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Bright Sparks STEAM Club

Bright Sparks STEAM Club is the University of Sunderland's award-winning Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics club offering activities for pupils aged 11-16.

The club runs monthly activities which vary from on-campus activities to field trips.  

Pupils have the opportunity to engage with a variety of fun and engaging hands-on activities and workshops. Each session is closely linked with the national curriculum, covering subjects such as science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM).

The activities generally take place on a Wednesday evening and on a Saturday and are completely free of charge.

Information for schools

The Bright Sparks Science Club is for any secondary school pupil aged 11–16, who has an interest in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

  • Our Bright Sparks members usually meet on a Saturday or Wednesday evening once a month
  • Club members have the opportunity to visit museums, take field trips and participate in interactive, hands-on workshops at the University
  • All events are free of charge for club members
  • Members are expected to dress appropriately (warm clothing, comfortable footwear etc) and bring a packed lunch when requested
  • All parental consent forms are distributed and collated by the University
  • All club members are supervised by University of Sunderland staff and supported by Student Ambassadors

If you feel any of your pupils would benefit from being part of our Bright Sparks STEAM Club, please ask their parent or carer to complete the consent form below.

Information for pupils

Are you interested in science, technology, engineering, arts or mathematics? Would you like to meet other people who have an interest in these subjects? Do you like visiting exciting places?

If you have answered "yes" to the questions above, why not join our Bright Sparks STEAM Club and take part in our free science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics workshops at the University? 

Club members meet approximately once a month, either on Saturday daytime or Wednesday evening during term time. Information about our forthcoming events can be found below.

As a Bright Sparks member, you will get the chance to take part in hands-on workshops delivered by our lecturers in our excellent facilities here at the University or attend local museums and other engaging activities in the region.

If you’d like to become a Bright Sparks Club member then please complete the consent form below, remembering to get your parent or carer to complete their relevant sections also.

Information for parents and carers

The club is for any Tyne and Wear and County Durham secondary school pupil aged 11–16, who has an interest in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

  • All staffing, material and associated activity fees are covered by the Club
  • All Club members are supervised around museums, attractions and during the workshops by University staff and Student Ambassador
  • All prospective members need to complete the consent form and the form must be signed by a parent or carer
  • The form acts as parental consent for each activity, and once a young person has been added to the database they will be sent a newsletter with information of upcoming events
  • Parents/carers are responsible for transporting their son/daughter/young person to and from the event
  • Members may be required to bring a packed lunch for longer trips.



Forthcoming events

What’s Going on Inside Your Head? Wednesday, 20 November 2019 4pm-7pm

A chance to delve into the inner workings of the human brain and be introduced to psychology. Learn more about visual perceptions and even optical illusions that fool the brain.

Lights, Camera, Action! Saturday, 7 December 2019 10am-1pm

Who doesn’t love watching movies? Sit back and relax as we watch a film in the 207 seat university cinema and learn more about all the work that goes on behind the scenes.

University of Sunderland Media Hub - Thursday, 16 January 2020 4pm-7pm

Bring in the new year with a workshop to explore the University of Sunderland’s Media Hub, including Spark FM - our award winning student radio station.

An Astrological Trip - Saturday, 15 February 2020 6pm-8pm

An out of this world trip to Washington Wetlands Centre to learn more about the mysteries of space. Find out more about the night sky and how it might lead to a career in the stars.

Designing the Night Sky - Wednesday, 26 February 2020 4pm-7pm

An even greater look into space that includes the stars, planets and everything in between. Flex your creative muscles and be imaginative when you get to paint a space masterpiece.

British Science Week - Save The World! Wednesday, 11 March 2020 4pm-7pm

The theme for this year’s British Science Week is “Our Diverse Planet” and we want you to use your engineering and thinking skills to work out how we can save our oceans and forests.

The Nuts and Bolts of Engineering - Wednesday, 22 April 2020 4pm-7pm

This workshop will explore the science and maths behind engineering, giving you the building blocks to create, invent and share technological creations. 

National Glass Centre - Saturday, 23 May 2020

With a national treasure right on our doorstep, it’s amazing to think you can study a degree in Glass and Ceramics. We’ll find out how glass is made and take part in a workshop.

Computers Taking Over the World! Wednesday, 10 June 2020 4pm-7pm

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is constantly evolving to the point where one day computers might think for themselves. Take part in the workshop and find out how AI is embedded in every aspect of our lives.

Centre for Life - Saturday, 11 July 2020

Our last event of the year and a trip to the Centre for Life in Newcastle. A chance to have fun and learn more about science.



What do our members say?

 “I love that it gives the children a chance to explore different subjects. Making new friends is also a very positive aspect of the scheme.

The best part is it enables my child to see what university life is like and to make an informed choice of which area he would like to study.



What do our member’s parents think about Bright Sparks STEAM Club?

Bright Sparks is great fun. I love attending the sessions. My favourite so far was going to the University of Sunderland’s photography centre and seeing how everything works in there.

The range of subjects and activities have been great fun. The events have also enabled me to get out and meet new people.

Book / more information

Please contact us for further details:

Email: brightsparks@sunderland.ac.uk
Tel: 0191 515 3000

Bright Sparks information and parental consent form

Step 1

  • Section 1
  • Section 2
  • Section 3a
  • Section 3b
  • Confirmation

Required fields marked with *

Information about your son/daughter/young person

Male Female Other

Additional needs

Specific learning difficulties e.g dyslexia
Deaf/hard of hearing
Asperger's syndrome/Autistic spectrum disorder
Non visible disability e.g. diabetes
Blind/partially sighted
Wheelchair user/mobility difficulties
Mental health difficulties
Disability/medical condition not listed above (Please give details below)