Pre-College Programs

STEM I for Middle School Students - SPARK: Life on Campus

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) | Explore. Discover. Achieve.


SPARK students are supervised throughout the program by a team of carefully selected Residential Advisors (RAs) who live in residence halls with the students and chaperone them throughout the entire day. An average student/RA ratio of 12:1 guarantees that students will receive the personal attention they need. The RAs are trained specifically to support this program by two Residence Directors, the SPARK Community Director and Program Director.

The RAs lead floor meetings several times throughout the program and facilitate community building among their cluster of SPARK students. RAs are not only supervising the safety of your SPARK student, but they are there to be a mentor and answer any questions concerning high school and college life. The RAs will be a resource to the SPARK students and serve as role models and mentors. 

In addition to the RAs, 2 Residence Directors and a Community Director oversee supervision of all SPARK students and serve on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week while the program is in session.


Students live in Brown’s residence halls within walking distance of classrooms and dining halls. Students are assigned to double occupancy rooms on single-sex floors with single-sex shared bathrooms. Students will be randomly assigned to another SPARK student no more than 6 months apart in age. Rooms provide typical college furniture, and do not have central air conditioning (one fan per student is provided).

Students must abide by a 10:00pm curfew—after 10:00pm, students must be in their own rooms for the remainder of the evening. Lights-out is 10:30pm.

Extended housing beyond Friday, July 8, 2016 is not available for SPARK students.

SPARK is a full two-week residential program.  Students are not allowed to leave the program to visit family or other activities.  In the event of an emergency, special requests will be considered.  It is important for your students continued success that they remain fully immersed in the program.

As SPARK is a Pre-College program, roommate requests are not encouraged.  A main goal of SPARK is to connect with new friends and we want all SPARK students to enter the program at the same place and experience meeting new people.  If you would like to request a roommate, the SPARK program will accept and consider requests, only, if parents of both students send an email requesting each other to


SPARK students eat together in one of Brown’s dining halls, under the supervision of Residential Advisors. Residential staff escort students to the dining halls, classrooms, and activities. All main meals are served in Brown’s dining halls or students are provided with bagged lunches. If your student has food allergies or dietary restrictions, please complete and submit the Disability, Medical, & Dietary Request Form per the instructions listed. This form must be obtained, at a minimum, two weeks prior to the start of the program.

Breakfast: 7:30am – 8:30am

Morning Snacks: around 10:00am
During class time, there will be one or two breaks where instructors will give out snacks.

Lunch: 11:30am – 12:15pm     
Afternoon Snacks: around 3:00pm

Dinner: 5:30pm – 6:30pm

Students should regularly fill their water bottles and bring them to class and all of their activities.

Unstructured Time & Informal Activities

The SPARK program is condensed, and there is limited free time. However, supervised activities from which students can choose will occur several times over the course of the program. These include going to local stores (like bookstores, pharmacies, etc.), going for ice cream, playing recreational games (ball, Frisbee, etc.), or doing more educational activities such as out-of-class course work or academic course "pre-assignments". The RAs will join the students, chaperone them to their destinations, and supervise them there. 

A Typical Day at SPARK

Students attend classes on weekday mornings and have two extended course days for further exploration or field trips. In the afternoons and on weekends, a range of activities are scheduled, including field trips, community building activities, hands-on STEM challenges, and research talks. Social activities are planned for the evenings. As the 2016 SPARK program includes the July 4th holiday, all efforts will be made to create a fun and festive experience for the students on July 4th, including a beach trip and other wonderful activities. If you have specific questions about the July 4th holiday, please contact Program Services at or 401-863-7900.

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