So what is the Spark! Incubator?
Spark! is a place where junior and senior high school students will work to develop an entrepreneurial mindset as they generate creative solutions to real-world problems. The Spark! Incubator allows student entrepreneurs to run at their natural pace in an environment that inspires action. Participants will leverage mentor connections and toolkit resources to develop new products or start viable businesses for as long as they want. What’s even better, the space features high mobility and adaptability to flex with the needs of the student entrepreneurs.
So, it’s not a class?
Exactly. Think academic hub or the library evolved; where students meet to collaborate and work through their toughest challenges. Travel down to Lab1500 or T-rex and one will see how companies large and small are employing the same approach of inter-professional problem solving.
Spark! provides high school students in the Parkway School District with dynamic, immersion-based student learning experiences to ensure students can understand and respond to an ever-changing world. To accomplish this task, the Parkway School District will actively engage and work collaboratively with business partners, community service and educational leaders to design and develop mutually beneficial learning experiences based on the interests of students and stakeholders.
Spark! serves students from Parkway North, Parkway South, Parkway West, Parkway Central and Fern Ridge High Schools. Spark! is an example of how business, community and public education can partner to produce personalized learning experiences that educate the workforce of the future, especially in high skill, high demand jobs.
Spark! is driven by the evolving need of our global community, therefore instructors, business and community partners work collaboratively to develop all course curriculum.
The Spark! program is grounded in profession-based learning relying heavily on strong partnerships with business, industry and post-secondary institutions. Emphasis is placed on developing professional and ethical skills which employers deem highly important to career success, such as project management, time management, teamwork, and creativity, as well as empathy, communication and community activism.
The Incubator is a business incubator where students will learn the skillsets necessary to move an idea from light bulb to launch. They will live and learn stages of ideation, business development, perfected pitch proposals and business implementation. They will be part of a team and use critical thinking to grow ideas to the next level. The Incubator will support students in the development of a start-up company, social enterprise or nonprofit organization.
Dual credit is available through Maryville University and Lindenwood University.
Spark! Health Sciences is an engaging experience that examines the dynamic and diverse field of medicine and healthcare. During this experience, students will be exposed to the variety of opportunities and benefits of careers related to health sciences. Spark! Health Sciences participants will expand upon principles of human physiology, develop fluency in basic medical terminology, formulate treatment plans for patients and engage in First Aid and CPR training. Students will receive essential foundational knowledge based on industry demand, while also participating in clinical experiences across the continuum of care that may consist of job shadows, group projects, service learning and individualized mentorship. Diverse healthcare professionals will serve as guest lecturers and outside learning experiences will involve site visits to a variety of medical and healthcare facilities.
Articulated credit is available through St. Louis Community College and dual credit is available through University of Central Missouri.
Teaching & Learning
Spark! Teaching and Learning immerses students in teaching and learning. Students will understand learning styles, teaching methodologies, technology integration, cultural responsiveness and a focus on data-driven decision making in the schooling system. Students will engage in a collaborative relationship between teachers, administrators, students and families. This experience will focus on the general theory and practice of learning and teaching; the basic principles of educational psychology; the art of teaching; the planning and administration of educational activities; school safety and health issues; and the social foundations of education. Students will experience the true essence of the teaching and learning process through observation, interaction and teaching.
Dual credit is available through University of Missouri – St. Louis.
Students in Spark! Technology Solutions will discover a vast array of specialty areas available in technology careers where professionals utilize technology to solve business problems and design products. Students are immersed in a professional environment tackling and solving real world problems while working on client-defined projects and tasks. Students may be exposed to the following areas: software engineering, web development, operating systems, hardware technologies, network design/technologies, management information systems, media (print, film, web) or emerging technologies.
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