S.P.A.R.K.S. = Science Projects are Really Kids’ Stuff!
Founded by Jennifer Moorehead in 2003, we are a 501(c )3 non-profit education organization dedicated to promoting science literacy to elementary age children through hands-on programs that provide enrichment in every area of science. In doing so, we are able to further our communities’ efforts to educate our children in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) by providing additional resources for schools, as well as beyond the classroom.
How We Got Our Start
The S.P.A.R.K.S. Foundation was formed 15 years ago in order to honor Jennifer “Jupiter Jen” Moorehead’s late husband, and to answer a critical need for quality, inquiry-based science programs for every child. “Jupiter Jen”, founder of Science Explorers, saw that her own children’s elementary school was cutting science instruction time and budgets, and that the students’ proficiency levels in the subject were dropping as a result. She knew from her own experience as a parent how well children learned and enjoyed science if they could learn it ‘hands-on’ and she wanted to bring that type of science education to other elementary grade students.
Jennifer also learned how many other schools were hungry for more high-quality hands-on STEM learning opportunities yet could not afford the cost, nor did they have the resources or sufficient staffing. And so The S.P.A.R.K.S. Foundation was formed as a 501(c )3 non-profit organization to create partnerships for such programs in schools as well as for those beyond the school day. We provide the STEM learning opportunities that are so important to students’ future success.
As a result of our hands-on approach, students’ proficiency levels have improved, teachers feel supported, and community partners see the positive impact in their community when we create lifetime learners.
What we aim to accomplish:
- Inspire lifelong engagement in science at a critical time in young students’ lives.
- Encourage students to ask questions, think critically and become problem-solving individuals.
- Provide interactive, hands-on learning opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering & Math that extend and enhance the traditional elementary science curriculum.
- Collaborate with the educational community to strengthen STEM skills for students as future workers in an increasingly STEM-oriented world.
- Create a safe environment for expanding young students’ comfort with and mastery of the natural world around them.
Do Students Really Need More Science?
There is a high demand for U.S. high school graduates who are prepared to enter advanced schooling and careers requiring STEM knowledge.
Shortage of Workers
By 2020 there will be more than 2.8 million job openings for STEM workers, yet there is a shortage of workers with the proper educational background in science.
Studies show that students who take advanced science classes and major in high-demand STEM fields in post-secondary education tend to get hooked and make their choices as early as middle school.