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What is SPARK?

SPARK [Science Partnerships and Resources for Kids] is an OSU-Gladden House partnership. The program consists of a series of interactive, inquiry-based 60-minute activities for 5th grade students to explore renewable energy (energy storage, conversion, harvesting) and integrate social and emotional learning with OSU student mentors studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The mentorship and materials science activities aim to highlight engagement, partnership with community members, establish trust, and collaboration.

Our Community Partner: Gladden House []

Gladden House is a non-profit settlement house serving Franklinton and its surrounding neighborhoods that provides academic support for individuals, families, and groups.

Our OSU Partner: Society of Women Engineers []

“SWE is an international organization focused on stimulating women to achieve their full potential in their careers as engineers and leaders. Ohio State’s section of SWE is devoted on providing professional and social events to prepare students for the next step in their lives.”

Student Mentors:

The role of the mentor in this program is to be a reliable science mentor to a group of 5th grade students. There is a curriculum of materials science activities that we will run through at each of these sessions. Don’t worry if you aren’t familiar with materials concepts or materials science in general, we will go over the itinerary with you before each event! It is mainly important that the students have recognizable, and enthusiastic mentors. The dates for the 2018-2019 program are listed below (Fridays, 4:30pm-5:30pm with 30-minute buffer windows before/after for transportation).

Engineering mentors


  1. Erin Abramczyk, ISE
  2. James Braun, MSE
  3. Sheila Colbert, BME
  4. Paul Cuillier, MSE
  5. Vicky Doan-Nguyen MSE
  6. Kalliopi (Kelly) Finitsas, ECE
  7. Jared Hohman, MSE
  8. Patricia Loughney, MSE
  9. Akaysha Nolan MSE
  10. Sarah Pavlick, ChemE
  11. Sarah Shaffer BME
  12. Joel Swartzenruber MSE
  13. Catrina Wilson, MSE


  1. Sheila Cobert, BME
  2. Dora de Melo, CE
  3. Vicky Doan-Nguyen
  4. Rachel Ladefoged, BME
  5. Ruksana Kabealo, CSE
  6. Alisa Leong, BME
  7. Troy Lewis, MSE
  8. Sarah Ridgeway, MSE
  9. Dagny Sacksteder, pre-MSE
  10. Catrina Wilson, MSE


October 26, 2018: Materials Discovery


November 16, 2018: Constructing Battery-Operated Cars


February 15, 2019: Constructing Next Generation Gel Batteries

March 22, 2019: STEM + Art = STEAM with semiconductors

April 12, 2019: Materials in Extreme Environments

2019-2020 Kick-Off Group Photo


October 18, 2019


Transportation to/from Gladden is provided.


ContactsVicky and Catrina