Walk-In Activities

Every year, Spark runs walk-in activities. These activities will be set up in a location where students can drop by whenever they have extra time and drift in and out of the activities. They can be anything from duct tape construction to playing Set — something fun (and hopefully educational) that can have a shifting group of participants. Other activity ideas include styrofoam block building, telephone pictionary, Rubik’s cubing, paper airplanes, fractal building, improv, Ricochet Robots, Faraday cages, LN2 ice cream… teach anything!

Walk-in activities are more fun and hands-on, and take place in a student lounge area. We encourage you to register a walk-in activity!

Q: Why should I teach a walk-in activity?
A: Walk-in activities are different from normal classes because there are no set start and end times, and no set list of students planning to attend. You can still teach whatever you want, but the students you are teaching will be coming and going and changing the whole time, so activities need to be able to incorporate a rotating group of participants. You probably will see a lot more students in an activity than a typical Spark class, except not all at once.

Q: How does content differ from typical Spark classes?
A: Walk-in activities are designed to be a little bit 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. This class format lends itself to less complex material, especially because there will be no age or experience requirements for activities, but also to more fun things which would not work well in the confines of a classroom, where students can't leave or enter as they like.

Q: Should my class be a class or a walk-in activity?
A: If your class can accomodate students arriving and leaving throughout the class period, then it can be a walk-in activity! Lectures or discussions usually make better classes; anything less formal can be made into a walk-in activity. Some examples of walk-in activities from past Sparks and Splashes: rock paper scissors tournaments, Monty Python marathon, bracelets and beading, card games, Frisbee, physics demonstrations, dancing, board games, linguistics problem and crossword puzzle and math problem solving, smoothie making, post-it Pokemon art, epic cardboard box fort building ... anything you can think of!

Q: How long do walk-in activities run?
A: You can teach a walk-in activity for 1 to 3 hours, just like a regular Spark class. The duration of a class is any multiple of one hour. As a teacher, please arrive 15 minutes early to meet with the walk-in activity directors (after checking in) and prepare for your class.

Q: I might need some supplies for a walk-in. What's the budget?
A: Walk-in activities have a base budget of $30 per hour to spend on class supplies. If you've checked our inventory and we don't have what you need, you can buy things following the directions on our reimbursements page. If you think you are going to need more than$30 per hour, let us know at spark@mit.edu and in your class registration, and we will review your request. .

Q: What age are walk-in activity students?
A: The only age limits are the Spark age limits, so students must be in 7th or 8th grade.