Pre-College Programs
SPARK Students Engaged in the Classroom
SPARK Students Engaged in the Classroom
SPARK Students Engaged in the Classroom
SPARK Students Engaged in the Classroom
SPARK Students Engaged in the Classroom
SPARK Students Engaged in the Classroom

SPARK - Course Details

SPARK - Science for Middle School

SPARK courses expose students to the intellectual concepts and processes of scientific topics that are taught at Brown University. The courses are “inquiry-based” and “experiential”.  Students conduct experiments, explore, and make their own discoveries. Inquiry-based instruction means that the students themselves – by asking appropriate questions – seek out knowledge, information, and scientific truth. This approach assures that the students gain a deep conceptual understanding of complex scientific phenomena. SPARK students learn science from the ground up by first focusing on the basics, and continuously reaching further to earn deep understanding of the more advanced concepts. By exposing the students to this type of inquiry, they not only learn how to think critically, but also get hands-on experience of how scientists conduct research. 

Note: SPARK is a two week program.  Students select either one 2-week course or two 1-week courses. Refer to the tables below to help in your selection.

Junior SPARK

For students who have completed 6th and 7th grade

OPTION 1: Select One 2-week course:
2 Weeks - July 7-18, 2014
So You Want to be a Laboratory Scientist? (CRN 10130)
Aerospace Engineering and Rocket Science (CRN 10348)
OPTION 2: Select Two 1-week courses: one for week 1, one for week 2:
Week 1 - July 7-11, 2014 Week 2 - July 14-18, 2014
Conservation of Endangered Species (CRN 10121) Exploring the World of Marine Science (CRN 10134)
Understanding the Human Body: An Exploration of Anatomy (CRN 10122) RobotC: An Introduction to Programming with Lego Robots (CRN 10534)
Exploring the Planets and Moons of our Solar System (CRN 10476) Hurricanes, Global Warming and the Science of Weather (CRN 10124)
The Art of Statics: From Physics to Safe Engineering Structures at Rest (CRN 10693)  From Brain to Sensation (CRN 10123)

Senior SPARK

For students who have completed 8th grade

OPTION 1: Select One 2-week course:
2 Weeks - July 7-18, 2014
DNA Science and Biotechnology (CRN 10522)
Star Wars Physics (CRN 10664)
OPTION 2: Select Two 1-week courses: one for week 1, one for week 2:
Week 1 - July 7-11, 2014 Week 2 - July 14-18, 2014
Nanotechnology: The Small Wonder (CRN 10128) Forensic Science: CSI Providence (CRN 10125)
Fatal Infections: Why Are Some Diseases Incurable? (CRN 10674) Understanding the Human Body: An Exploration of Anatomy (CRN 10537)

From Brain to Sensation: Neurobiology of Perception (CRN 10575)

The Physics of Music and Neuroscience of Hearing (CRN 10513)
Oceanography and Fluid Dynamics (CRN 10675) Everyday Mechanics and Special Relativity: From Earthly Speed to the Speed of Light (CRN 10414)

 

View all SPARK courses »

View all 1-week Junior and Senior SPARK courses »

View all 2-week Junior and Senior SPARK courses »

All students who successfully complete their course(s) will receive a Course Performance Report and a Certificate of Completion

Leadership Activities

Leadership activities, talks, and discussions are woven throughout the two week period.  Students will engage in teambuilding activities, do group work, and reflect on how scientists collaborate effectively.  By interacting with graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the sciences at Brown, students will learn about many possible careers in science.  They will also learn the importance of being an effective communicator through writing and persuasive speaking.  Additionally, students will be confronted with ethical dilemmas that scientists might encounter such as doing research on weapons or stem cells.  The objective is for students to grow into socially responsible and science-savvy citizens. 

Extracurricular Activities

In addition to spending three hours per day in their science classes and learning about leadership, students take part in extra-curricular activities where they interact with students from other courses. The extra-curricular activities include field trips, other more general science experiments referred to as “inquiry-activities”, and lectures on diverse topics such as Space-Time Travel, Neuroscience Fundamentals, or Elementary Particles.  In the evenings, they have “down time” to enjoy recreational activities; examples are laser tag, bowling, rock climbing, and participating in the ever popular talent show!

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