Spark 2019
Course Catalog


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Visual and Performing Arts Computers and Programming
Engineering Humanities
Lunch Life Sciences
Mathematics Pop (and not-so-pop) Culture
Physical Sciences Walk-in Activity
Miscellaneous Social Studies


Visual and Performing Arts

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A12992: Introduction to Overtone Singing
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Gabriel Kane

An introductory course on the mystifying and strange art of overtone singing. Will teach simple exercises to practice and also an overview of the mathematics.

A12980: Painting
Difficulty: *

A Bob Ross style painting tutorial.

A12906: The Magic of Cards
Difficulty: *

Do you want to be like Shin Lim from America's Got Talent or the magicians from "Now You See Me"? We'll teach you some illusions using a simple deck of 52 cards that you can use to fool your friends! Cards and free food provided. Join us to learn some new tricks and design your own illusions - just bring your enthusiasm :)

A12909: Fashion, Gen Z, and The Future Marketplace
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Steven Faerm

In our current era of over-abundance where material needs are met (and often over-met), what are we really seeking from the products we buy? How are these new, emerging consumer behaviors that prioritize the emotional over the mere material and aesthetic altering the purpose of design and design practices? In what ways will the attributes of ‘Generation Z’ affect the future marketplace?

This presentation explores the fundamentals of branding, emergent consumer behaviors, and the future role of design and designers. Due to consumers’ increasingly nuanced emotional needs, designers must replace their traditional role as independent ‘style dictators’— in which they create product based on personal whims and biases in the hopes their work will appeal to consumers—with that of ‘designer-as-social scientist’ whose research into consumers’ demographics and psychographics underpin all subsequent design proposals. Following this introduction, several case studies will be presented and analyzed to illustrate key ideas about branding, ‘emotional value’ in design practice, and the future marketplace

Presented by Steven Faerm, Associate Professor at Parsons School of Design.

A12926: How to Be a Kpop Star
Difficulty: *

Have you ever dreamed of becoming a kpop star, like BTS, BLACKPINK, Seventeen, etc.? This is your time to shine! Come and learn some cool choreo and groove out your inner passions! We are welcome to all levels of dance experience (including none!) :D

A12968: Hip-Hop Dance
Difficulty: ***

Come learn some intermediate choreography with us! Prior dance experience not required.


Prerequisites
None

A12921: Drawing in the Round: Freeform Mandalas
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Raquel G, Dalila Valdes

Explore abstract drawing and embrace your inner imperfectionist as we dive into the intricate world of mandala designs! Sketch, doodle, and delight in the multicolored motifs you create during this class!

A12834: Introductory Salsa Class!
Difficulty: **

Ever thought that you had two right feet??
And that you'd never be able to feel good when dancing? No? It was only us? It's fine, but if you ever felt that way, WE ALSO DID!! And the same way we were proven wrong, we'll try to do it with you!!!
Join this class if you want to have some fun and learn a bit of salsa to show off to your friends!! :D


Prerequisites
None

A12893: Make and Play a Didgeridoo Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: James Koppel

awuwuwuwuuuuweeorweeorwadelewadelewu! The didgeridoo is an Australian instrument that adds a tribal flair to any situation. In this class, we'll build our own didgeridoos out of PVC pipe, and then learn to play them. With the didgeridoo, you can create a variety of rhythms, produce animal noises, and make yourself sound like there's two people playing! For people with little to no experience.

A13040: Origami and Papercut
Difficulty: *

Amazing fun! Come to learn how to fold origami and make papercut!

A12943: Fancy Writing Full!
Difficulty: *

Want to write fancy? Come learn how to do calligraphy with us!

A12860: Compose Your Own Music!
Difficulty: *

Do you love music? Do you love creating things? Have you never learned musical skills, but always wanted to? Then this class is for you! You'll be learning the basics of music theory, and then you will have some time to write music on your own. If you already have music theory background, you can go straight to composing, and I'll come around to give you tips and assistance. We will be using Noteflight, an online composing software that is very user-friendly and has built-in playback so you can hear how your creation sounds right away. You do not need to bring anything, although if you want to bring your own musical instrument to try out your composition, feel free! Just make sure to keep it on you at all times.


Prerequisites
None

A12955: Paint Realistically with Gouache
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Katya Bezugla, Tara Liu

Have you always wanted to paint realistically? Or maybe you're curious about gouache (a fast-drying, opaque version of watercolor)? Well, here's your chance! We'll briefly cover composition, color mixing, and some gouache-specific techniques, then give you time to work on a painting you can bring home.


Prerequisites
drawing and/or painting experience. ideally, you should have practice drawing from life and identifying areas of light and shadow.


Computers and Programming

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C12939: Wearable Code: Introduction to Microcontroller Programming
Difficulty: *

Want to program a pin that spells out messages or a pendant that changes color? In this creative, hands-on workshop, you'll meet the BBC micro:bit and AdaFruit Circuit Playground Express, tiny, battery-powered computers called "microcontrollers" that are small enough to wear. Using MicroBlocks, an easy-to-learn blocks language similar to Scratch, you'll write code to make these devices display animations, respond to buttons and tilts, and more. Never programmed before? No worries, we'll help you get started. Sorry, you can't keep the microcontrollers, but we'll tell you where you can buy your own for just $20-$30.

C13018: Crash Course in Graph Algorithms
Difficulty: ***

Learn about the basics of graphs and some of the most common algorithms used on them!


Prerequisites
None. Just show up! :)

C12869: Learn to Make Maps! Full!
Difficulty: **

Want to learn how to make interesting, informative, or just plain funny maps? Come learn how using ArcGIS software! We'll use a variety of datasets to create different maps that students can print out and take home.

C12830: Fundamentals of a Browser
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Prem Chintalapudi

Wondering how a browser works? This class will go over the basics of how browsers interpret html, css, and javascript to turn them into a webpage.


Prerequisites
Some prior understanding of html/css/javascript may be helpful. Some cursory knowledge about C/C++ or assembly language would also be good to have.

C12861: How to think like a computer
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Kaitlyn O'Donnell

Programming languages solve the problem of communication. How do I, a human, communicate with a machine? In this class, we will discuss how we get a machine to understand our instructions.

You will work in small teams to give me instructions to solve a problem. I will understand a few key words and do what you say in a way that simulates a computer. Can you get me to solve the problem on your first try?

You might get more out of this class if you know nothing about programming.

C12822: Parallel Computing
Difficulty: **

It's time for TEAMWORK: Computer Edition. This introduction to parallel computing will demonstrate the key concepts of multi-threading and multi-processing through interactive activities, live demonstrations of parallelized code, and nerdy jokes. No prior experience is necessary!

C12897: Intro to Game Design and Development
Difficulty: **

What makes games fun, and how do you make them in the first place? What's involved in designing and developing one of them? How can you get started on the path to make the games you've envisioned a reality?

Join us for a fun, hands-on experience in discussing the designing of games and making one ourselves using GameMaker:Studio 2 (the same development environment used to make hit games like Hotline Miami and Undertale!). No previous programming or game dev experience required.

C12965: Introduction to Programming via Javascript Animation Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sophie Mori

Learn programming basics by animating simple elements across a web screen. We will focus on experimenting and gaining an intuitive for coding from examples rather than learning formal programming structures. Programming will be in Javascript, but some HTML/CSS will also be involved.

C13026: Spreadsheets 101
Difficulty: **

Come learn about how to work with formulas to make your spreadsheets as useful as possible!


Prerequisites
know what a spreadsheet is

C13030: Computational Music Theory Full!
Difficulty: **

How does hitting a key on a piano produce air pressure waves? How are these waves interpreted by the ear as music? How can computers generate and understand these musical signals? Come learn the foundations of music from a computational perspective, and experiment to produce your own computer-assisted music compositions!


Prerequisites
Should have some familiarity with sin and cos functions. Basic understanding of music and scales is helpful but not required.

C12925: Introduction to Octave Programming
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Hao Li

How do you use computers for making large calculations? Can it help you with your math homework? We will solve introductory problems in Octave, a programming language for scientific computation.


Prerequisites
Previous experience with coding NOT required, though ability to type will be helpful.

C12979: Intro to Circuits and Coding with Arduino
Difficulty: ***

Learn the basics of building a circuit on a breadboard. Program an LED light to blink in time with music using an Arduino. An Arduino is a small device that allows your code to come alive on your circuit. No prior knowledge of circuits, programming, or Arduino is required for this class.


Engineering

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E13020: Why Sparks Spark: Electricity, down to the Atomic Level!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Adeline Hillier

Humans have known about electricity for over 2,600 years, and most of us can't imagine life without it. But do you know how it works? Do you know why lightbulbs glow? Why sparks spark? We’ll start with an electric circuit, zoom in about 500,000X, then gradually zoom back out until we have understood atoms and circuits and everything in between!

E12998: Are You Smarter Than an MIT Student?
Difficulty: **

Wondering what it takes to be an MIT student? What about the best among MIT students? Try your hand at various math, engineering, and other STEM challenges in this tournament!

Team up with your peers and compare how you approach problems to some of the nations best problem solvers. See how stack up in this fast paced tournament!

E12956: Radiation Detector Introduction
Difficulty: **

Over my time at MIT, I have handled a number of various radiation detectors for a variety of different irradiation sources. In this short class, I will talk in depth about the different means of sensing radiation and show off some radiation detectors I have built.


Prerequisites
Some physics background should be sufficient.

E13002: Prototyping 101 feat. Fabulous Foamcore Full!
Difficulty: **

Having good prototypes is essential to good product design. You don't need a factory to make functional prototypes! We will learn about the design progress and dive right into the process.

E12815: Design / Build / Fly
Difficulty: ***

PLANES What are they? How do they work? Can a novice like you make one? Of course! Join us as we make and race multiple styles of balsa gliders to learn about plane design!


Prerequisites
Ability to follow clear directions & be safe in a lab space

E12859: how 2 rocket
Difficulty: **

learn how 2 become rocket scientist in under 1 hour


Prerequisites
algebra

E12870: Polymers 101
Difficulty: **

Polymers are everywhere! Learn what they are, how they're made and how they're recycled. We will also make silly putty for an interactive demo.

E13033: Rat Race Full!
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Emily Skilling

Design and build your very own mousetrap racecar from materials you would find around the house.

E12942: Everything you want to know about nuclear power
Difficulty: **

Have you wondered how a nuclear power plant differs from other energy sources? Do you want to find out if nuclear fuel actually glow green like it does in TV shows and movies? How do we even split atoms in first place if they’re too small to see?

In this class, we'll talk about how we can make electricity by splitting atoms (fission) and how we’re trying to make electricity from forcing them together (fusion). We will cover how current nuclear power plants work and what future nuclear power plants that use fission or fusion energy may look like. We’ll also discuss how nuclear power could help fight climate change and how we continue to address the risks associated with fission power plants.

E12977: Solving Problems big and small: A hands-on Design Thinking workshop
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Annica Schjott

Are you creative?
Do you enjoy finding solutions to problems?
Would you like try out the design method used by companies such as IBM, Apple, Tesla, and Nike?

Then this is the workshop for you!

Design Thinking is used by inventors, creators and designers at universities, companies and organizations across the globe. It is a creative process that teaches us how to think outside the box and find innovative solutions to problems big and small, by creating innovate products, experiences, and services. It can be used for anything under the sun, from finding a better way to order pizza online, to provide clean water to poor rural communities in India, encourage more people to compost, or anything in between.

In this hands-on workshop you will be part of a design team using the Design Thinking method to find a solution to a real-world design problem.

You will go through the different steps of the Design Thinking process and create a prototype of your invention that you will be able to test on your fellow students.

After the workshop you will be able to:
• Use Design Thinking to find solutions to problems
• Transform your ideas into testable prototypes
and
• Understand how innovation happens in some of the most successful companies in the world


Humanities

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H12999: Writing Workshop: The Personal Essay Full!
Difficulty: *

Ever had an experience you can't quite get out of your head, or a feeling that you just can't shake? In this class, we'll explore why our moments and memories matter, and how we can communicate that meaning to others. Through writing!

H12823: Introduction to Japanese (spoken and written)
Difficulty: **

Steve and Sarah will walk you through an introduction to the Japanese language with basic conversation and reading / writing skills.

H12791: The Great Potato Famine: History in Context
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alexander Chen

Four out of eight million Irish people migrated during the Great Potato Famine Era in 1840s. Many historians believe that this is the first wave of mass Irish migration to the United States. This course will explore the historical context and social and political impact of Famine Generation Immigrants in America. By examining the cultural memories after this traumatic event, students will gain an understanding of Irish identity diaspora in modern United States. Figures such as Liam Neeson, John F. Kennedy, and others will also be covered. Topics including St. Patrick's Day will be discussed.


Prerequisites
No background knowledge is assumed. However, students who are registered for HSSP course "Irish Presence in America" should NOT enroll in this course.

H12931: Philosophy and Learning to Know Yourself (Seminar)
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Emily Flahive

(This is the 3-hour (with a break or two!), smaller, more discussion-heavy seminar section. If you're more into a casual, teacher-does-more-of-the-talking version, check out the lecture version.)

When you're nervous, are you ever told to "just be yourself"? Is that perhaps the most unhelpful piece of advice we could ever receive?

In this class, we will explore some of history's most discussed philosophical texts as well as some more-or-less-famous personal essays to approach questions like:
- What does it mean to "be yourself"?
- Is it possible to "be yourself" consciously?
- Is hypocrisy inevitable?

The main goal of this class is to provide a space for us to indulge in some of the many benefits of studying philosophy-- including building resilience against temptation to judge ourselves too harshly.

H12937: Introduction to Old Icelandic
Difficulty: ***

A brief introduction to Old West Norse, the literary and practical language of Iceland around the turn of the millennium: onwards from the island's Norse settlement in 874. We'll quickly run over the history of the people of Iceland and their language's grammar, and spend some time trying to parse some easy texts from authentic Icelandic.

H12878: NaNoWriMo: An Introduction
Difficulty: **

Learn about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), an adventure that takes place in November, during which hundreds of thousands of people around the world work to write 50,000 words in 30 days.

This class will introduce you to the event, the forums, and provide general tips on how to write NaNoWriMo style and how to complete your novel come November.


Prerequisites
experience writing for fun (or desire to write for fun)

H12996: Magic Systems in Fantasy Stories Full!
Difficulty: **

We'll spend a good chunk of this class exploring how magic is presented in a variety of books and movies, after which we will see about constructung our own, either individually or collectively, as the class prefers.


Prerequisites
Must love fantasy stories!

H12997: Building Histories for Your Fantasy, Science Fiction, or Dystopia
Difficulty: **

In the year 2150, we've colonized Mars. How did we get from here to there?

On the planet Trzymy, there is a plot to overthrow the Usurper! How did he come to power and what is the heritage of his country?

We're doomed. We know we're doomed. The leaders say so. Has it always been this way? If not, when did things change and how?

Creating a solid history to lean on in your story telling can make the tale a lot easier to craft for an author, or at least a lot easier to follow for a reader!

We will work to understand how histories work and what we need to do to build them!


Prerequisites
Must love one or more of the genres in the title and have a desire to create your own!

H12920: How to make your own writing system!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Helen Read, Erica Weng

Have you ever wanted to create a secret code that only you and your friends can read? Do you want to make a fancy script for your fantasy world? Do you just like writing systems?
In this one hour class, we'll discuss the different writing systems of the world before delving into making a unique way of writing English! (or another language or conlang if that applies)

H12947: Readings in Old Icelandic
Difficulty: ***

Can't get enough Old Norse at Spark? Come read through the first few paragraphs of an actual Icelandic saga in the original!


Prerequisites
Register for the Spark course "Introduction to Old Icelandic", or be familiar with the language. We'll gloss pretty much every word beforehand so that you won't have to know much.

H12964: Oriental Oracle and Probability
Difficulty: *

1. a brief introduction and history of the oriental oracle system, I Ching.
2. the process to generate the hexgram by manipulating 49 sticks
3. mathematical representation of the above steps and probability analysis
4. write computer program to generate hexagram
5. hexgram interpretation and discussion

H13006: Philosophical Issues in Brain Science [Seminar 1]
Difficulty: **

Think way too hard about your own thoughts for an hour. We'll discuss two topics in this seminar series. In seminar 1 we'll explore perception and modularity. This is the idea that the mind is made up of parts that build on another, like a computer. In seminar 2 we'll explore representational formats and mental imagery. We'll discuss if you think in words or pictures and the research on this topic.
These seminars do not build on each other; you can attend seminar 1 or 2 or both.

H12840: Consonant Phonology: Strange Sounds of the World's Languages
Difficulty: **

In this course we will go over the theory, anatomy, and orthography (International Phonetic Alphabet) of different consonant sounds, including sounds in English and lots of amazingly fun sounds that are not at all like sounds in English.

This is a very interactive course, with an emphasis on speech production.

H13007: Philosophical Issues in Brain Science [Seminar 2]
Difficulty: **

Think way too hard about your own thoughts for an hour. We'll discuss two topics in this seminar series. In seminar 1 we'll explore perception and modularity. This is the idea that the mind is made up of parts that build on another, like a computer. In seminar 2 we'll explore representational formats and mental imagery. We'll discuss if you think in words or pictures and the research on this topic.
These seminars do not build on each other; you can attend seminar 1 or 2 or both.

H12841: Vowel Phonology: Sounds of the World's Englishes
Difficulty: ***

In this course we will go over the theory, anatomy, and orthography (International Phonetic Alphabet) of different vowel sounds.

Because English has one of the most complex vowel phonologies in the world, we will primarily compare dialects of English, but we will also discuss some vowel systems in the other languages of the world.

This is a very interactive course, with an emphasis on speech production.


Prerequisites
It is suggested for students to take the companion course on consonant sounds, but not required.

H12899: Chinese Phonology a Thousand Years Ago Full!
Difficulty: **

An introduction to phonological system of Chinese around a thousand years ago. We will cover the consonants and vowels with some discussions of sound changes across the time.


Prerequisites
Please take some time looking at wiki page for IPA (international phonetic alphabet). Required to be somehow able to recognize Chinese Characters (or kanji).

H12801: Evolution of Writing
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Yale Zussman

We will begin with the earliest plain tokens and continue through the evolution of full-blown cuneiform. Students will take their "notes" using a clay tablet and stylus. The final step will be to write their names in Old Assyrian cuneiform. The tablets will be fired, giving them a half-life of a million years.

H12932: Philosophy and Learning to Know Yourself (Lecture)
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Emily Flahive

(This is the 2-hour lecture-y version. For a smaller, more discussion-heavy experience, check out the seminar version)

When you're nervous, are you ever told to "just be yourself"? Is that perhaps the most unhelpful piece of advice we could ever receive?

In this class, we will explore some of history's most discussed philosophical texts as well as some more-or-less-famous personal essays to approach questions like:
- What does it mean to "be yourself"?
- Is it possible to "be yourself" consciously?
- Is hypocrisy inevitable?

The main goal of this class is to provide a space for us to indulge in some of the many benefits of studying philosophy-- including building resilience against temptation to judge ourselves too harshly.


Life Sciences

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L12889: Microbiome 101: What's in your poop?
Difficulty: **

Come learn about the microbiome and where you can find it! We will discuss current methods to study the microbiome, correlations with diseases and the environment, and how you (and your poop!) can help somebody through microbiome science. Who doesn't love talking about poop!

L12866: Sink or Swim (or Float!): Plankton Ecology
Difficulty: *

All life in the ocean depends on plankton! These tiny floating creatures provide food and oxygen for the rest of the world. Explore the adaptations that help plankton survive through hands on activities and contests.

L12807: Introduction to Expansion Microscopy
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Shannon Johnson

Scientists have used microscopes to see tiny things in the world for hundreds of years, but there are limitations to using light or electrons. Expansion Microscopy (ExM) takes advantage of polymer chemistry to enlarge cells and tissue samples in order to see the molecules of interest more easily. Come learn the science behind ExM and expanding brains in this quick crash course. (Basic biology and chemistry is helpful but not required.)

L12988: Underrated Organs of the Human Body
Difficulty: **

When talking about the human body, the heart, lungs, and brain get most of the glory. In this class, we'll explore what some of the other less discussed organs of the human body do and what happens when they don't work properly.

L12871: The Brain & Mind
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Kristine Hocker

Learn about the human brain! We will cover everything from neurons to the neocortex and personality to plasticity. We will also ponder interesting questions about philosophy of mind.

L12935: Exploring Ocean Life: From Mangroves to the Marianas
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jenny Gao, Kevin Ly

Learn about diverse ocean ecosystems around the world. We will be focusing on what makes each ecosystem unique and how ocean life interacts with the environment and each other. Some cool animals we'll be learning about include 512-year-old Greenland sharks, an octopus named after how adorable it is, and coral polyps (yes, corals are animals!).

L12908: Endosymbiosis+
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alice Herneisen

The mitochondrion is the powerhouse of the cell. Mitochondria and other organelles originated through a process of endosymbiosis: the eating of one cell by another. In this session, we’ll look at some of the evidence in support of this theory, including recent efforts to “engineer” new endosymbionts. The tree of life itself provides some experiments: many single-celled protists have “secondary” endosymbionts, acquired by eating a cell that ate a cell – hence "endosymbiosis+". At the end of this session, you will have a better understanding of endosymbiotic theory, a greater appreciation of the diversity of life at a cellular and organismal level, and some cool science stories to tell!

L12962: CRISPR: Hacking the Genome
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Pranam Chatterjee

Designer babies? Superhumans? Cyborgs? While these futuristic visions may not be currently realizable (nor ethical), genome editing holds the keys to transforming humanity as we know it. CRISPR-Cas9 has enabled the rapid development and refinement of DNA-manipulating tools to further basic research, develop potential therapies for human diseases, and promise numerous breakthroughs in agriculture, bioenergy, food security, nanotechnology, and a host of other applications. Come to this class to learn more about how CRISPR works and what improvements we are making to the system to enable its broad applicability, all from a CRISPR researcher!

L12833: Introduction to Evolutionary Biology
Difficulty: **

This course addresses key components of evolutionary biology. We cover how individual organisms evolve attributes to adapt to their environments. Topics of focus will be natural selection, sexual selection, kin selection, inclusive fitness co-evolutionary processes, reproductive strategies, mating systems, competition, predator-prey, host-parasite.

L13023: Evolution Revolution: Why Darwin Was Wrong
Difficulty: **

You might have heard in school about a fellow named Darwin, something about a boat and birds and then a book with words.

What they might have left out was all the ways in which Darwin was dead wrong. In fact, as written, Darwinism is total bogus!

I will be discussing how life really came to be. I will use proper evidence to draw the story of the tree of life, with an emphasis on how very wrong Darwin was.

L12900: Awesome Things About Cells
Difficulty: *

Did you know cells can navigate mazes? Sense electricity? Explode? And... they might even have minds of their own? Come with us into the incredible and fascinating world of cells, ponder with us as we evaluate cell conspiracy theories, think about how cells solve challenging problems, and take a look at some cells first-hand. By the end we hope you will be come out with a new perspective of the beautiful complexity of cells and how much more there is to learn!

L12891: Molecular Machines: Proteins in Action!
Difficulty: **

Proteins do everything in your body from breaking down the food you eat to telling your brain it's cold when you step outside. Come learn about how proteins accomplish such a wide range of tasks. We will cover protein function, from structure to catalysis, and include specific examples that explain how all organisms survive and thrive.

L12952: Inside the brain: Dissecting brain injuries
Difficulty: ***

What’s the brain like? Why do different brain injuries have different outcomes? Come and find out with us!

In this course, you will be given brains with plausible real-life injuries. We will dissect them to identify and analyze the affected regions and their functions. At the end of this session, you will be familiar with the architecture of the brain and be able to predict outcomes of similar brain injuries.


Prerequisites
Comfortable working with animal tissues

L13004: Immunology Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Vladlena Hornet

Come to hear me get excited about all the different types of cells that are involved in immune responses, but also see some of my favorite bio memes.


Prerequisites
Some background in biology

L12994: Rare diseases: understanding how your body functions
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Emre Ergecen

Did you know that you can live a healthy life without half of your brain? Did you also know that a single mutation in your DNA can make your bones as fragile as glass? In this class, we will discuss and interactively diagnose some interesting rare diseases to understand how your body functions on a grander scale. This class is perfect for you if you are curious about how small defects in cells can affect bodily functions!


Prerequisites
Basic knowledge of internal organs and their functions, basic knowledge of cell and its structure (DNA, RNA, proteins etc.)

L13049: Play + Test = playtesting an ecology game from the MIT Education Arcade

The MIT Education Arcade builds games for learning, and our newest game will be ready to try out, or "playtest", at Spark. Spark students will be the first to play the game! It's played on mobile phones and tablets, but puts students in control of a population of fish for a fun exploration of ecology. Come play and tell us what you think.

The MIT students who are designing and building the game can also share their experience in game design and programming.

L13028: 23 & You Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Grace Kuffner

How do companies like 23 & Me read your genetic data from your spit? What do you learn from that data? What are the ethics involved in knowing (or not knowing) information about the genes you carry?

L12894: Biology in the Amazon
Difficulty: *

Will go over evolution, adaptations, and biodiversity to analyze how life has developed in the Amazon and surrounding area in South/Central America. Will also address conservation efforts and issues within the region.

L13012: Evolutionary Psychology: Why we act in the way we do
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Michelle Lee

Why do we perceive something as beautiful?
How do we choose our marriage partner?
Why does heart start beating faster whenever we're nervous?

In this discussions-based class, we will together explore fascinating evolutionary rationalizations behind human behavior.


Lunch

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L13061: Lunch Period
Difficulty: None
Teachers:

Enjoy a break for lunch with your friends! Please register for at least one lunch period on each day of the program.

L13062: Lunch Period
Difficulty: None
Teachers:

Enjoy a break for lunch with your friends! Please register for at least one lunch period on each day of the program.


Mathematics

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M12888: Geometry
Difficulty: ***

The essential properties of n-dimensional worlds.
No classification of shapes, angle-finding, or proofs - just thought experiments about funky objects.

M12982: Generating FUNctions
Difficulty: **

Have you ever wanted to count the number of ways to roll 4 dice to sum to 9, but haven't had the patience? Want an easy way to computer the ith Fibonacci number? Learn how to quickly do these problems and much more with generating functions!


Prerequisites
Comfort with algebra, algebraic manipulations, summations

M13024: Cellular Automata
Difficulty: ***

A cellular automaton is a grid of cells that changes according to simple rules, but can have complicated behavior. The most famous one is Conway's Game of Life. We'll discuss 1- and 2- dimensional automata, look at cool patterns they can produce, and see just how powerful they can be.


Prerequisites
Know how to convert numbers between decimal and binary.

M12907: Concepts of Differential and Integral Calculus
Difficulty: **

This class will teach the concepts of calculus (and physics) that I wish I were taught earlier in my schooling and think will be beneficial knowledge to have as an incoming high school freshman.

We will talk about concepts like slope, the derivative, area, the integral, the concept of infinity, and other such fun things! We will also relate these topics to physics and (some) geometry.


Prerequisites
pen/pencil, y=mx+b, area of a triangle, area of a rectangle

M12990: Infinity
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Josh Alman, Dylan McKay

Is infinity a number? Can I take infinitely many steps toward my destination and never get there? Are some infinities bigger than others? Come learn about the powerful and confusing nature of infinity!

M12802: Surreal Numbers and Games
Difficulty: ***

Learn how to play Hackenbush, a simple game that leads to interesting mathematics. After getting some practice playing, we'll see how the game inspires the surreal numbers, a system of numbers that allows us to to play with infinity in an unusual way.

M12959: Fractal Dimensions
Difficulty: **

What's a dimension anyway? How do we define an object's dimension? According to some crazy math dudes, we can define your brain to be in the 2.7th dimension! Find out more about dimensions and play with fractals in this short intro to noninteger dimensions!


Prerequisites
Algebra (knowledge of exponents and logarithms)

M12788: Intro to Cryptology
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Matthew Benet

This course is designed to give a brief introduction to the the study of codes, and the art of writing and solving them. This class will move chronologically through the history of cryptology: we will start around 500 BCE with the simple Atbash cipher and other monoalphabetic substitution. We will touch upon the beginnings of steganography (the art of hidden messages), and work our way through the Renaissance, ending with the Le Chifre Indéchiffrable.

The focus will be on learning the functionality of each cipher, as well as their strengths and weaknesses. There will be code-breaking in this class.

M12846: Mathcounts Bootcamp
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Julia Jia, Julia Wang

Learn number theory, probability, geometry, and more! We will play games with tasty prizes!


Prerequisites
None

M13022: Language and logic
Difficulty: ***

Logic is a set of rules, which help us say true things. It is also a field of mathematics, where one can prove what restrictions a system of ideas is inherently subject to.

In the 1930s, Kurt Godel made David Hilbert quite upset by proving that some true mathematical statements can't be proven. It turns out that this is probably better understood as showing that any set of descriptions isn't exhaustive.

We will discuss what can be said about what can be said, and what the implications of these restrictions are. A mixture of philosophy and mathematics, we will together discover the limitations of language.

M12924: Vectors!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Norman Cao

Physics, artificial intelligence, calculus, statistics, engineering, what do they all have in common? Vectors! Come learn about a big collection of topics from throughout science, engineering, and mathematics, and how vectors can be used to understand and find connections between different fields.

M12864: How to (Mathematically) Guard an Art Gallery
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jessica Oehrlein

Suppose you had a polygonal art gallery with $$n$$ sides that you wanted to guard with 360-degree cameras at some of the polygon's vertices. What is the least number of cameras you could use? This is the classic art gallery problem, and it uses a lot of basic concepts in the mathematical field of graph theory. We'll cover some basic graph theory concepts and then tackle the art gallery problem!


Prerequisites
Comfort with use of variables.

M12941: Computability Theory
Difficulty: ****

Computers can do a lot of things. If you've ever programmed, you might think you can theoretically write a program that does anything. But it turns out there are things you can't program, no matter how clever you are! In this class, we'll see examples of such things and proofs of why they can't be computed.

M12981: Old School Math
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Ellery Rajagopal

A course on how ancient mathematicians calculated values such as the sine of one degree, the natural log of seven, the square root of 3, etc. Goes over the math and the algorithms used to calculate these values that would eventually be calculated in an instant with the use of a calculator.


Prerequisites
Know logs and trig. A tiny bit of calc will be mentioned but is not essential to the class.

M12863: Disease Modeling
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Jessica Oehrlein

When studying infectious diseases like the flu, we can use math to describe how the illness spreads. Those descriptions or sets of equations are called a mathematical model of the disease. We'll talk about a common model for infectious disease, and then we'll simulate that model together and discuss the results. We'll also come up with some possible variations on that model.


Prerequisites
Comfort with algebra. Familiarity with functions will help but is not required. Come willing to move around if you're able!

M13027: Information and the Redundancy of English
Difficulty: ***

What is information? How can we measure it? In this class, we'll introduce a way of quantitatively measuring information and use the tools we develop to discuss how redundant the English language is.


Prerequisites
You should know what a logarithm is.

M12857: Quick Mafs
Difficulty: **

Imagine wowing your friends with how quickly you can square 175 in your head (30625), or figure out what day of the week January 12, 1999 (Paolo's birthday!) was (Tuesday). This class is focused on showing you all sorts of really cool math tricks!


Prerequisites
Introductory knowledge of algebra very helpful! This means generally knowing what a variable is, what the distributive property is, and knowing what FOIL is. If you don't know these, no worries!

M12946: Cocker's Arithmetick: How Math Used To Be Taught Full!
Difficulty: ***

Published 1677, Cocker's Arithmetick taught elementary algebra to generations of English-speaking students. Written in an abstruse and overly complicated style with almost no accompanying illustrations whatsoever, it was a standard for nearly two hundred years, teaching such pre-eminent figures as Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Simpson, after whom Simpson's Rule from calculus is named.


Prerequisites
Cocker's arithmetic presents familiar concepts in a bizarre and confusing manner. Know how to manipulate fractions, and be ready to feel you don't understand things you already know.

M13016: how to ??? profit: game theory
Difficulty: **

1. take our class
2. learn to solve games, say the magic word (maximinimaximinimize)
3. ???
4. profit

M12927: Probability in Video Games
Difficulty: **

Do you like math? Like probability? Like video games? Check out this class in which we explore some of the avenues by which probability plays a role in video games!

M12892: Finite Automata
Difficulty: **

Would you like to find patterns in text? Prove your program doesn't have an infinite loop? Monitor a nuclear reactor? Find structure in DNA?

In this class, you'll learn about finite automata. Finite automata, or "state machines" can be thought of as just moving a marker between some states according to some simple rules, but their simplicity hides deep mathematics and allows you to manipulate them in interesting ways. We'll start with the basic definition and take you through the math and into some powerful applications.

M12950: The Principle of Explosion
Difficulty: ***

What's wrong with contradictions, anyway? We're taught from a young age that certain things are wrong because they contradict other things we know to be true. Why can't they both be true? We examine the law of non-contradiction and connect it to computer science through a series of paradoxes as time permits.


Prerequisites
Wonder about the fundamental nature of the relationship between truth and falsity.

M12806: Probability Puzzles
Difficulty: **

We will look at some fun probability puzzles and paradoxes, and if there's time, we will play some fun games involving some math.


Prerequisites
Be prepared to have fun with math puzzles.

M12978: Divide and Conquer
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Kevin Ren

If you don’t know how to do a problem, subdivide it! Learn techniques to answer many types of questions, from rolling dice to summing factors.


Prerequisites
Caution: hard hat area. You should be able to solve the first 10-15 questions on AMC 10.

M12971: Games of Math
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Josh Alman, Dylan McKay

You might think that you don't need to know any math in order to beat your friends at games. But, you're wrong! Come learn everything you need to know to win at every game.


Physical Sciences

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P12862: Making Waves
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Maggie Libby

Different reefs and beaches produce different types of ocean waves: "mushy," "barreling," and just plain "big," among others. In "Making Waves," we will discuss the factors, including ocean depth, shore geography, and bathymetry, or the shape of the seafloor, that influence wave formation. Bonus: we will watch surfing video clips.

P12812: A Brief Tour of the Stratosphere
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Jessica Oehrlein

What is the ozone hole, and when will it recover? What did a scientist actually observe when he noticed an "explosion-like warming" over the Arctic? Why did 1883 and 1908 data show tropical winds going in opposite directions? All of these questions are about phenomena that happen in the stratosphere, the layer of the atmosphere about 10-50 km above us. In groups, you'll explore questions like these, the related stratospheric phenomena, and their impacts on us. We'll put them all together to create a coherent picture of the stratosphere.

P13036: What is Color Full!
Difficulty: **

Why do things have color?
How do dyes work?
Learn that and more!


Prerequisites
Know basic chemistry and basic atom structure (e.g. Bohr model)

P13045: Introduction to Computational Chemistry
Difficulty: **

In this class, I would give an introduction to the basic concepts of computational chemistry - the motivation behind studying computational chemistry, different methods, and its applications.

P12901: Stars, Galaxies, and Cosmology: An Introduction to Astronomy
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Riley Brown, Bowen Yu

This class will provide an overview of interesting topics in astronomy. We will be focusing more on concepts rather than rigorous mathematical descriptions of astronomical phenomenon. Topics to be discussed include stellar evolution, galaxy types, cosmological principles, basic special and general relativity, black holes, current events, and anything that you find interesting!

P12904: What is Physics?
Difficulty: **

In this class, we explore what exactly is meant by the term 'physics' and what the field hopes to do. This class is meant for students who are interested in physics but have little exposure to the formulas and concepts behind it. We will also do some basic demonstrations of classical mechanics.

P13039: A Brief History of Physics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Andrew Lin, Jeffery Yu

Ever wonder how people thought about the world before Newton's apple? Curious how smashing atoms into each other today can tell us anything about the world? Come learn about how our knowledge of the laws around us has evolved over the past few thousand years!


Prerequisites
No formal knowledge is needed - just curiosity about the world! Some experience with algebra will be helpful.

P12934: Paradoxes Full!
Difficulty: ***

Want to think about problems that seem impossible? In this class, we'll examine some famous paradoxes that stumped history's greatest scientists, and try to understand them ourselves. A healthy interest in learning physics required - but you don't need to know anything yet!

P12884: Atomic Theory I: The Basics
Difficulty: **

From "opposites attract and likes repel" to why we say an atom has protons, neutrons, and electrons - an experimental journey into the basics of chemistry.

P12885: Atomic Theory II: Modern Concepts
Difficulty: ***

Discover the reality of the quantum model. Figure out what stops protons from pushing each other out of the nucleus.
Impress your first chemistry teacher with these and more!


Prerequisites
Grasp of protons, neutrons, and electrons, and reading graphs.

P12867: Black Holes!
Difficulty: **

Black holes live in the middle of galaxies, spew out hot plasma, and gulp up stars. We'll talk about the history of black holes, what happens when you get too close to a black hole, what black holes do to space and time, and some cool black hole thought experiments. If you want to learn more about all sorts of astrophysical weirdness, this class is for you!


Prerequisites
We recommend experience with basic classical mechanics, but it's not necessary.

P12944: Chemistry through Memes: an Introduction to Chemistry through Memes
Difficulty: **

Two chemists go into a bar. The first one says "I think I'll have an $${H}_{2}O$$". The second one says "I think I'll have an $$H_{2}O$$ too" — and he died. If the bartender had taken our class, he'd have been okay. Don't want to end up like him? Chemis-TRY to sign up for this class now!


Prerequisites
Have a taste in good/stale chemistry memes and/or memes in general.

P12886: Atomic Theory III: Mostly Particle Physics
Difficulty: ****

Break protons and neutrons into quarks and gluons, think about waves, learn about energy and the rest of the Standard Model.

For pure enjoyment - topics usually covered after high school. First half is an overview, the rest is pure math.


Prerequisites
Grasp of protons, neutrons, electrons, probability, and preferably complicated graphs beyond Algebra I

P12809: Special Relativity
Difficulty: ***

Come explore space and time, and see how the main ideas of special relativity can be derived from simple principles and some basic algebra! If we have time, we'll also talk about relativity "paradoxes" and how to resolve them.


Prerequisites
Algebra (at the Algebra 1 level). Algebra 2 and basic physics are helpful, but not required.

P12820: What's in our bins? Full!
Difficulty: **

Contamination of recycling bins is a huge sustainability issue. Let's take a look at the contents of our trash bins to learn what can and can't be recycled and to see how bad the problem really is. We'll then brainstorm ideas about how to solve this problem.

Gloves and tongs will be provided, but get ready for strong smells and visuals.

P13031: Clouds! Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Megan Goodell

How do clouds form, and why do they look the ways they do? What do clouds have to do with Earth's climate, and what are clouds like on other planets? Find out the answers to these questions and more in this short course on clouds.

P12881: Everyday Physics Experiments to Measure Fundamental Constants of Nature Full!
Difficulty: **

Have you ever wondered how to measure different fundamental constants of nature with a shoestring budget? In this class, we'll be doing some simple but cool experiments which allow us to measure things like the speed of light, gravity of earth (little g), and if time permits Planck's constant (a conversion coefficient between frequency and energy). We'll also cover the physics behind these measurements, which form some of the pillars of modern physics.


Prerequisites
Interest in physics

P12902: Scale of the Solar System: How big is Uranus really?
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Riley Brown, Bowen Yu

Can the Earth really fit into the Sun more than a million times? How far did New Horizons fly to reach Pluto? Why isn't Pluto a planet?
These are some questions that you will hopefully not only know the answers to by the end of class, but truly comprehend the scales that we have no reference to here on Earth. In one hour, each one of you will create a scale model of the solar system that will give you a new perspective on how you view the solar system. If time allows, we will also discuss how our solar system compares to others nearby and in the grand scheme that is the entire universe.


Prerequisites
A readiness to get your mind blown

P12993: Eyes: Stereoscopic Insights
Difficulty: **

Learn about the human eye, how to see stereograms, and more! Stereograms are 2D images that look 3D with the power of the Magic Eye, after some training and practice.

There's a lot going on when you look out at the world and most of it isn't... in plain sight. Our eyes are our primary sense organs and looking at how they work can be... eye-opening.

Come and see!


Prerequisites
Normal or corrected eyesight. Glasses/contacts are perfectly fine, but if you have other medical issues with one or both eyes, you may have difficulty with some of the class activities.


Pop (and not-so-pop) Culture

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P12973: From the Depths of Wikipedia
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Mathew Suazo

Wikipedia has nearly 5.5 million articles in the English language. This class will explore some of the most interesting hidden gems, from "Lawsuits against God" to the "World's littlest skyscraper."

P12974: Depths of Wikipedia 2: Electric Boogaloo
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Mathew Suazo

Wikipedia has nearly 5.5 million articles in the English language, and as such, just one class isn't enough to cover all the cool stuff it has to offer. This class will explore even more interesting hidden gems, from the "Indiana Pi Bill" to the "Oak Island mystery."

P13011: RPG Session Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Srinivas Kaza

Have you ever heard of tabletop role-playing games? Dungeons and Dragons? Pathfinder? Savage Worlds?

We'll be playing a role-playing game that's similar to one of those, but probably a lot less complicated. Probably.

No prior experience with role-playing games is necessary. Just come equipped with your sense of imagination!

P12868: A Superhero Society - Past and Present. Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Nico van Wijk

"Zack Snyder doesn't understand Superman"
"Jared Leto ruined the Joker"
"Tom Holland is the most accurate Spider-man."

Have you ever heard any of these phrases? Do you wonder what they mean? When there have been almost 100 years of superhero comics history, can there even be a definitive version of a character - The right Batman, or Wonder Woman, or Flash?

Over time our heroes have changed with society. Their values, their powers... their corniness. The changes in our fiction reflect the changes in ourselves.

If you're curious as to how, then this class is for you. Alternatively, if you just want to learn a little more about the rich history of spandex-clad, comic characters, there's a whole deep world within the pages to explore.

P13032: Animation Speculation

Come watch animated shorts with some animation enthusiasts! Let's talk about the impact that these stories can have on your world. Thoughtful discussion encouraged, snacks provided.


Prerequisites
This is a good class for people who like watching animated stuff!

P12954: The Legend of Link
Difficulty: *

Discussion of the Legend of Zelda games, including various theories and timelines. This will be mostly focused on The Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, so it would be preferable if students are familiar with at least those two games.


Prerequisites
It would be nice but not necessary if you have played or watched play throughs of Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask.

P13010: The Greatest Game You Will Ever Play
Difficulty: **

Nethack is the greatest game you will ever play: http://www.thegreatestgameyouwilleverplay.com/ . Come to pay homage to the greatest contribution to the roguelike genre (and gaming in general), and enjoy the world's oldest videogame still in active development. This class will be part tutorial for Nethack, and part playtime.

P13015: FANtastic!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Sam Pauley, Rona Wang

We've got ALL THE FANDOMS. Come fulfill all your SuperWhoLockian Potterhead desires with an hour of high-stakes trivia!

P12975: Depths of Wikipedia 3: Return of the Wiki
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Mathew Suazo

Wikipedia has nearly 5.5 million articles in the English language, and as such, even two classes aren't enough to cover all the cool stuff it has to offer. This class will explore yet more interesting hidden gems, from the "Corrupted Blood incident" to the "Boston Molasses Disaster."

P12976: Depths of Wikipedia 4: Ever After
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Mathew Suazo

Wikipedia has nearly 5.5 million articles in the English language, and as such, even three classes aren't enough to cover all the cool stuff it has to offer. This class will explore- you guessed it- even more hidden gems, from the "Salton Sea" to the "Great Stork Derby."

P13021: A Sampling of Memes
Difficulty: *

Why are memes so popular? How did memes begin? How have memes evolved over time? What's all this fuss about "expanding brain" and "epic handshake?" In this class we will take a look at the history of memes, from the proto-memes of the early internet to the image macros and copypastas of the modern day.

P12948: Star Wars: Reading and Writing Aurebesh
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Isabella Torres

What’s better than a dead language? A fake one! Learn to write in the alphabet used in the Star Wars universe through fun and games.

P12989: How to review (almost) anything Full!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Mahi Shafiullah

Do you ever read the movie reviews that go in the New York Times, or the food reviews on Yelp, and wonder how they are written? Have you ever felt strong (positive or negative) emotions about a movie, series, video game, or even food, and wanted to share it with EVERYONE? Come to this class to learn how to review everything, ranging from jazz music to fried chickens. Mahi Shafiullah, an arts reviewer from MIT's student newspaper The Tech, will be going over the tricks for making a review short but compelling.


Walk-in Activity

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W13029: Ruby Red Appreciation
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Byron Xu

Juice is a big part of ESP's traditions. Come learn to appreciate the best juice: Ocean Spray Ruby Red.

W13058: Appreciation for any juice that is not Ruby Red
Difficulty: **

Ruby Red is not good. Any other juice is acceptable. Come appreciate all the different kinds of juice that are consumable and vote on which ones are the best!

W13064: Painting
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Candace Tong-Li

On Saturday, we are going to create and piece together a giant painting for Spark 2019! Every student will be provided with a blank canvas, and at the end of the day, we will see everyone's work displayed together as a mural. Come create something special to take home with you.

W12991: Sporcle Trivia
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Pranit Nanda

Come and play trivia! Pick a topic or let Sporcle choose a random one for you.

W12873: Get creative with your t-shirts!
Difficulty: **

Do you have a lot of old t-shirts sitting in your closet? Maybe you've grown out of them or just never wear them anymore. Learn (and try out) some creative ways to reuse your old clothes! Feel free to bring your own old shirts, but we will have lots of extras if you don't have your own.

W13047: Theater Games
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Elizabeth Parizh

Drop by to play some theater improv games!

W13053: (Not Jigsaw) Puzzles!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jenna Himawan

Do you love the "a-ha" moment of solving a puzzlehunt-style puzzle? Do you love the satisfaction that comes with filling in the last square of a crossword? Do you love making slow and steady progress through a logic puzzle?

Stop by and have fun!

W13044: Friendship Bracelets
Difficulty: **

Did you make some new friends at Spark? Do you want to make some friends during walkins? Come make some friendship bracelets with us!

W13050: Live Action Angry Birds
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sophie Mori

Ever wished phone games existed in real life? Come play Angry Birds with real life slingshots and plushies! High scorers will receive prizes.

W12818: Wild West Crafts
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sarah Weidman

Come make some of the wildest crafts in the W I L D E R N E S S !

W13025: Learn Competitive Super Smash Bros: Melee
Difficulty: **

Test your skills and learn some new tech against some (mediocre) tournament seasoned smashers. All skill levels welcome!

W13056: Scale Mail
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Brian Chen

Make cool things with scales and rings!

W13038: Jewelry Workshop
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sophie Mori

Come drop by and make your own jewelry! Materials, tools, and assistance provided.

W12905: Contact Juggling Adventures
Difficulty: **

Try single and multi-sphere contact juggling! Learn and practice tricks that can open up body awareness and amaze your friends!

W13037: Science Bowl
Difficulty: **

Know lots of science trivia, love hitting buzzers, or just want to try to answer questions ridiculously fast? This is the walk-in for you! Come play some middle school science bowl with us!

No prior experience with science bowl needed to participate!

W13042: Penny Boat Competition!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Evan Tey

Come build ~majestic~ boats of aluminum foil and compete to see who carry the most pennies. Prizes will be awarded!

W13048: Mutant Plushie Lab
Difficulty: **

Create an army of mis-matched minions to unleash your vengeance on the world! Or, you know, just see what a teddy with an alligator head would look like. If you would rather play with Sid's toys than Andy's, this is the Activity for you. No prior sewing/gene splicing experience required.

W13052: SET and Its Variations!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jenna Himawan

Have you ever played the card game SET? How about 3-deck SET with colored borders, using the borders as an additional attribute? How about SET with cards facedown? SET Sudoku?

If your answer to any of those questions was "No", come play! Players with any level of experience are welcome!


Prerequisites
Being colorblind will be inconvenient.

W12798: Prototyping Circuits
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Sophie Mori

Come learn basic breadboarding and how to incorporate digital logic into circuits, which is the foundation of how your computer works!

W13043: Giant Jigsaw Puzzle

Let's all solve a 5,000 piece Jigsaw puzzle together!

W13051: Sing A Capella with The Toons!
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Shardul Chiplunkar

Come sing with the MIT-Wellesley Toons, the only (and best) cross-campus a capella group! We'll be doing fun little songs and rounds that won't take more than 5–10 minutes to learn, so drop by whenever you want. If you enjoy singing (doesn't matter if you're any good at it) this walk-in is for you!

W13057: Rubber Band Art
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Byron Xu

Come help make a really big 3D structure out of rubber bands!

W13041: Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream (LN2)
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jeffery Yu

Want to watch some cool chemistry and eat some cool liquid? Come join us for a delicious treat!!! Lactose-free options are available


Miscellaneous

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X12995: Chess variations
Difficulty: **

There are many different ways to entertain oneself with games derived from the standard chess formats.

Some of them are well-known, like "give-away chess." Some of them are less familiar, like toroidal chess or Ultima.

In this session, we'll look at many of the variations and take some time playing a few of them!


Prerequisites
Knowing how to play regular chess such that playing a full game is a familiar experience. You don't have to be good at it to enjoy this course!

X13046: Weird Laws and Cases
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Elizabeth Parizh

In Newark, it's illegal to sell ice cream after 6pm without a doctor's note.
Silly string is illegal in Marlborough.
Arkansas man head-butted his mother. Twice.

In this class, you can learn all about weird laws like this, which exist in cities everywhere in the country. And then we might talk about some criminals that have gotten into some... unlucky situations. People are fascinating creatures, after all.

X13017: Learn How to Throw Cards!
Difficulty: *

Learn how to throw regular playing cards! We will be discussing how to throw playing cards and then having a competition to implement our newfound skills! Playing cards will be provided.

X12847: Dessert Sushi
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Karen Gao, Maggie Zheng

Learn how to make colorful sushi’s made of rice and combination of fresh fruits! Decorate however way you want and be as creative as you like!


Prerequisites
Love for fruits and making food

X13063: MIT EMS CPR/AED
Difficulty: *

This class will teach the skills necessary to deal with an emergency cardiac event. We will be going over how to assess the situation, perform CPR, and proper usage of an AED.

X12922: Science of Baking
Difficulty: *

COOKIES! Lots of cookies!

We will be exploring the science of baking by testing different types of cookie recipes and explaining the chemistry behind it.


Prerequisites
Like cookies

X12890: Investing and the Stock Market

What is a stock? What is the stock market? How does it all work? Come learn how you can own a piece of some of the world's biggest companies! We'll cover the basics of investing and what it means to find a good company.

X12877: Science Like a Girl
Difficulty: *

Ever wonder who the women were and are behind some of the world’s most important scientific discoveries are? Want to learn more about being a girl in the field of science and all of the opportunities available? Join us as we discuss the super women and hidden figures of our scientific past, and the key influencers of science today—from climate science, to engineering, to computer science, to medicine, to geology and beyond, we’ll dive into the diverse array of sciences out there, and the amazing contributions women make in their fields.

X12887: Developing Your Resilience and Inner Strength
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Patricia Craig

Tough Times; every person has times in their life when it is really tough and becoming more resilient helps us get through those tough times. Whether a grandparent just died, or parents are getting divorced, or not fitting in at school - - - coping and trying to stay upbeat seems nearly impossible. This course will provide some helpful hints on managing those rough patches. The hints are drawn from the following books, “The Adversity Quotient”, “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”, and “The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook.” Additionally, some hints from Stanford Professor Michael Ray’s course, “Creativity in Business” will be discussed.


Prerequisites
None

X12911: School Sucks so Start Your Own
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jim Flannery

Do you think school is holding you back from pursuing a meaningful educational experience? You are not alone.

I have traveled all over searching for answers to the "school problem" - and I've found them. I'll share with you everything I've learned and you can ask me anything you want.


Prerequisites
none

X13003: Shoe? No, choux! - A pastry introduction
Difficulty: **

A brief introduction into making choux pastry. We'll make cream puffs, religieuse, and maybe even a croquembouche!

X12966: Exploring Asian Culture Through Making Food!
Difficulty: **

DO YOU LOVE ASIAN FOOD? Do you want to learn how to make boba and spring rolls? Does learning about Asian culture while assembling yummy snacks interest you? Come join us for a delicious time!


Prerequisites
Love of food

X12895: Introduction to the Chinese Language
Difficulty: ***
Teachers: Sophia Li

This is a non-comprehensive introductory class to Chinese, where students will learn to read and write some characters and engage in basic conversation. This will be a fact-paced class, but everyone is welcome and encouraged.

X12986: Let's talk about the NFL!

A month after the Patriots win the Super Bowl (again), let out all your pent up energy and come discuss and rant about your favorite teams (or even fantasy teams) or anything related to the NFL! We may or may not also discuss some changes to the league.

(We will not be entertaining strong political views, it'll just be football talk!)


Prerequisites
A decent knowledge of the NFL.

X12923: Hair Dyeing: Theory and Practice
Difficulty: **

Have you every been curious about dyeing hair? In this class, we'll be delving into the chemistry, history, and art behind hair dyeing. We'll also be doing live hands-on demos (!!), and giving you the chance to color your own hair! (parental consent required). Wear clothing you would not mind getting stained.

X12953: The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Erick Eguia

As bizarre as the title may sound, this is not a work of science fiction written to explain the possible effects of wearing a sombrero costume for Halloween. Instead, this course will briefly explore various psychological phenomena, and some of their “interesting” effects, to put it lightly.

Should time allow, history has left us no shortage of "cures" to explain (or simply have a laugh at).


Prerequisites
A functional* brain

X12957: Be Unafraid to Talk to Anyone
Difficulty: *

From great friendships to inspiring teachers, some of life’s best opportunities originate from a single conversation. We’re here to teach you how to network at the fundamental level: just talking to people! We hope you leave this course confident to talk to anyone and everyone through the various activities we have planned for you. Thank you, and we hope you’ll join us!


Prerequisites
have the excitement and motivation to grow your skillset! :)

X12910: How Kids Make Cash
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Jim Flannery

Are you frustrated by the fact that school never teaches you anything about making money? You're in luck - that's exactly what I'll be talking about.

My talk titled "How Kids Make Cash" will feature many ways that youth (including myself) have been able to earn a living *without* the need of diploma, degree, certification, or anyone's permission.

Can't wait to meet you.


Prerequisites
none

X12883: How to Coffee Full!
Difficulty: *

Americano? Cortado? Latte? Oat milk? This course will cover the intricacies that make up third wave coffee culture. We will discuss how to optimize your coffee experience whether it be at home or at the coffee shop (but not your local Starbucks!). Coffee tastings will take place.

X12930: Introduction to (Puzzlehunt) Puzzles
Difficulty: *

Come solve puzzles with us! These aren't jigsaw puzzles though - think secret messages in the style of The DaVinci Code, National Treasure, or 39 Clues. If you like finding patterns, decoding ciphers, logic puzzles, or leaps of intuition, there's probably a puzzle for you!

X12984: Pockets Full!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Darby LaPlant

Are you upset that women’s clothing doesn’t have pockets? Come learn about the history of pockets and how they’ve been used throughout time and today. Some rants may ensue, but it’ll be fun.

X12912: Communication in Navigating Relationships, Friendships, Family
Difficulty: *

Do you have questions or uncertainties about how to deal with dating, relationships, friendships, or family interactions? Do you have unmet desires for deeper connections, being more understood, or understanding others better? Bring your questions, thoughts, and insights, and let's discuss these topics! We may also practice some exercises that I've found especially useful in my ability to communicate, foster emotional safety for myself and others, and resolve conflicts.

X12872: Pole Vaulting 101
Difficulty: *

How does pole vaulting work? The pole vault can be compared to climbing a ladder and then jumping off of a trampoline at the top. I will discuss the most common questions asked to pole vaulters, such as how do you start learning it? Why don't you just use a longer pole if you want to jump higher?


Prerequisites
None

X12967: Thai Woven Paper Fish
Difficulty: ***

Do you like fish? Do you like to fold? If so, then this is the right class for you! We will teach you how to make weave paper fish and a little bit about Thailand, where the fish are from.

X12928: Subways of the World
Difficulty: *

Calling all subway fans! Come chat about mass transit with us! We'll cover the differences between major subway systems around the world, the technologies that allows subways to run, and design a new system!

X12945: Dungeons & Dragons Full!
Difficulty: **

You find yourself shaken awake by the rocking of a wagon, the wagon jolts to a halt and you shake off your weariness. The unfamiliar clash of steel, you throw yourself outside and find your party is surrounded, but now the decision is up to you, do you fight and risk life or surrender to the centaurs towering above you. Dungeons and Dragons is a whole new world to be explored, and one where you can be whoever you like, perhaps you are a high-elf wizard who's spells do both terrible things to your foes and helpful things to your friends, or maybe you are a dwarf paladin who's heavy armor and healing spells are a welcome addition to any group, or even a half-orc rouge, whose sly thievery and stealth in combat make you an adversary to all. During this class you will take control of an adventurer and you and your peers will have to complete a quest while not only slaying monsters but also making decisions that can greatly affect the outcome of your adventure.

X12970: Candy Chemistry Full!
Difficulty: **

Curious about the chemistry behind candies such as caramel, toffee, and fudge? Come learn about sugar crystallization, caramelization, and the Maillard reaction, and enjoy tasty treats!

We'll be making a variety of candies, including those with dairy and nuts.


Prerequisites
Ability to handle hot pots during cooking.

X13034: Stop Thinking and Listen: Explore Your Mind!
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Tina Quach, Josh Talbot

Have you ever noticed yourself thinking? How much control do we even have on our thoughts? What does it even mean to think? In this class, we will learn the practice of meditation, as we explore what our minds are really doing.

X12903: Anatomy of a Fountain Pen
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Riley Brown, Bowen Yu

Fountain pens may seem like a thing from the days of yore, but they are making a real comeback! Whether it’s about being steampunk, #calligraphy on Instagram or whatever you kids do these days, a myriad of benefits come with using a fountain pen. It can not only help you have neater handwriting but some evidence even shows it can help your self-esteem and raise your academic performance. In class, we will cover the basic parts of a fountain pen, the common variations you might come across and some writing techniques. I will provide some basic fountain pens and inks for you to try out and take home.

If you own a fountain pen feel free to bring it.


Prerequisites
Absolutely no prior experience necessary!

X13001: A Bit a Stretch: Stretching, Anatomy, and Chill Vibes
Difficulty: *

Take a break from sitting in chairs all day. Unwind and stretch with us while we reflect on our day (and learn about some anatomy).


Prerequisites
Comfortable clothing.

X12933: Introduction to Linguistics
Difficulty: **

How do scientists analyze language? How do babies learn languages? Do you want to become more aware of your tongue? Come learn about all the things about language you already technically know but don't even know you know!

X13013: How to beat your dad at chess, MIT style.
Difficulty: **

Learn what's important in chess. How to take advantage of your opponents mistakes and weaknesses, how to defend, and how to get a queen.

This is a beginner level class, designed for those with a basic knowledge of chess.

We will go over a handful of important things to look out for, and some tricks that will help you beat your opponents.


Prerequisites
All that is required is a knowledge of the rules of chess.

X12879: Planning Like a Pro: How to Bullet Journal Full!
Difficulty: *

Bullet Journaling is a flexible, do-it-yourself planning system designed to help you organize and track your life.

This class will introduce you to a variety of basic spreads and techniques to give you the skills to design a planner best suited for your needs.

Bullet Journals can be as simple or as intricate as you desire. For those interested, calligraphy and other decorative techniques will also be introduced.


Prerequisites
None!

X12938: Crash course in SCUBA
Difficulty: *

Have you ever gone swimming at the beach and seen a fish dart by, or maybe even a small shark sneaking around on the ocean floor? What if I told you that there was a whole new world down there, one not 5 or 10 feet deep like a swimming pool, but 60, or 120 feet below? That you could go down and see massive whale sharks, imposing eels or illusive sea turtles, see what is truly our last great frontier. More than 80 percent of our oceans remain unexplored, and the ocean itself covers 70 percent of our planet. Previously only Navy personnel had the opportunity to explore the deep, donning ridiculously expensive and cumbersome suits or relying on submarines. Times have changed, anyone over 10 can get their certification, and the equipment is both easily accessible and usable. In this class we will be diving in (sorry) to the world of SCUBA diving, going over everything from the equipment used and how to use it to some of the awe-inspiring things you can see and do at 100 feet below.

NOTE: this is NOT a PADI certification course, I am a certified diver but unfortunately I can not make you one in an hour, I will of course provide information and resources at the end of the class for those who are interested in getting their certification and becoming divers.

X12987: Let's Talk About the NBA! Full!

A stacked MVP race that somehow seems like a runaway. The process turning into the big 5. Who's tanking the hardest for Zion? Are the Celtics really that bad? Come discuss storylines from this year's NBA season, predictions, statistics, issues like tanking, or maybe all-time greats. You'll get to shape the discussion based on what topics interest you most.


Prerequisites
Passion for Basketball and the NBA

X12915: Understanding Contraceptives
Difficulty: *

Talking about what different contraceptives are available (and through what methods they are available, e.g. prescription, over-the-counter, etc.), how they are administered/used, efficacy rates, and importance of safe sex practices including (but not limited to) contraceptive use.

X12963: let's get this bread Full!
Difficulty: *

Why does bread taste good?
Come learn about and make popular forms of sugar and carbs from around the world! Gluten-free options provided.


Prerequisites
A deep appreciation for desserts.

X13019: Protobowl your tiny trivia nerd heart out
Difficulty: **

Do you wanna be the very best (at protobowl)??? Then turn up and participate in our protobowl tournament. We will have prizes for the Very Best Protobowler!!

X12842: Mastering Your Memory: How to remember anything you want
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Martin Schneider

Do you want to be able to more effectively remember what you learn? This class will give you tools for remembering *whatever* you want: class material, people's names, a deck of playing cards... you name it! We'll talk about mind palaces, spaced repetition, desirable difficulties, and more. Improving your memory will make you a more effective learner and problem solver; get ready to learn about learning!


Prerequisites
Just don't *forget* to show up!

X12949: Origami 101
Difficulty: *

Have you ever wanted to try origami? Now is your chance! We will be primarily folding relatively simple models, so no experience is necessary! Come find out how to fold a cup you can drink out of, a lotus from a napkin, and more!

X12779: How to Run a Spark!
Difficulty: **

Ever thought about what happens behind-the-scenes when you sign up for Spark classes? Or how all of our teachers and classes fit into MIT's classrooms? Spark takes months to plan, and for good reason. Come learn how we make Spark happen every year!

X12896: How to Win an Argument
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Anna Ivanova

Every day we try to persuade others. Which restaurant should you pick for dinner? Do you deserve an A for this class? Should you be allowed to play an extra hour of video games? As we get older, we need to evaluate bigger arguments too: who should be president? can we solve poverty? is climate change real? This class will teach you the skills required to construct & evaluate an argument - and make it fun! You will get to describe your favorite activities, debate which movie is the *absolute best*, and more.

X13014: A peek into the Talmud
Difficulty: ***

A composite of law, logical reasoning, stories and even ancient medical remedies, the Talmud is the mainstay of the Jewish oral tradition.

Known for it's vastness and complexity, it is the focal point of study and learning for some of the greatest Jewish minds in history

Generally inaccessible for the uninitiated, this class will attempt to provide a brief glimpse at the inner workings of this great body of intellectual exercise.

X12985: Let's Talk about Baseball!
Difficulty: **

Come interact with other enthusiastic baseball nerds about the MLB 2019 season, playoffs, offseason, and sabermetrics! Don't know what the last word means? We can talk about that too!


Prerequisites
A little knowledge about what transpired in the most recent MLB season.

X12838: How to solve a Rubik's cube
Difficulty: **

Since it first hit the toy market in the 1980s, the Rubik's cube has been puzzling generations of kids and adults alike. Learn how to solve this "impossible" puzzle from MIT's cube club, and get a free Rubik's Cube in the process!

X12916: What is consent?
Difficulty: *

Beginning with an open discussion on what the audience has learned about consent, what it "looks" like, and why it matters. We delve deeper in definition, understand what "enthusiastic consent" is and why it matters. Emphasis on the real-world importance of respecting consent as it links with rape-culture, misogyny, misandry, sexism in general, and interhuman respect.

X12951: Survival in Style: Making a Paracord Bracelet
Difficulty: *

Have you ever wondered whether you could make accessories that also functioned as survival tools? Of course you have! And now, you can!
Paracord is a durable and lightweight nylon rope that was originally used in parachutes, but has since been used as a general purpose utility tool by much of the military as well as the general public. In this class, you will learn how to use this cord to make your own braided bracelet to wear, put on your bag, or just to carry with you. After all, you never know when it might become useful!


Social Studies

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Z13009: Highways of the United States
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Christopher Xu

Everything you ever wanted to know about highways (with an emphasis on the United States).

Z12839: How to do adult-related money things
Difficulty: *

This is a class about how to handle money.

There are a lot of experiential skills around handling money that students are usually not taught in school, including some very basic things. In this course we will focus on basic life skills around how to make, spend, and move money. This includes how to invest money and what you should invest it in, how to do your taxes (and what is necessary to do taxes well), how to write and deposit checks, how banks work, which banks you should use, and how to apply for jobs.

This class will have extensive student-focused question and answer time. Students are encouraged to prepare questions that they have about how to handle money. There is no such thing as a stupid question.

Z12958: Gerrymandering
Difficulty: *

Gerrymandering is an important, complex issue in understanding today's political climate. Come learn more about what this funky word means, and how it impacts everything from national elections to our daily lives.

Z12969: Economics of Paper Airplane Folding
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Carol Pan, Rachel Shen

Hate how your unfolded papers can only flutter weakly in the breeze? Do you hold great distaste for the dead weight that is a crumpled paper ball? Want to do something productive with all those returned assignments that you'll never use again? Come and learn the intricacies of paper airplanes!

Z12865: History of Ballet: 1900-Present
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Jessica Oehrlein

This class will cover the past century of ballet, focusing on the westward spread of Russian-style classical ballet, the establishment of new major ballet traditions in England and the United States, and the rise of contemporary ballet. We'll look at photos and video and discuss as a class how different techniques and styles emerged in different parts of the world. We'll also talk about where ballet is headed now.

Z13005: Introduction to the Midwest
Difficulty: **

Come experience a one hour crash course on the American Midwest. Have you ever wondered what areas makeup the Midwest? What differences there are in regional slang? How the history of the region has affected its modern self? Then come experience a part of the US other than the northeast.


Prerequisites
None

Z13000: What does it mean to be gifted?
Difficulty: **

"All children are gifted." "I can't be gifted, I'm no good at math." "Gifted kids don't need any help." "If I'm so smart, why are my grades so bad?" "You're done? Why don't you help the others, then?" What do we mean by gifted? What difference does it make? Does it change who you are - or should it? Why bother with the label, anyway?

This is a discussion-oriented class.

Z12898: Intro to Marxism
Difficulty: **

In 1867, socialist revolutionary Karl Marx published the first volume of what would become Das Kapital; a foundational text in politics, economics, and philosophy that would have a drastic effect on history in the next century and become the most cited book in the social sciences published before 1950.

But what were Marx's real problems with capitalism? Do his warnings still hold water, or have they lost their relevance in the post-Cold War era? And what the heck is "historical materialism" anyways?

Join us as we analyze the main principles of Marxism in our classless Spark class!

Z12874: Who are you? Investigating Personality in Pop Culture
Difficulty: *
Teachers: Casey Evans

Do you ever walk out fo a movie thinking how cool it'd be to be Batman's best friend? Or with a strong desire to be Hermione Granger? Has a character ever made you think of yourself differently? Online "which-character-are-you" quizzes are loads of fun, but what do they really reveal about who you are, if anything? This course aims to explore how we think of ourselves in the context of popular culture and then take a step into the beyond by trying to investigate what it all means. The class will be interactive and participation heavy--and a lot of fun!


Prerequisites
None.

Z12972: Macroeconomics
Difficulty: **
Teachers: Alexander Chen

What is Macroeconomics? What are the implications of Economics in today's world? After completing this course, students will gain an understanding of some fundamental principles of macroeconomics, including opportunity cost, allocation efficiency, supply and demand, GDP, inflation/deflation, and the business cycle. Current issues will also be discussed.


Prerequisites
None.