Back from summer break, energetic students gathered outside the Campus Center for Club Rush, an opportunity to get involved with all kinds of clubs at PUC. One of these, a science club called SPARK, gives volunteers the chance to apply concepts they are learning through teaching others.
SPARK is an acronym for Science Presentations and Research for Kids. “We get to teach kids about Chemistry, Technology, and Biology,” says club co-president Justin Youn. “The goal is to get kids excited about science.”
Youn and co-president Emma Tyner got involved with the club their freshman year of college and started leading out last year. They work mainly with local elementary schools and visiting academies who ask them to give presentations to students. Integrated into their talks are fascinating lab activities like color changes, explosions, and chemical reactions, as well as seeing and observing animals from the department of biology.
“This year, we are planning to get the department of physics more involved as well so that the activities can be more interactive and hands-on,” says Youn.
SPARK has also made connections beyond PUC. Last year, they were excited to be invited to the Loma Linda Academy Maker Fair, where they did a demonstration about cyanotype and the science behind photographic printing and blueprints.
In addition to helping younger kids learn, students who help give presentations have an opportunity to gain valuable people skills and teaching experience. Science majors can use it as a way to apply concepts they learn in lab, and students who want to go into education find helpful experience teaching a younger age group and showing ideas in different ways.
If you are interested in joining the SPARK club, the main way to volunteer is by helping with one of the many presentations throughout the year.
“We are always looking for more people to join,” says Youn. To find out more about SPARK and have an opportunity to help out with their activities, contact either of its co-presidents Justin or Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.