SPARK - Science for Middle School
SPARK - Science for Middle School
2014 Program Dates
July 7 - 18, 2014
For middle school students currently in grades 6 through 8. The minimum age is 12.
SPARK is a two week residential science program for curious middle school students who seek to spend two weeks on the Brown University campus, immerse themselves in exciting science subjects, and gain the foundations necessary for further scientific inquiry. SPARK students choose from a range of courses (one two-week or two one-week courses), and participate in carefully selected inquiry activities, inspiring science talks, as well as team-building and leadership activities. Students will not only learn the foundations of one or two scientific disciplines, but will reflect on what it means to excel, rise, and possibly lead in the sciences; while developing into well-rounded and responsible citizens.
The SPARK Experience
The SPARK program is designed to inspire students with similar interests in the sciences. Students are immersed in science courses, get a real taste for what it means to be a scientist, and learn to explore and discover. This process allows for stimulating and meaningful learning.
The leadership aspect of the SPARK program introduces students to what it means to excel in the sciences, while becoming smart, responsible, and emotionally intelligent citizens. Through age-appropriate leadership activities, talks and discussions; students will get a feel for what it takes to be successful in science.
The SPARK experience is enriched further through collegiality and collaboration where students from diverse backgrounds work together in teams. Students learn from each other, are inspired by each other, and form lasting friendships. This creates an enjoyable, safe, and relaxed environment which in turn encourages each student to live up to his or her full potential. As a result, students build self-confidence and grow as individuals. When students return home, they are transformed and energized to take charge of their learning.
- Gain a better understanding of science and its relevance to everyday life, including how research results are applied in the world around us
- Be inspired in inquiry-based learning, do hands-on experiments, and learn the art of scientific exploration
- Understand that explaining science concepts to others and writing scientific essays are critically important to being successful as a scientist
- Learn how scientists make discoveries – i.e., question the situation, experiment, analyze and interpret data, and then come up with sound conclusions and new insights
- Realize that it is possible to be smart and love science (and be proud of that!) while at the same time enjoying rich friendships with classmates and friends
- Understand that leading scientists are also emotionally intelligent, and have many other interests
- Grapple with issues of social responsibility and think about how to use science to make the world a better place
- Explore paths in science and learn about diverse job options that involve scientific thinking and expertise
- Connect with other like-minded and motivated individuals, and make new friends who also love science
- Learn the art of teamwork by engaging in meaningful discussions and group projects
- Gain self-confidence while learning novel things in a safe, comfortable, and challenging environment
- Broaden your horizons and prepare yourself for high school, college, and beyond
Division into Junior and Senior SPARK Students
- Junior SPARK –for students who completed 6th and 7th grade
- Senior SPARK –for students who completed 8th grade
Typically the students range from ages 12 to 15 years old. Recognizing the academic and developmental differences between the youngest and oldest participants; we created an age appropriate program offering courses specifically geared toward students who have completed 6th and 7th grade (Junior SPARK) and for students who have completed 8th grade (Senior SPARK).
We strongly recommend that students enroll in courses that are specifically designed for their appropriate academic level.