival? It is similar to other celebrations like the Day of the Dead and Halloween; in fact, some people call this festival the Halloween of China! This haunted holiday, with Buddhist and Taoist roots, is celebrated in the seventh month of the lunar calendar and serves to honor ancestors and relatives. In this lesson, students will open the gates to the Ghost Festival and explore its many traditions and customs!

Computer Science – Introduction to Python / Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Welcome to the exciting world of Python programming! In this interactive class, you will learn the fundamentals of Python while creating a thrilling number guessing game from scratch. Get ready to embark on a coding adventure as you dive into Python syntax and basic concepts, including variables, conditionals, loops, and user input. Through hands-on coding exercises, you'll learn how to generate random numbers, take user input for guesses, and provide hints/feedback based on the user's guesses. Join us in this dynamic class and unlock the power of Python while creating an exciting number guessing game that you can share with your friends and family!

Cyber Security – The Art of Cryptography / Wednesday, October 4, 2023 

Have you ever wondered how data stays safe when traveling from a sender to the receiver? Well, it's through the science of cryptography. Cryptography allows us to confidently send secure information through the internet from one place to another, without having to worry about malicious attacks on our data. Join us to learn about the encryption and decryption algorithms, the history of cryptography, and the usage and improvement of cryptography in personal, political, and military uses!

Economics – NFTS and Cryptocurrency / Tuesday, October 10, 2023 

Ever wondered exactly how NFTs or crypto currency like Bitcoin work? Interested in trying it out for yourself but don’t know where to start? Join us to learn the basics of how to buy, sell, or invest in NTFS and Bitcoin- plus some extra tips. In this SPARK! lesson, we will cover the beginner basics of NFT or Bitcoin as well as how these affect the economy. The lesson will end with a couple fun activities involving trivia and drawing your own NFT!


Environmental Science – The Origins of Electricity / Wednesday, October 11, 2023 

Have you ever wondered about the sources of energy that are utilized to power our homes? In this lesson, we will learn about the various renewable and nonrenewable energy sources from coal mining to solar power. Each energy source works in its own unique way with challenges and benefits. Join the SPARK! The Environmental Science team as we explore the steps within each process that result in the electricity that we know and love. We will also share how you can reduce the amount of electricity that you use!

History – The Glorious and the Greedy Gilded Age / Thursday, October 12, 2023 

Have you ever wondered how travel evolved from wagons on the Oregon Trail to the modern high-speed Japanese bullet train? Or how did the great cities we know today get to such a large size? Join us as we journey through the innovations and industrialization in the Gilded Age to learn how the United States was forever changed! After this SPARK! History lesson you will be able to answer all those questions and gain a better understanding of how the world around you has developed into the industrial giant it is today!

Literature - Japanese Poetry / Tuesday, October 17, 2023  

Have you ever heard of a Haiku? Or a Waka? Or how about Shintaishi poetry? These are all forms of Japanese poetry! This lesson will explore the many types and history of poetry in Japan. We will study ancient Japanese poets, as well as modern ones and their influence on Japanese and global culture. This lesson will also include examples of specific poems, with a deep dive into their meanings and structures. Join us for the opportunity to learn about another type of poetry!

Math – Sequences and Series / Wednesday, October 18, 2023  

Can you add up every number from one to one hundred (1+2+3+...+100) in a few seconds? By the end of this lesson, you will be able to do that and more! Join us as we learn about the patterns between numbers and how to easily calculate the sum of long, even infinite lists of numbers. By the end of the lesson, you will be able to amaze your family and friends with your mathematical skills!

Marine Biology – Fish Houses: A Dive into Marine Habitats / Thursday, October 19, 2023  

Have you ever wondered what makes an aquatic animal choose to live in a region? Or why certain animals can only live in saltwater? Although fish don’t live in houses, they still need to have certain accommodations in which they thrive. In this lesson the SPARK! The Marine Bio team will explore the different habitats in which marine creatures live and what makes each one so special. Join us for this exploration of life under the sea!

Medicine – Interactions within the Immune System / Tuesday, October 24, 2023 

Ever wondered why you get certain symptoms like a fever, rash, or pain when you get sick? Or what causes allergies? Then join us for SPARK! Medicine as we explore the defenses and evolution of the immune system that insure our survival today.

Music – Evolution of Music / Wednesday, October 25, 2023 

Have you ever listened to rap, metal, or K-pop music? Ever wondered where these genres of music originated? Then join us as we discuss artists that were important to the development of these musical genres and how political tensions may have contributed to their creation and more!

Physics – Physics of Flight: Bernoulli Principle / Tuesday, October 31, 2023 

Have you ever wondered how birds and planes are able to fly? In this interactive lesson, the SPARK! Physics team will discuss how Bernoulli’s Principle allows for flight. Join us as we look at the physics and dynamics behind this principle and the history behind how it was discovered. We will also examine real world examples beyond the applications of flight including a fun at-home experiment of Bernoulli’s Principle in action with simple materials that we will construct together.

Psychology – Measuring Personality / Wednesday, November 1, 2023

How would you describe your personality? Are you friendly, creative, timid, or outgoing? Have you ever wondered how personality is scientifically measured? Then join us as we explore the different personality types, the theories of personality, and ways to test and measure personality. Maybe you’ll discover new personality traits of your own with SPARK! Psychology team.

Robotics - The Building Blocks of Robotics / Thursday, November 2, 2023 

Have you ever wondered how a robot works? Do you know what parts must work together to make a functioning robot? In this class, we will explore different robots to see how each one is made. From robots in factories to robotic dogs, each robot is made up of similar materials. After this lesson, you will be able to answer all of these questions too! Join us on a journey to learn how a functioning robot is made!

Sociology – Sociology in Every Field / Tuesday, November 7, 2023 

Have you ever heard of the subject of sociology? Sociology is the study of society and can be found in every field of study. Join us as we explore sociology in technology, religion, history, health, and more. We will learn about the effects of technology on current generations as well as how it impacted ancient culture. With the SPARK! Sociology team you can learn how criminology, economics, and community are connected to sociology!

Spanish - ¡Vacaciones en Países Españoles! (Holidays in Spanish-Speaking Countries) / Wednesday, November 8, 2023 

¡Hola y buenos días! Have you ever wondered about what holidays are celebrated in Spanish-speaking countries? Or how these holidays play into the Spanish language? Well search no more, for this SPARK! Spanish lessons will immerse you in the many cultures and holidays that are celebrated in Spanish-speaking countries. This lesson will be coupled with phrases and words in Spanish to help you better understand the language in these Spanish-speaking regions. Join us for a unique experience of cultural expansion of the Spanish language and the opportunity to make a holiday mask!