Inspark Science Network for Postsecondary Success in Entry-Level Science for Disadvantaged Students

We know that the prevailing model of higher education, centered on lectures and disciplinary knowledge, dampens a student’s motivation and promotes misconceptions about science and other modes of learning. We also know that siloed learning doesn’t prepare students for the complex, real-world problems they will face during their careers.

It’s time for a more effective and authentic exploration-driven model for science learning, centered on interactive, project-based learning experiences, and motivated by questions that don’t fit in tidy disciplinary bins.

Drawing on the design principles of Habitable Worlds, an innovative online science course at Arizona State University that was built using the Smart Sparrow platform, the Science Network will create next-generation courseware and provide the tools and support to empower teachers to teach the courseware at scale.

As a founding partner, Achieving the Dream is working with Smart Sparrow to increase awareness among colleges in the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network of the opportunity to join the Inspark Science Network.

Proposals were due January 30, 2017 with notification shortly thereafter.

Please contact Laurie Heacock at with any questions.


  • Update

    Inspark Teaching Network, in partnership with the Center for Education Through eXploration (ETX) at Arizona State University, has released a request for proposals for a grant program awarding up to 2 colleges and universities $15,000 to $30,000. The purpose is to support institutions — already piloting or interested in piloting Inspark courseware — to achieve scale and effective use of next-generation digital learning experiences in gateway science courses.

    To learn more, download the RFP. Proposals are due January 30, 2017.

    On January 13, Achieving the Dream and the Inspark Teaching Network held an informational webinar with representatives from Miami Dade Community College and the Lone Star College System to discuss their experience using the Inspark courseware.  Here is a video recording of the webinar.


    Background Information




    Find out how you and your institution can help lead change through the Inspark Science Network, a partnership between world-leading universities, community colleges, science and education experts, and an education technology company. Smart Sparrow, awarded a grant by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for this project, has created an online courseware platform that draws on the design principles of an innovative online science course at Arizona State University and utilizes tools designed to maximize pedagogical control. Currently being piloted at Eastern Arizona College, this next-generation courseware enables science faculty to offer adaptive introductory level science courses with rich and interactive content aimed at increasing student retention and educational attainment. In this webinar you will preview the course material and find out how to engage this fascinating courseware on your campus!

    David Morris, Science Division Chair, Eastern Arizona College 
    Professor Ariel Anbar, President’s Professor in the School of Earth & Space Exploration at Arizona State University 
    Dr. Dror Ben-Naim, CEO and Founder, Smart Sparrow

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