ESP Biography



MARY SPANJERS, MIT Junior With a Documentary Obsession




Major: EAPS

College/Employer: MIT

Year of Graduation: 2018

Picture of Mary Spanjers

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Mary is unsure what tense to write this in. She is from outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico and loves all things science. She is majoring in geology and knows a lot of random facts. Her favorite dinosaur is the therizinosaurus. She is much more interested in talking about the therizinosaurus than herself. The therizinosaurus had claws up to three feet long. Mary does not. But Mary is not extinct, so there's that.



Past Classes

  (Look at the class archive for more.)


Don't Touch the King Cobra: An Exploration of Venomous Creatures in Spark 2018 (Mar. 17 - 18, 2018)
Venom is one of the weirdest and coolest weapons animals have developed. From jellyfish to snakes a wide variety of animals use this chemical warfare. We'll cover the types of venom, which species exhibit them, the biology of venom, and why you really shouldn't touch the king cobra.


Don't Touch the King Cobra: An Introduction to Venomous Creatures in Spark 2017 (Mar. 11 - 12, 2017)
Venom is one of the most incredible adaptations in the animal kingdom. The ability of such a wide variety of animals to use chemical warfare to kill their prey in such an exact way is one of the most exceptional examples of natural selection. We'll explore the topic by grouping various types of venom and get a better idea of how it works inside the body. When it comes to venomous creatures one thing's clear: don't touch the King Cobra!


How to Kill Everything: A Practical Guide to Mass Extinctions in Spark 2017 (Mar. 11 - 12, 2017)
Mass Extinctions are as close as Earth has come to an apocalypse. So how do the majority of animal species disappear in a few thousand years? This Geobiology course explores the mechanics of how Mass Extinctions can be caused.


Don't Touch the King Cobra: An Introduction to Venomous Creatures in Splash 2016 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2016)
From snails to spiders, centipedes to cobras venom is one of the most fascinating evolutions in the animal kingdom. This overview of venomous creatures will teach you what venom is, how it works, and why you really shouldn't touch the King Cobra


The Land Before Dinosaurs in Splash 2016 (Nov. 19 - 20, 2016)
Dinosaurs ruled the Earth from 152 to 65 million years ago. But how did Earth go from a dead planet to hosting reptiles the size of buses? In 1 hour we'll cover the first 4 billion years of Earth's history and explore the complicated path that lead to dinosaurs.


Natural History 101 in HSSP Summer 2016 (Jul. 10, 2016)
Natural History is funny because once history actually becomes cool, we call it science. Earth's past is a fun way to learn a lot of science from evolution to isotopes. We'll cover the tools used to uncover Earth's past, the history of our planet and organisms, and why fossils are actually the best thing ever. You will hold fossils.


Don't Touch the King Cobra: An Exploration of Venomous Creatures in Spark 2016 (Mar. 12 - 13, 2016)
Venom is one of the most incredible adaptations in the animal kingdom. The ability of such a wide variety of animals to use chemical warfare to kill their prey in such an exact way is one of the most exceptional examples of natural selection. We'll explore the topic by grouping various types of venom and get a better idea of how they work inside the body. When it comes to venomous creatures, one thing's clear: don't touch the King Cobra!


Life After Dinosaurs: The Cenozoic Era in Spark 2016 (Mar. 12 - 13, 2016)
The K-T extinction wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. We all know that, but then what? Ancient Egypt? Nope, the vast majority of the Cenozoic Era. Sometimes called "The Age of Mammals", the Cenozoic represented a major increase in biodiversity, because with giant reptiles out of the way, survival gets way easier. Come learn about what happens after dinosaurs. After all, a lot can happen in 65 million years.


Don't Touch the King Cobra: An Exploration of Venomous Creatures in Splash 2015 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2015)
Venom is one of the most incredible adaptations in the animal kingdom. The ability of such a wide variety of animals to use chemical warfare to kill their prey in such an exact way is one of the most exceptional examples of natural selection. We'll explore the topic by grouping various types of venom and get a better idea of how it works inside the body. When it comes to venomous creatures one thing's clear: don't touch the King Cobra!


65 Million Years: Life After the Dinosaurs in Splash 2015 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2015)
The K-T extinction wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. We all know that, but then what? Ancient Egypt? Nope, the vast majority of the Cenozoic Era. Sometimes called "The Age of Mammals", the Cenozoic represented a major increase in biodiversity, because with giant reptiles out of the way, survival gets way easier. Come learn about what happens after dinosaurs. After all, a lot can happen in 65 million years.


Don't Touch the King Cobra: An Exploration of Venomous Creatures in Spark 2015 (Mar. 14 - 15, 2015)
One of the most interesting adaptations is the ability for some animals to produce and weaponize venom. At least I think it's pretty cool. This'll be a class all about venom, its advantages, some common misconceptions, and venomous animals.


Nail Art in Splash 2014 (Nov. 22 - 23, 2014)
Want a break from Quantum Physics and Calculus? Need to learn something that will actually impress your friends back home? Then come learn the ancient art of nail art! (If the internet says it's ancient, it is.) From simple patterns to fictional characters to French Tips to pure artwork you're sure to leave with fabulous nails and the ability to do a cooler design than your local salon.