Moving into a new semester, Spark is not only evolving our visual identity, but also how we run internally to help our teams work more effectively. In particular, we’re creating 2 separate teams with different project cycles to each focus on a different demand and group of students.
Staying true to our promise of beginner-friendliness, Spark Blue is designed for dev&design novices to learn more purposefully through 6 weeks of lesson-based bootcamp followed by a shorter 4-week project development period. On the other hand, returning Spark members and experienced students may join Spark Red to focus on project creation, skipping the bootcamp for 10 weeks to work on more advanced projects.
While Spark Blue and Spark Red have different working cadences, we will host group working/bonding sessions together throughout the semester. All teams will present their project at our final showcase & celebration at the end of the semester.
See below for more details on the new structure!
Spark | Blue
Spark Blue students will participate in weekly lessons in the development and/or design track during a 6-week bootcamp. The bootcamp curriculum is specially designed for Spark teaching purposes, and lessons will be led by Spark student instructors or board members. Each session is highly interactive and consists of mini take-home assignments/deliverables which Spark Blue members collaborate and share feedback on. We’re flexible with bootcamp deadlines and topics and adapt as needed to better match the interests of the Spark Blue group.
Towards the end of bootcamp, members indicate project interest and form project teams. Each team will collectively decide on a project idea and pitch it to board and other teams in Week 1.
The full 4-week project development cycle for Spark Blue is as follows:
- Week 0: Team placement & roles
- Week 1: Project Pitch Party with project scope and initial ideations
- Week 2: User research, lo-fi mockups
- Week 3: Prototyping, iterating
- Week 4: Project Showcase
Spark | Red
Returning Spark members will not need to participate in bootcamp again (but are of course still welcome to sit in on any sessions)and can instead start earlier on a challenging project. Members may apply to be a project lead and propose a project idea, scope, and development timeline. Project proposals are selected based on the creativity, needed expertise, and viability within a semester. Teams are then formed around the final selected projects and led by the project lead. Spark Red teams will meet weekly to give progress updates and help each other resolve any questions/obstacles.