Ask alice: What’s SPARC?

I have heard a lot about the SPARC festival that is happening at the Mount but I’m not really sure what it is exactly. Can you help clear some stuff up?

Oh SPARC! The most wonderful time of the academic school year! A time where students present their research and projects to the entire Mount community! In the words of the SPARC festival itself, it is “a campus-wide celebration of academic and artistic accomplishments of Mount students.”

SO, here is the 411 on everything you need to know about the SPARC festival!

The SPARC festival is a two-day event that is modeled after real academic conferences that will cover a wide variety of topics and activities. Artwork will be displayed, scientific research will be discussed, and senior projects that used the help of Mount students (remember all those surveys you were asked to fill out?) will also be presented too!

Some of the activities that are going to be happening all around campus on April 25th and 26th include:

Student “Lightning” Talks

These are super cool! And short! And fun! This is where students make a really quick presentation (~15 minutes) about a topic they have done research on. These talks are always interesting because the presenters hit the main points of their research with a lot of enthusiasm! Plus, they are easy to get to, since they’re in the President’s Dining Room, the Seminary Dining Room, or the library. Everyone has fifteen minutes, so go out and support you fellow Mounties! Also try to support the Echo’s lightning talk on April 26 at 1:40 in the Seminary Dining Room!

Honors Presentations

These presentations are done by students in the Honors program at the Mount. They are longer than lightning talks, but go into a lot more detail with their research, so you really get the full effect of what it really was the student was spending so much time and energy on! These honors projects usually take the entire year to conduct, and the culmination is this presentation! There are so many interesting honors presentations that are available to go to this year! You can find them online on the SPARC festival tab on the Mount’s website!

Student Art Exhibitions

Remember! SPARC isn’t just for the bookworms! Students that have been working on art projects will also be presenting and displaying their work throughout the two days! You will be able to see your peers’ sculptures, paintings, mosaics and drawings. It really is absolutely fantastic to see the amazing talent each of these students has. I 100% recommend seeing the art displays!

Live Performances

Just like the art exhibits, the live performances that are put on by Mount students is breathtaking. Live performances can include solo music, bands or plays directed by students!

Poster Presentations

Poster presentations are usually conducted by seniors and are about the research that they have done for a senior seminar course. These presentations involve large posters that students have created themselves that display their research topic, their methods, and the results that their research/ experiment had. These are always very fun as well because its less formal than the other presentations! You can walk around to each poster and ask questions!

Remember! SPARC festival is a great way to celebrate and recognize the academic and artistic achievements of your fellow classmates. The festival is on April 25th and April 26th all throughout the day! To get a more detailed schedule, go on the Mount’s website, and under the academic tab, there will be a link for the SPARC festival. Many of your professors may cancel classes or let you out early so that you can attend these presentations. Take advantage of that time and go support your Mounties! There is something for everyone at the SPARC festival! Whether it be a lightning talk on the white washing of America, or an Honors presentation about telomeres and aging, there is always something fascinating happening during these special two days.


Leave a Reply