Delivered by GSSM’s Center for Science Education & Outreach, SPARK! is designed to inspire an early interest in and awareness of STEM studies. In a series of after school workshops, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders follow their interests to learn the science or math concepts behind daily questions or curiosities.

Students can select any or all workshops to attend. See the full list below!

WHEN: September - November 2018 (See dates below)
TIME: 4:00–5:30PM
401 Railroad Ave • Hartsville SC
WHO: 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students
COST: Free!
Space is limited to 15 students

Register for Spark! 

Download a paper version of the registration form and workshop descriptions.


  • After school workshops exploring a wide range of STEM topics, selected based on students' interests
  • An opportunity to connect with GSSM residential students who will serve as instructors and role models
  • Snacks will be provided

Fall 2018 Spark! Workshops

Math: Geometry in Origami
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Do you like puzzles and shapes? Invented in Asia thousands of years ago, origami has been used to create incredible sculptures out of nothing but paper. Now we can use origami in other ways, specifically to visualize geometric shapes. In this class, we will be exploring the basics of geometry by folding paper. We will explore area and volume through origami and mathematical formulas. By the end of the class, you will have a better understanding of the shapes that make up our world and how to create them using paper.

Biology: Body Systems
Thursday, September 27, 2018

Ever wonder how someone can exercise for hours and never get tired? Although on the outside our bodies don’t seem too complicated, they are actually made of several different systems that work together to allow us to function daily! In this workshop, participants will learn about the main body systems--circulatory, respiratory, endocrine, muscular, nervous, and lymphatic--and how each of these systems depend on each other to work.

Physics: Magnetism
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Have you ever wondered what makes a compass point a certain direction? Or how generators produce electricity? In this workshop, participants will explore the world of magnets and what causes some of the common phenomena around us to happen. We will also talk about how electricity and magnetism are related to one another and how some of the things we use every day use both.

Biology: Viruses
Thursday, October 4, 2018

Have you ever had the flu? If you have, then you’ve experienced the effects of a virus. In this workshop, participants will learn the basic structure of viruses and the two different types of viruses along with how they manage to invade your cells and cause things like the flu.

Math: Maps, Networks, and Graph Theory
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Everyone knows what a typical graph looks like. In this workshop, however, participants will put a different meaning to the name. We will explore the intricacies of graph theory, including direct graphs, indirect graphs, Euler paths, and multigraphs. Not only will you redefine what a graph means, you will also learn how to apply your newfound knowledge to the real world. We can find graph theory in our use of maps and computer networks.

Physics: Waves
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Did you know that sound travels in waves? Did you also know that’s why ambulances sound louder if they’re driving toward you and not away from you? In this workshop, participants will talk about the different types of waves and how their properties can change depending on the medium they’re traveling through. We will also discuss how some waves can have particle-like characteristics.

Biology: Immune System
Thursday, October 18, 2018

Have you ever wondered how you recover from a cold or why you have allergies or why cuts become scabs? In this workshop, participants will cover the basic responses of your immune system to different scenarios.

Chemistry: Acids & Bases
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Ever wonder why lemons taste sour? Ever wonder why baking soda makes bread rise? In this workshop, participants will explore acids and bases through experiments and real-life examples. Activities will center on properties of acids and bases and types of indicators.

Biology: Transport in the Body
Thursday, October 25, 2018

Ever wonder how things like water and nutrient molecules can pass through our cells to keep our cells functioning? In this workshop, participants will learn exactly how these molecules can pass through the cell membrane by exploring active versus passive transport, including diffusion, osmosis, and channels.

Chemistry: Electrochemistry
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Ever wonder why some reactions happen naturally? Ever wonder why you can recharge your phone? In this workshop, participants will explore chemistry through the movement of electrons. Activities will center on understanding the transfer of electrons and spontaneity of reactions.

Chemistry: Thermodynamics
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Ever wonder why lakes don’t freeze over completely in the winter? Ever wonder why water freezes at the same temperature every time? In this workshop, participants will explore the transfer of heat in reactions through experiments and the laws of thermodynamics. Activities will center on types of energy and heat change in a reaction.

Biology: Signaling
Thursday, November 8, 2018

Have you ever wondered how your body tells you it's hungry, thirsty, or tired? Just like our body systems communicate with each other, individual cells have ways to communicate with each other as well. In this workshop, participants will discover just exactly how they do so and why this is so important for our everyday lives.

Biology: Nervous System
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Can someone really get on your last nerve? Ever wonder how many nerve cells you really have and how the nervous system works? One of the most complicated systems in your body, the nervous system controls almost all your actions. In this workshop, participants will examine signaling and discover how neurons are completely different from all the other cells in your body.

All courses are from 4:00-5:30 p.m. on the dates listed.

Register for Spark!