Unleash Your Child's Creativity at Sparklelab

By Mommy Donna and Kib - May 11, 2017

Now that the Philippine educational system is shifting into K-12 curriculum, one of the five strands in Senior High School is STEAM (Science and Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics).  A lot of parents would like their children to go into this path as it offers a lot of opportunities to them when they eventually pursue a science-related course in college.  I'm so happy that even before children reaches Senior High School level, there are now centers which offer activities related to STEAM to help them prepare for what lies ahead of them.

One of these centers is Sparkelab.

"There is a place called Sparklelab where strange and wonderful things happen.  Where Lego's, sewing kits, code, motors, pipe cleaners, inflatable pools, and solar cells converge in peculiar and compelling ways.  It is our maker shed at Sparklelab where kids, teens, and adults are able to move through inspiration, play, design, media, and lounge spaces seamlessly, as they work individually and collaboratively to create unique toys, games, wearable fashion, and gadgets."

Sparklelab was founded by Rosanna Lopez in 2013 and this year, Jacqueline van Ende joined as CEO.  Both women have good background in teaching and promoting creative thinking among children and adults.  

Sparklelab designs play-based learning experiences mainly focused on STEAM.  They offer a year-round program for children and teens (after-school during school days and summer workshops during school vacation).  Sparklelab aims to prepare kids for success in the future by teaching the 21st century skills such as Imagining, Research/Finding inspiration, Exploring, Tinkering and Experimenting, Designing, Procedural Thinking, Collaborating and Connecting/Sharing, among others.  Sparklelab wishes to create creative problem solvers, innovators, and lifelong learners by making learning extraordinary.

Here are the year-round programs that Sparklelab offers to children ages 7-18 years old:

GAMEMAKERS--Gamemakers is a series of workshops that focus on game design and development.  Young people play games, modify games, learn how to play critically and reflectively.  

Children will learn how to create objectives, define rules, develop mechanics, and scaffold challenge thus designing unique, playful experiences in physical and virtual worlds.

Gamemakers are divided into two programs.  Gamemakers 1 will teach kids to create board games, card games, and role playing games.  Gamemakers 1 will also give children an overview of developing digital games on which Gamemakers 2 will concentrate more on.  On the other hand, Gamemakers 2 will teach children how to create digital games using Scratch, a programming language.  Children will learn to write the narrative of their own game, design core mechanics, components, and the likes, and eventually build their own video games.

TOY MILL--Toy Mill workshops lie at the intersection of arts, designing and engineering.  Young people will play with toys, study them, tear them apart and put them back together again.

Children will experiment with a variety of materials, discover their properties and imagine the possibilities that each material affords.  Young people learn about circuits and bring their toys to life, making them talk, move and see.

GET REEL--Get Reel is a series of workshops that focuses on storytelling.  Young people explore the concept of narrative as expressed in films, games, animations, books, graphic novels and performance art.

Through the course of Get Reel, young people learn about character, setting, plot and point of view.  They develop their own narratives and express them through their medium of choice.

SPARK--Spark is Sparklelab's program on robotics, electronics, and physical computing.  Tinker with little treasures like motors and sensors, speakers, and LEDs.  Children will learn how to build their own robots and meet quirky little creatures who run on AI.  Furthermore, children will come across greater challenges and earn new skills--like coding, soldering, and creating with Arduino and Raspberry Pi.

STITCHES AND CIRCUITS--Stitches and Circuits is a program that focuses on e-textiles, wearable technology and soft circuits.  This course is perfect for every geeky fashionista!  Children can create light up shoes, solar-powered head gear, or hoodies equipped with joy sticks that can redefine games on the go.

All programs mentioned above consists of 6 sessions of 3 hours each session.  One workshop costs Php8,500 with a class size of 5-12 kids.  Children are welcome to have a free trial, just contact Sparklelab for appointment.

While most workshops at Sparklelab are designed for older kids, they also offer program for younger kids ages 3.5 to 6 years old.

BYTE SIZE--Byte Size is Sparklelab's flagship program for young tinkerers, scientists, artists, and engineers!  Byte Size class is for two hours for 8 sessions and can only accommodate maximum of 8 kids per session.

Sparklelab's summer program is ongoing until June 10!  Inquire with them for the schedule.

While Sparklelab is holding their own classes, they are also working with other schools, companies and organizations.  They organize pop-up Sparklelab events during school fairs and mall activities.  They also conduct teacher trainings about play-based education in STEAM related subjects.  Sparklelab also help museums and companies design play-based educational experiences to their visitors and employees.

Kib had a taste of what Sparklelab is.  He tried the Get Reel class together with our children.  Their group used Lego, blocks, cars, and other toys in their story, while the other group used clay for their animation.  After both classes created their stop-motion animation, they presented it in front of other children and mommies.

Check out the photos below about Kib's learning experience at Sparklelab:

At present, there is only one Sparklelab branch, and it's in San Juan City.  They will be announcing their new home in San Juan on their website and social media accounts so stay tuned!  They will also open to other places in Metro Manila very, very soon!

Never be afraid to discover something new!  Who knows, you might be raising a future Einstein or Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg :)

Visit Sparklelab's website at www.sparklelab.ph for more info.  To register to any of their classes, you may visit www.sparklelab.ph/register-1.  You can also visit their Facebook page.  You may also inquire via mobile at 0917-8014778

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