SPARK Museum

SPARKing Discovery and Invention!

SCED 480/490 students work with students to develop an understanding of how energy flows in circuits

The Program

The SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention has offered fantastic field trips for years-- but was interested in enhancing the field trip experience and providing resources for teachers that align with the Next Generation Science Standards. In 2019, SPARK partnered with Bellingham Public Schools and Western students to develop a classroom companion curriculum that integrated science, technology, engineering, and computer science.

Students show off their circuit design skills

The Curriculum

As part of their SCED coursework and practicum, WWU preservice elementary teachers developed the four different curriculum modules, implemented them in four different schools in the district, and utilized feedback from teachers and students to revise and improve the lessons.  The curriculum modules are freely available to teachers.

SCED 480/490 students presented at NSTA with SPARK Director Abby Whatley in October 2021.

Spreading the word

The students have helped disseminate the curriculum modules by presenting with SPARK director Abby Whatley at the NSTA Engage: Spring 2021 virtual conference and the NSTA Area Conference in Portland Oregon.  Several of the student co-developers have had the opportunity to support their cooperating teachers in implementing the modules as part of their full-time student teaching!

article title with the image of a young student exploring circuits

Article and Webinar

Former SMATE students with Dr. Hanuscin and Abby Whatley from SPARK continue to spread the word with an article in the May/June 2022 copy of NSTA's journal, Connected Science Learning. As well as an upcoming web seminar through NSTA on May 16, 2022.  The webinar is free to NSTA members.  If you aren't already an NSTA member you can create a free account.