Welcome to Spark Tank

Spark Tank is Dwight's incubator, a program conceived and sponsored by the Dwight School Foundation, designed to nurture student innovation, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills beyond the classroom. Beginning in kindergarten, students can participate in the Spark Tank Program to develop their ideas for new businesses, non-profits, or products.

Dwight is one of the only K-12 schools in America to offer this incubator experience. We believe that the next “big ideas” will come from the under-18 sector. Spark Tank provides students with real-life experience and essential skills beyond academics and theory, so they can pursue their dreams now rather than at some uncertain time in the future.

 

The Process

Following the IB design thinking and problem-solving cycle, students develop their projects in the incubator through five stages. 

Spanning the gamut from novel products to non-profits designed to make a difference in the world, Spark Tank projects are as unique as the students who develop them. Some are born from personal passions such as programming, robotics, fashion, science, and literature. Others are driven by issues that impact them personally, a desire to help others, or a vision for improving a product that is already on the market.  

Students with a Spark

Audrey is creating a series of children’s books to educate first and second graders about endangered sea life due to pollution. She plans to donate proceeds from book sales to a like-minded charity.

"I’m passionate about reading, writing, and the ocean, and wanted to combine my interests and help at the same time. I love Spark Tank because it helps you learn to do things that will help you in the future!" 

— Audrey, grade 5

 

Maria, who has wanted to be “the world’s best fashion designer” since the age of six has been on a fast track to achieving her goal through Spark Tank. She introduced a line for girls 6-13 and built an e-commerce site to sell her collection.

Stephane designed a low-cost, 3D-printed prosthetic hand for people with amputations — hundreds of thousands and many in war-torn countries who can’t afford them — catching the attention of business media, including "Varney & Co."

"I learned to better manage a budget and improve my robotics and programming knowledge beyond what I thought was possible. I definitely would not have been pushed to get my project to where it is today without Spark Tank. There is a community of innovation here."

—Stephane, grade 10

 

Seniors Marcus Kapoor, Jacob Lindahl, Alexander McKillop, and Holden Bril, members of the Business & Investment Club, are learning about investment. They passed level three and received $10,000 to manage. Half of any profits will go back to the Foundation; the rest will remain in the account.

 

Mada and Michelle teamed up to build and code an app called TimeBreak designed to help people with time management, especially busy teenagers like themselves.

"Spark Tank helped me get my ideas out there in the world and use my imagination to make the world a better place … What I take from Spark Tank — and what I will still talk about when I’m old — is our amazing project and how Dwight made it come true!" 

—Mada, grade 11 

"I learned a lot about by myself, how to expand an idea into a physical product, and how to step back and think critically to overcome an obstacle and move forward. I also learned to think about my career as an entrepreneur." 

— Michelle, grade 11

 

Daniil '17 appeared on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” sharing his Live-Time Closed Captioning System designed to help people with hearing impairments “hear” a conversation as it’s happening. He also developed a portable particle accelerator in Spark Tank, which was purchased by a U.S. school supply distributor and is in use in science classrooms.

The Judges

Judges are members of The Dwight School Foundation's Spark Tank Committee — industry experts in Dwight's parent and alumni community — who provide feedback, insights, and innovation grants, including a $2,500 college scholarship to students who reach the launch stage. 

 

Spark Tank News

Leadership

Susan Beyrle 
Director of Development,
The Dwight School Foundation
sbeyrle@dwight.edu
212.874.4232

Matt Moran
Director of Technology
and Innovation
mmoran@dwight.edu 
212.724.6360 x353

Allison Feldman 
Chief Innovation and
Communications Officer

afeldman@dwight.edu
212.724.6360 x606