The Spark-Y team has really hit the ground running in 2017!
We’re only three months into this new year and we’ve already accomplished a lot. Here are 17 highlights for the start of 2017:
1) We added a new member to our team. Michelle Chmura joined our Spark-Y family, accepting the position as Action Educator for Crossroads Elementary.
2) Minneapolis Mayor visited our Shark Tank day at Northeast Middle School and declared January 13th NEMS/Spark-Y Sustainability Day in the city of Minneapolis! Read about more about this exciting day here.
3) We had a FANTASTIC build day at Northeast Middle School in January - when all 150 7th graders participated in constructing the system they designed. (Yeah, kids with power tools!)
4) We kicked off a professional mentorship program with our amazing sponsor, Lube-Tech.
5) Summer internship applications are open, and we are already interviewing candidates! Learn more about our annual summer internship here.
6) Students at the Integrated Arts Academy made a pitch to funders from their school districts, proposing their designs for a bigger aquaponics system.
7) Our Operations Team started koi breeding at the Urban Ag Lab, an exciting potential for revenue raising to bolster support for school programming.
8) Our Mushroom lab has had an overhaul: we are growing at the Urban Ag Lab and teaching workshops. Watch our facebook page for upcoming events!
9) The DIY Bio Lab is expanding into new topics, supplying our educators with new classroom kits and science learning. You can learn more about DIY Bio on the Urban Ag Lab page, here.
10) Our Board of Directors is launching an Innovation Committee, aimed at pushing Spark-Y into frontiers of cutting-edge projects.
11) Edison High School launched an impressive aquaponics system. The largest school aquaponics system in the state, maybe even the WORLD!
12) Spark-Y Founder, Mary Helen Franze, was a key speaker at the Eide Bailly Resourcefulness Event.
13) Our Lab Director, Destiny Zeibol, and Program Director, Rhiannon Dalrymple, led an arduino workshop for professional teacher development at Crossroads Elementary. Teachers were inspired and educated on the use of arduinos in classrooms.
14) Roosevelt Urban Farm Squad have overhauled the waste system at their school, and are leading a student-driven recycling awareness and collection program!
15) Our classes at Bright Water Montessori have put together two vermicomposting bins which are aimed at helping the school use their food waste as a resource.
16 ) Spring is just around the corner so our students are busy working on garden plans, raising seedlings, and the Spark-Y spring plant sale! Be sure to friend us on Facebook for plant sale announcements.
17) We are planning an incredible FUNdraiser - the Spark-Y Urban Adventure Race! August 5th will be an action-packed, fun-filled day in Uptown, Minneapolis. Proceeds will go right back into making 2017 the best year yet. Learn more here.
Here's to a great kick-off in 2017!