Pre-College Programs
SPARK Students on the campus of Brown University

SPARK: Life on Campus

SPARK - Science for Middle School Students


SPARK students are supervised throughout the program by a team of carefully selected and trained Residential Advisors (RAs) who live in residence halls with SPARK students and chaperone students in class and throughout the entire day.  An average student/RA ratio of 12:1 guarantees that students will receive the personal attention they need. Additionally, a professional live-in staff member who oversees student supervision is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

During his or her stay at Brown University, each SPARK student will get to know two or three RAs more personally.  The idea is that the SPARK students connect with the RAs while socializing with their own peers.  The RAs will help with community building and will be present during the meals and evening activities.  They will be there to answer any questions concerning high school and college life.  The RAs will be a resource to the SPARK students and serve as role models. 


Students live in Brown’s residence halls within walking distance of classrooms and dining halls. Students are randomly (each student will have a roommate whose age is no more or less than 6 months apart) assigned to double occupancy rooms on single-sex floors with single-sex shared bathrooms. Rooms provide typical college furniture, and do not have central air conditioning (one fan per room is provided). Students must abide by a 10pm curfew - after 10pm, students must be in their own rooms for the remainder of the evening.  Lights-out is 11pm.

Extended housing is not available for SPARK students.


SPARK students eat together in one of Brown’s dining halls, under the supervision of Residential Advisors. 

A Typical Day at SPARK

Breakfast - 7:30am – 9:00am
Breakfast is served in one of Brown’s dining halls.
Residential staff will escort students to the dining hall and to their class.

Classes in Session - 9:00 - 11:50am
Classes meet every morning.  A residential staff member is assigned to escort students to and from class.  Students should bring a refillable water bottle.  Snacks will be provided during the class break.  Please note that SPARK classes taking place off-campus may have an earlier start time to allow for transportation to off-site locations.

Lunch - 12 noon - 12:45pm
Lunch is served in one of Brown’s dining halls. Students are supervised by residential staff.                

Field Trips or Laboratories - 1:15 - 3:45pm
Classes are in session on Tuesday & Thursday afternoons.  Some classes conduct laboratories during this time, others go on field trips - location varies by class. Instructors, Teaching Assistants, and Residential Advisors chaperone field trips.

Inquiry Activities - 1:15 - 3:45pm
On Wednesday & Friday during the first week and on Monday & Wednesday during the second week -- students participate in science-related inquiry-based activities.  These activities are led by specially trained instructors.   Students get the opportunity to mix with students from other courses. 

Afternoon Snacks – 3:45 – 4:00pm

Recreational Lectures – 4:00 – 5:00pm
On Tuesday & Thursday during the first week and Monday & Wednesday during the second week -- students will learn about other contemporary scientific topics such as Space-Time Travel, Neuroscience, or Artificial Intelligence. 

Leadership Activities – 4:00 – 5:30pm
On Wednesday & Friday during the first week and Tuesday & Thursday of the second week -- there will be a leadership activity, talk, and discussion.

Dinner 5:30 to 6:30pm
Dinner is served in one of Brown’s dining halls. Students are supervised by residential staff members.                

Evening Activities
After dinner, students participate in popular supervised social events such as bowling, laser tag, movies, talent show, etc. Before participating in the bowling and laser tag events, students attend short presentations on the physics of bowling, and will learn about the science behind lasers -- with the goal of enriching their recreational experience.

How to Apply »