Delivered by GSSM’s Center for Science Education & Outreach, SPARK! is designed to inspire an early interest and awareness of STEM studies. In a series of after school workshops, 6th-8th graders have the opportunity to 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!


  • 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

WHEN: February - March 2018 (See dates below)
TIME: 4:00–5:30PM
401 Railroad Ave • Hartsville SC
WHO: 6TH–8TH grade students
COST: Free!
Space is limited to 15 students

Register for Spark!

Spring 2018 Spark! Workshops 

Math: The Art of Problem Solving with Dinosaur Combinatorics
Do you like puzzles and riddles? Or how combinations can create new special effects? If you were told to create one thousand unique dinosaurs, could you? In this workshop, participants will explore combinatorics through unique dinosaurs. Activities will center on using mathematical problem solving to design and create a distinct number of creative dinosaurs.
When: Thursday, February 8, 2018
Application Deadline: February 1st  

"A mighty flame follows a tiny spark." - Dante Alighieri

Physics: The Moment of Inertia
Ever wonder why a fidget spinner seems to spin forever? Or how energy changes forms? In this workshop, participants will explore physics through the moment of inertia. Activities will center on finding creative ways to transfer energy while exploring the relationship between inertia, mass, force, and rotational motion.
When: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 
Application Deadline: February 8th  
Chemistry: Compounds & Mixtures
Ready to mix it up a little bit? Or explore what makes a compound? In this workshop, participants will explore basic chemistry. Activities will center on compounds, mixtures, atoms, and the periodic table.
When: Thursday, February 22, 2018 
Application Deadline: February 15th  
Biology: It’s all About You, Kid!
Ever wonder how a person ends up with their eye color, height, or hair color? In this workshop, participants will explore basic biology and Mendelian Law of Inheritance. Activities will center on DNA and include an extraction lab.
When: Thursday, March 1, 2018 
Application Deadline: February 22nd   
Math: String Parabolas
Ever wonder why how you kick a soccer ball changes how it arcs up into the air and comes back down? Or how the angle at which you shoot an arrow determines which circle in the target it lands? In this workshop, participants will explore mathematics through parabolas. Activities will center on basic derivatives through creating string parabolas.
When: Tuesday, March 6, 2018 
Application Deadline: March 1st  

Physics: Newton’s Laws
Ever wonder why a jar can sometimes be impossible to open? Or how the angle at which you shoot an angry bird determines which pig gets hit? In this workshop, participants will explore Newton’s Law. Activities will center on projectile motion, torque, collisions and demonstrating how motion acts in two dimensions.
When: Thursday, March 15, 2018 
Application Deadline: March 8th

Chemistry: Chemical Equations
Ever wonder what H2O really means? Or what are different types of chemical reactions? In this workshop, participants will explore chemistry through coefficients. Activities will center on discovering the importance of coefficients and how they relate to the rate of reaction.
When: Tuesday, March 22, 2018 
Application Deadline: March 15th

Biology: Evolution & Reptiles
Ever wonder why reptiles have to shed their skin in order to grow? Or that snakes are a type of lizard that have evolved the loss of limbs in order to live in burrows underground? In this workshop, participants will explore evolution. Activities will center on identifying the progression and relevance of present day biological phenomena through observing live reptilian animals.
When: Thursday, March 29, 2018
Application Deadline: March 22nd

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