Bring Spark to Your School!

Residency Course Offerings • Assemblies •

• Teacher Trainings / Professional Development


Spark Media Project works with faculty in school districts across the Hudson Valley to bring quality media arts and digital literacy education directly to the classroom. Spark’s in-school and after-school residencies are project-based, learner-driven, and help engage students in any subject area using the media arts to reinforce both skills and content.

Our diverse lesson plans can be tailored for age, content, format, and length to fit district-specific needs and/or Common Core standards, while keeping students actively and creatively engaged.

What skills do students develop through Spark programs?

  • Basic understanding of media & digital literacy
  • Technological skills in media production (filmmaking, cinematography, editing, & proper use of equipment)
  • Life & work skills such as communication, cooperative working, project management, positive risk-taking, & self-confidence
  • The artistic process of brainstorming, self-reflection, receiving feedback, and adaptation

Spark has a Mobile Media Lab that include laptops, software, green screens, cameras, light and sound kits, zoom recorders, ipads, drawing tablets and more.

Arlington Central School District; Chancellor Livingstone Elementary, Rhinebeck; Poughkeepsie City School District; Haviland Middle School, Hyde Park; FDR High School, Hyde Park; Oakwood Friends School, Pougheepsie; Pawling High School; Poughkeepsie Day School, Poughkeepsie; Rhinebeck High School, Rhinebeck and many more.

Want an example of how Spark’s in-school programming can reinforce literacy and media skills? Read all about our 2015 Shakespeare Animation Residency at Poughkeepsie High School!

If you’re interested in bringing Spark to your school, download a project proposal form, and scroll down to explore Spark’s many in-school residency options.

Course Offerings


21st Century Critical Inquiry/ Media Literacy Courses

3D Design and Printing
Students use the latest innovative technologies to create objects that provide solutions to everyday problems. This class promotes critical thinking and research skills coupled with the fun of design and 3D printing. Skills focus: Critical Thinking, Research, Problem Solving, Design.

Students use basic media literacy principles to decode advertisements. They then create counter-advertisements, or parodies of advertisements, that deliver more truthful or constructive messages using the same persuasion techniques as real ads. This workshop can be offered either in print media, radio, or video formats. Skills Focus: Media Literacy, Critical Thinking, Reading/Writing.

Making Media Matter
Students will learn to recognize the role that media plays in shaping their lives, then make counter-ads to audio-visually deconstruct and critique an advertisement using either Photoshop or Stop-Motion Animation. Skills Focus: Research, Media Literacy, Critical Thinking.

Students use the very popular online video game Minecraft to develop digital literacy and critical thinking skills through both guided activities (such as building their own digital community) and independent explorations of architecture, social sciences, and urban planning. Skills Focus: Design, Research, Critical Thinking, Teamwork.

IMG_5068Public Service Announcement (PSAs)

Students create Public Service Announcements, non-commercial advertisements developed to inform or educate the public about an issue. Students identify and research relevant PSA topics to produce original PSAs. Skills Focus: Reading/Writing, Research Critical Thinking, Plot/Character Development.

How-To Tutorials
Students produce short expository videos in which they demonstrate a skill or perform an understanding of a specific subject, helping others to learn how to do the same. Skills Focus: Reading/Writing, Research, Critical Thinking.

Media Arts/Production Courses

Animated Learning
Students use stop-motion animation to collaborate on an animated narrative or expository short. Skills focus: Teamwork, Plot/Character Development.

Digital Essays/Docs

Students use video reporting to create short documentaries, which integrate images, words, and sounds to creatively investigate any content area. Skills Focus: Research, Critical Thinking, Communication, Reading/Writing.

Digital Painting
Students use Wacom Tablets and Photoshop software to create original digital visual art pieces. Skills Focus: Communication, Reading/Writing, Critical Thinking, Research.

Filmmaking 101
Students learn the entire process of filmmaking. Students begin by learning basic cinematography, then collaborate to create their own films from concept to script, storyboarding to filming and editing. Can be offered as Experimental, Narrative, Documentary or Special Effects filmmaking. Skills Focus: Research, Plot/Character Development, Critical Thinking, Teamwork, Plot/Character Development, Communication.

Radio Production
Students are led through the recording and editing of digital audio pieces. Students work in small groups to create short audio works that demonstrate an understanding of subject matter. Skills Focus: Teamwork, Plot/Character Development, Research, Critical Thinking, Reading/Writing.

IMG_5114Poetry in Motion
Students use kinetic typography in Adobe After-Effects to give visual meaning to poems using digitally animated words and imagery. Students can choose to animate words to their own poems, or existing poems from their studies. Skills Focus: Reading/Writing, Research, Critical Thinking.

Video Poems
Students write their own poems or work with a poem that is being studied in the classroom. They then select and film imagery that supports the poem they have selected. Skills Focus: Critical Thinking, Research, Reading/Writing.

Students make and publish their own zines (mini-magazine) while gaining an understanding of zine culture and the self-publishing industry. Students generate content (fiction and nonfiction), use Adobe Photoshop and InDesign, and analyze the benefits and drawbacks of print media in the digital age. Skills Focus: Reading/Writing, Research, Critical Thinking.

There are many ways to bring Spark Media Project to your school. If you’re interested in working with Spark, download a project proposal form, and contact us at:



SYEP Assembly

Spark also provides assembly offerings in which we deliver media arts education content to a larger audience all at once. Spark also provides follow-up activities and curricular materials to be conducted in the classroom following the assembly, making Spark media arts assemblies engaging “hooks” into any subject material.

Here is an example of the type of assembly we could bring to your school. As with our residencies, Spark tailors assemblies to fit the unique needs of each school and district.

Media Literacy 101 & Culture Jamming
This program offers an introduction to the fundamental skills and perceptions needed to critically analyze, interpret, and decode the media that we consume each day. When students participate in identifying who creates media and why, they can also identify what tools of persuasion are being used to influence the viewer’s perceptions. Students learn to analyze the ways in which advertisements, TV and film, and other media attempt to promote specific ideas of culture; students then critically question the cumulative cultural assumptions put forth by the media,and re-purpose and redesign that media in order to consciously change the messages it sends.

There are many ways to work with Spark Media Project in your school. If you’re interested in working with Spark, download a project proposal form, contact us at:


Teacher Trainings / Professional Development

34BTS Krieger & Clinton 012215We at Spark believe that Media Arts Education builds teamwork and critical thinking skills, and can be used to study and reinforce any content area or lesson plan. Spark Media Project works with educators who want to incorporate media into their teaching flow through professional development and teacher trainings. In these trainings, educators gain the knowledge and hands-on practice to introduce media into any curricula.

For more information, head over to our Professional Development and Teacher Trainings page, or contact our office: