Spark 2019 Information

Spark Information (subject to change for 2020)

Want to teach for Spark? Here is what you need to know:

Dates: Spark 2020 will be on a weekend in the middle of March.

Deadlines: The deadline to register your class(es) is early February! Please try to register your class as soon as possible so we that can review it and schedule it in time for students to sign up for it. This is particularly important if you are teaching for the first time, or if you have unusual requests for your class (expensive supplies, lab space, consent forms, etc.)

Teacher Orientation: There will be several teacher orientation sessions in late February. If you have never taught or us before you are required to attend one teacher orientation. Even if you have taught for Splash or Spark before, you are welcome to come to teacher orientation, because it has lots of useful information, as well as a free dinner! If you are teaching for the first time and cannot attend one of the teacher orientation sessions, you must contact us at

Minors policy / Background Checks: MIT has a well outlined minors policy. By registering a Spark class you commit to getting a background check in time for Spark. For more information, visit our Minors Policy page.

Location: Spark is on the MIT campus. In particular, almost all our classrooms are just off the Infinite Corridor, in buildings 1, 4, 5, and 26. All teachers need to check in at least 30 minutes before their first class EACH DAY, in the Bush Room, 10-105. We'll have more information for you closer to the program.

Teacher Lunch: Teachers and volunteers can get lunch for free in the Bush Room, 10-105, each day of Spark.

What To Teach: Short answer: Anything! If you can't think of what to teach, check out our What Should I Teach? page. You can also see what people taught last year by looking at last year's catalog. Keep in mind that Spark is for 7th and 8th graders only. Alternatively, you can email us for more ideas at

Class Supplies: Each Spark teacher has a budget of $30 to spend on each class with no prior approval needed. If you plan to purchase supplies you should make a detailed list of supplies in your class registration form so we can let you know if we already have some of the supplies. You can also request additional funds on your registration form. When you make your purchases you should be sure to get itemized receipts for everything you buy. Submit these to ESP (teacher check-in is a good time to do this). Also, ESP can not reimburse you for any tax on your purchases, but you can use MIT's tax exempt form to avoid paying tax in the first place. See Financial Logistics for more information. And note that anything that we reimburse you for, you need to leave with us after the program is over.

Walk-in Activities: Have an idea for a hands-on class? Consider teaching a walk-in activity! Rather than a traditional class, walk-in activities are fun, high-energy, constantly-changing; students can visit them throughout their day at Spark. Activities are designed to be more interactive than traditional classes, and depending on what you’re teaching, your role might be more like the leader or director of the activity than the lecturer or teacher of a class.

What if something goes wrong? Spark has a security hotline at (617) 253-4941. You should call this number for any issues within Spark, like if your room isn't suited for your class, you are sick and can't teach, or a student can't find their parents. If there is a serious emergency you should first call MIT police at (617) 253-1212 (not 911) to get urgent assistance and then call the security hotline to let the administrators know what is going on.

Who can be in your classes? You may have co-teachers in the room with you, but they need to be registered as co-teachers on our website, and should also check-in at the Bush room. The only students in your classes should be those who are officially registered, not anyone else.

More Information: We'll keep a running log of information for teachers on this page, so if you miss an email or need to make sure you're up to date, just check back here.

Last modified on March 20, 2019 at 07:51 p.m.