Summer at Sparkle
Session 1: Space and Stars
Physics and Astrophysics
June 26-July 7
Shoot for the stars with Sparkle as we explore everything that moves on earth and beyond. We will study forces, gravity, speed and momentum on earth in order to understand orbit, space, time, dark matter and more!
Session 2: Building and Breaking
Engineering and Robotics
What does it take to make a gadget work? This hands-on session is dedicated to challenging students to conceptualize mechanics through a variety of design challenges, building projects, and other fun approaches to Mechanical Engineering!
Session 3: The Brain and The Body
Biology and Genetics
July 24-August 4
Ever wondered what it's like to be a doctor? From the physiology of farts to the reason why germs make us sick, this session is for anyone interested in learning more about the body, brain, diseases and more!
Session 4: Magical Reactions
Explore and gain understanding on the chemistry behind cooking, explosions, and more as we observe fire, bright colors and household objects spontaneously combust!
Your location may follow a slightly different schedule according to its cohort's needs.
A Day At Sparkle
8 AM- 4 PM
8:00-9:00 Free Time/Check In
9:00-10:00 Yoga/Creative Movement
10:00-10:30 Community Check-In
10:30-11:00 Advisory Group Lessons
11:00-11:30 Project 1
11:30-12:00 Project 2
12:00-12:30 Younger Students Lunch/Older Students Project 3
12:30-1:00 Older Students Lunch
1:00-2:00 Free Time/Outdoor Play
3:30-4:00 Free Time until dismissal
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have questions? We have answers!
What is Sparkle?
Science, Projects, Arts and Robotics for Kids to Learn Everywhere is an extracurricular program designed to raise your child’s enthusiasm for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Sparkle’s first goal is to teach and review STEM concepts outside of the classroom through fun and engaging projects. The Sparkle Program is open to children of all genders and backgrounds. The Sparkle Program started 3 years ago when Amara Berry and a few other scientists at Brown University designed a series of original STEM lesson plans that were meant to challenge elementary students.
Who organizes this?
Sparkle is program under Skills For Life Corporation, a Rhode Island Educational non-profit dedicated to teaching STEM learning like the crucial life-skill that we believe it is. Skills For Life Corporation still operates this program. We are partnered with the Education Studies Department at Brown University and The Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University.
How can we sign up?
If you're ready to register today, you can do so through our eventbrite pages. Select the city you'd like to register in, skip past the application and you will be directed to pay your tuition and register your child. If you're interested but not quite ready to register, feel free to apply through the location you're interesting in joining!
We can't attend for the full two weeks. Can we register for half of a session?
We find that it's best to spend two weeks covering each session's subject, but understand that busy families have other summer commitments. A limited number of half-sessions spaces are available. Please reserve yours by paying the security deposit for the session you're seeking as soon as possible.
How many staff will there be?
We have a minimum of 1 director, 1 certified teacher, 5 staff, 2 interns and several trained volunteers at each location. College students and certified teachers lead the lessons and projects, while childcare workers with a minimum of 3 years' experience organize free-time activities, electives and constructive play.
What are your hours?
Our program typically runs from 8 AM to 4 PM. Specific locations may offer early drop-off at 7 or late pick-up at 6
Is this a tutoring program?
We do not offer tutoring, but we will teach your child to think like a scientist. Each summer session, which lasts 2 weeks, is focused on a scientific discipline that your child will spend a few hours per day learning about through developmentally-appropriate activities and projects. All students will learn the basics of a scientific concept or theory. Through experiments and projects in small groups, our staff will guide your student to follow their natural curiosity by trying to find the scientific explanation for what they're observing.
This seems like a lot of work for elementary students. Will this curriculum stress them out?
Our first priority is to make The Sparkle Program a fun and positive experience for the students. If the activities are not naturally fun and engaging for your student, we will encourage them to take a break, or modify it to make their time with us more meaningful. Free-time projects are also meant to help each camper enjoy the summer months as much as possible.
Can boys join?
Children of all genders are welcome to join Sparkle. Science is for everyone!
My child isn’t into science. Is The Sparkle Program a good fit?
Yes! We plan a lot of activities that will engage your child's natural creativity and curiosity. Not every child in our program wants to be a scientist, but we believe that understanding these topics as they connect to our everyday lives holds value either way. STEM activities will help your child strengthen their problem-solving skills and logical reasoning, while exposing them to scientific theories which they will not be intimidated by later in their educational careers. A stronger understanding of science and math can help our future politicians, law makers, parents, voters and citizens!