Spark6: Creating Positive Change with Technology
What is Spark6?
Spark6 is the Year 6 component of the College’s emPOWER Learning Projects, which explores the idea of using technology to make a difference. Throughout the project, students develop the three Cs – critical thinking, creative thinking, and collaboration. Additionally, it aligns with the Science curriculum area as a human endeavour, which focusses particularly on ‘solving problems and informing personal and community decisions’.
We explored the big question, ‘How can we use technology to create positive change?’. This provided a rich learning opportunity for the students to examine an area for change that they were passionate about.
How is Spark6 structured?
To start with, the girls were emerged in technology, looking at how it has changed over time and the impact this has had on different groups of people in society. Students then moved on to analysing current technologies, exposing them to a variety of technological programs.
Following this, the girls defined their own questions and discovered more information about their chosen topic to find solutions to their problems.
Topics were extremely varied, and many addressed current issues, including mental health, helping the homeless, reducing plastic waste in the ocean, and promoting the health dangers of vaping. Technology was applied in a range of ways to solve their problems, utilising what they currently had available. The girls created websites using Wix, Adobe, and Spark software, as well as advertisements using PowToon and iMovie. Some groups even designed new technologies and products from scratch!
The whole project closed with a ‘Convention Centre for Change’, where the students spoke confidently and passionately to their parents and school community about their process and solutions.
We sat down with Lindsey Fitzgerald, Year 6 Teacher and Spark6 Coordinator, to talk about the experience.
“A highlight during this project was seeing girls ignite their passions, become real-world problem solvers, and positively apply their technical skills. During the Convention Centre for Change, the girls spoke confidently – sharing facts and statistics to engage their audience followed by explaining their creative solutions.”, says Lindsey.
“Many visitors left with important information and strategies that they could easily apply in their everyday life to make a difference. What more could we want? “, added Lindsey.
Below are some of the girls’ projects, which give you a glimpse into just how incredible their solutions were!
“How might we educate young children on the effects of vaping?”
Giselle, Lauren & Elena. 6.10
We chose the topic of vaping because it is a big problem in the world today, especially for young children. After all, they want to fit in. Elena
Although underage vaping is a problem, there are lots of other people who vape. Vaping is also an issue because the nicotine in one vape can equal 50 cigarettes. Vaping can cause unlimited diseases. Lauren
“How can we use technology to promote cleaner skincare products?”
Ruby, Zosha, Charlie & Sienna. 6.8
We created an app for people to scan their products so they know whether their products are safe to use or not. Zosha
We also have made a website to spread awareness about bad chemicals in products and brands that you should and shouldn’t use. Sienna
We used technology to help us design a logo, create the app, and build a website. We also used other technological tools to help us design our posters and help us execute our finished products such as Canva, Wix, Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel, and Word. Charlie
“How can we use technology to raise awareness for Santa Maria girls about mental health issues in order to create a healthier, happier community?”
Caitlin, Charlotte & Bella. 6.9
We used critical thinking when we evaluated all our ideas and chose the ones that were the best, most creative and most efficient. Charlotte
We collaborated by combining our ideas and linking them together to create our final project. Then we distributed the work evenly so that we could complete our project by the deadline. Caitlin
We used creative thinking when we came up with ideas, such as the wellness room. Bella
“How can we use technology to reduce stress, anxiety and depression for children and teens?”
Maddy, Lucy & Izzy. 6.6
What I liked about this project was sharing and constantly coming up with ideas and brainstorming. Maddy
I particularly enjoyed this program because, I have experience anxiety, and I loved to share with others some ways to take control of their brain. Lucy
Something I enjoyed about Spark6 was working with new people and coming up with new solutions to fix a problem. Izzy