19 amazing elementary schools in San Diego County have already joined the Emerging Engineers Program and, thanks to The Thomas C. Ackerman Foundation and Cox Charities, Kid Spark Education is able to invite an additional 4 schools to participate in the program this Spring (valued at $13,000 per school).
Read on to learn more about Kid Spark and how you can participate, or skip down to the application.
Elementary school educators tell us over and over again that what they really need is TIME, especially for planning and professional development. They also tell us that that while they'd love to bring more STEM into their classrooms, they don't always know where to start or how to make the learning meaningful.
We get it! That's why we've spent the past decade researching and developing our applied STEM education program—and made sure that you have everything you need to get started right away, no specialized STEM background required.
Our program includes:
The Kid Spark Elementary Program impacts students and teachers in the following ways:
“I’m in my second year of teaching engineering concepts with Kid Spark to kindergartners. I am amazed at how easily the students learn and start applying math, science and engineering concepts with Kid Spark. Since the concepts are taught in the context of designing, building and improving various types of structures, students are motivated to apply these concepts immediately in order to improve their creations. Everyone is engaged and everyone improves his/her knowledge about designing strong and useful structures.”
Teacher at Chollas Mead Elementary School, San Diego, CA
The elementary program covers the first two phases of our preK-8th grade curriculum. As your students progress through the STEM lessons, they engage in key engineering practices that include gathering information, explaining how things work, problem-solving, and critical thinking.
Educators mentor students to develop foundational capacities prerequisite to all STEM learning, like spatial reasoning, problem-solving, and symbolization. While many students learn these fluencies at home, this phase helps fill in critical gaps that may exist, especially for underserved students.
Units of Instruction
Students begin exploring important STEM topics such as applied mathematics, mechanical engineering, and robotics. Students focus on intuitive STEM concepts like how to make things strong and how to make things move. As a result, kids gain confidence in their ability to use technology to design solutions to problems.
Units of Instruction
Kid Spark STEM programs teach the practices and cross-cutting concepts used for all scientific learning as prescribed in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
Goodbye, popsicle sticks! Kid Spark's robust and reusable labs are organized and unintimidating; the larger scale elements allow for collaborative learning. The entire preK-8 curriculum can be taught using the same two labs (one per 4 students) year after year, across grade levels and topics. Labs can be stacked on top of one another and simply rolled from one classroom to another.
Supports the preK-5th grade curriculum.
Early lessons focus on foundational STEM literacies that include reading step-by-step instructions, symbolization, measuring, patterns, and symmetry. Students then transition into more challenging concepts like how to make things move, how to make things strong, and the design and engineering cycle.
Supports the 3-8th grade curriculum.
Students build upon what they've learned to explore more technical, less intuitive concepts. Later lessons focus on mechanisms and movement, applied mathematics (including common core standards), programmable robotics, simple and compound machines, and rapid prototyping and 3D printing.
Many general education teachers have some hesitations about teaching STEM, especially if they don't have specialized training. But with Kid Spark, any teacher can master what it takes to become a STEM mentor.
When you participate in the Emerging Engineers Program, Kid Spark will help you develop your capacities as a STEM mentor in the following ways:
Fall 2019 Cohort
Spring 2020 Cohort
Teacher buy-in is critical to the success of the project. We're happy to attend a school staff meeting to give a 20-minute hands-on demo and answer any questions teachers might have—please contact Clarissa Dieck at email@example.com to arrange a demonstration date/time. Once your school decides you want to participate and you meet the qualifications listed below, your school can submit a brief application, located at the bottom of this page.
Still have questions? Please contact Jena Olson at firstname.lastname@example.org.