Spark Playful Learning

Hands-on SEL for PK-8 Classrooms and Libraries

What are Sparks? 

Sparks are playful engineering kits for innovative PK - 8 classrooms and libraries. Each is designed to build critical social and emotional learning skills through design challenges and imaginative play. Since they're 1:1 kits, every learner in your classrooms or programs will be able to make and keep their own project. Every Spark is tested by hundreds of educators and learners and can be trusted to engage, excite and bring joy.

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Why Sparks Work

Developmentally Aligned

Each Spark is aligned to learning and youth development outcomes (NGSS, Common Core, CASEL, and YPQA).

Educator & Learner Tested

Sparks are tested by thousands of learners and hundreds of educators in schools, libraries and out-of-school time classrooms.

Any Time & Place

Our customers use Sparks for curricular and extracurricular settings, family engagement events, libraries, recreation centers and hospital-based child life programs

Little to No Prep

Sparks come in individual, reclosable packages with all the essentials each learner needs to create, store, and take home their Spark.  Just hand them out!

What Sparks Include

Purposeful Packaging

Sparks come in individual, reclosable packages with all the essentials each learner needs to create, store, and take home.  Just hand them out!

Learner Guides

All Sparks come with printed visual guides so most learners can build and play without needing to follow written instructions.

Educator Playbooks

Educators use our illustrated instructional slides and coaching guides to prepare and lead engaging lessons.  Each includes deeper dives into the how and why of every Spark.

Made to Play & Keep

Sparks have beautiful modular components that learners design, create, deconstruct, and re-build - or combine their inventions with peers! When done, they go home with the learner who made it.

Some of Our Playful Partners

What Educators Say

“FutureMakers brings meaningful, hands-on STEAM learning to the classroom. The challenges they produce allow students to create and iterate in many different ways. They are not a “one size fits all” but allow students to make on their own terms. The support they provide teachers gives them the confidence to get messy and take risks with their students.”

Eric S. Cromwell
Coordinator of Elementary Science
Baltimore County Public Schools

“FutureMakers has made the concept of hand-on STEAM education fun and exciting for the children of DC. The kits sparked joy and were reusable so children could explore their own interpretations of the engineered structures. The pre-made kits were easy to distribute and helped DCPL create fun and safe programs this summer.”

Tora Burns
Reading Programs Coordinator
DC Public Library

“We have chosen FutureMakers to support our mission of inspiring and preparing K-12 students for STEM education and careers. We use Sparks in K - 2 classrooms to ignite a passion for critical thinking, problem-solving, and collaboration. We have witnessed the power of collaborative teamwork as our students tackle real-world problems and see themselves as innovators.”

Alisha N. Sparks
Interim Executive Director
Center for Educational Outreach, Whiting School of Engineering, Johns Hopkins University

"We are consistently impressed with the degree of student engagement and excitement we have seen in our virtual co-curricular clubs since implementing the FutureMakers Sparks program. The playful, project-based engineering approach of FutureMakers Sparks invites imagination and innovation.”

Dr. Corrine Perrella
Manager Virtual Learning
Anne Arundel County Public Schools

“FutureMakers has been instrumental in providing high-quality STEAM learning opportunities for students in our Chinese Immersion, French Immersion, and Spanish Immersion programs. The materials and activities provide hands-on learning and exploration and can be directed by teachers in all of our Immersion languages.”

Carmen Henninger
Immersion Programs Supervisor
Prince George's County Public Schools

“Students are craving engagement. With Sparks, they are experiencing now what they can’t experience in the regular school year. The resources and slides had great real-world connections to share with students.”

Brendan Penn
Magnet Coordinator & 2018-2019 BCPS Teacher of the Year
Baltimore County Public Schools

“FutureMakers has been an integral partner with Baltimore County Public Library throughout the years. They have empowered our staff to reach broader audiences with STEM programming through their training, programming, and kits. FutureMakers worked with us to develop ways to use their kits to train teens to be mentors to younger youth in a fun, educational, and engaging way!”

Conni Strittmater
Youth and Family Engagement Manager
Baltimore County Public Library

“FutureMakers’ Sparks are valuable tools that bolster STEM learning opportunities with equitable hands-on experiences. They are uncomplicated and provide a straightforward way to generate inquisitive exploration and creative problem-solving while fostering a deeper understanding of how things work.”

Marcellina Rodriguez
STEM Programming and Outreach Coordinator
Anne Arundel County Public Library

“Sparks are perfect for our summer camp programs. The kits, resources, and materials are all user-friendly, easy to store, fun to teach, and, most importantly, highly engaging for youth. We’ve used Sparks for our annual city-wide virtual Spring Break program, where youth receive kits at home and Zoom in with their FutureMakers coach!”

Rebecca Palmisano
STEM Coordinator
Department of Recreation and Parks, City of Baltimore

Try Some Sample Sparks

We have a free sample set we’d love for you to have. We’ll hand them off to UPS the same day, and will follow up with instructional guides when they’re in transit.

Request Samples