Dream Engine


Imagine possibility.
Engineer the future.

A subversive society of hacktivists, innovators, dreamers and changemakers

The Sparklelab Fellowship is a nine-month intensive program open to young people between the ages of 11 to 16 years. The program provides personalized learning experiences where fellows explore their interests, hone skills, develop new ways of being and understanding the world around them.

The program empowers young people to develop, implement and test actual projects of impact in their own communities, becoming agents of positive change and developing their capacity as leaders.


Every day, young people from around the world confront a myriad of problems. These problems range from access to adequate health care, clean water and sanitation; lack of education and employment opportunities; to displacement due to armed conflicts and natural disasters.

It is our firm belief that young people (1.8 billion strong!) can revolutionize the world around them: imagining innovative solutions to problems both local and global and transforming challenge into opportunity. 

Dream Engine fellows possess passion, grit, creativity and an affinity for lifelong learning. They are sincerely committed to being a force of positive change in the world around them. They have the ability to dream up bold, new ideas and are unafraid of challenging the status quo.

Dream Engine fellows think different, dream big and harness their compassion, determination and creativity in collaborative enterprises that simply put, make this world a better place.
 
Call for Fellows
 
Pillars of the Fellowship Experience
 
 
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A PROJECT WITH IMPACT
Fellows develop an innovative product or service that utilizes technology to address a specific social need.
Participants focus on a specific problem in the any of the following areas: diversity and democratic citizenship; renewable energy; education or public health.
A COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE
Fellows engage in meaningful interactions with experts in design thinking, technology, product development and social enterprise to gain a deeper understanding of the issues at hand
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A RIGOROUS 21ST CENTURY DISCIPLINE
Fellows work collaboratively and, through the guidance of mentors, ideate, design, develop and test solutions that address a real-world need.

The Fellowship Program is especially focused on youth development. Fellows partake in personalized learning experiences that allow them to pursue their interests, hone their skills, develop new ways of being and understanding the world around them so they become a force of positive change in their communities.

 

 
The Fellowship Program

 

The SparkleLAB Fellowship Program is a nine month intensive open to young people between the ages of 10 to 15. The program empowers young people to develop projects of impact and become agents of positive change.

The Fellowship Program is structured around the following core activities:


Community of Practice

Throughout the fellowship, young people engage in meaningful interactions with key figures in design, technology and social enterprise. These interactions may take place in the form of lectures and brown bag discussions; monthly symposia; corporate visits; an online forum and one-on-one mentoring. Furthermore, through a series of excursions, interviews and focus group discussions with pertinent stakeholders and through cycles of design, testing and iteration, fellows come to a deeper understanding of the issue they are exploring and utilize feedback gathered to inform their work.    

 
 

The Innovators

Sparklelab’s team of researchers, designers, educators and technologists

 
 

The collaborators

Sparklelab’s partners, co-founders and co-conspirators 

 
 

The Mentors

Sparklelab’s Board of Advisors

 

An Immersive Learning Experience

Throughout the program, fellows engage in specific practices that equip them with the knowledge, skills and dispositions critical for success in the 21st century. Fellows undergo formative and summative assessments throughout the program, which are conducted by their mentors, their peers and themselves.

IMAGINING

Each workshop provides an empty space where participants imagine what is possible. Participants are encouraged to pursue their own interests and forge creations of their own vision and dreams.
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RESEARCHING. FINDING INSPIRATION

Participants are given the opportunity to read books, watch films, play games, surf the Web, visit museums, go on field trips, survey the works of other makers and explore Sparklelab’s library. Participants immerse themselves in a variety of media and art forms, which inspire and inform their own work.

EXPLORING. TINKERING. EXPERIMENTING

In designing toys and games, creating jewelry, writing code or developing narratives, an integral part of the learning process is discovering the properties, affordances and defining characteristics of each medium.

DESIGNING. CREATING. PROCEDURAL THINKING

Participants develop preliminary blueprints for their design and create an initial prototype. Integral to the design and creation process is that of procedural thinking: outlining essential steps in the production process and ordering these steps so as to yield the intended result.

DESIGNING. CREATING. PROCEDURAL THINKING

Participants develop preliminary blueprints for their design and create an initial prototype. Integral to the design and creation process is that of procedural thinking: outlining essential steps in the production process and ordering these steps so as to yield the intended result.
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INQUIRING

Participants are placed in situations that arouse their curiosity about the ways things work and are encouraged to raise questions – and find answers – to the underlying rules and logic that govern them.

LEARNING BY DOING

Participants learn by immersing themselves in a variety of experiences. All learning occurs in context, through trial and error.

CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING

Participants are given tools to think critically; to break down a problem, a phenomenon, or a system into its component parts so as to gain a deeper understanding of the premises that underlie it. Participants may tear a toy apart in order to examine gears, springs or motors and understand how and why movement occurs. They may evaluate a film’s narrative structure or diagnose a malfunctioning circuit.
The ability to analyze is reinforced with opportunities to make connections, and through the learning’s and understandings gleaned, develop innovative solutions to a myriad of problems.

READING & WRITING

Participants are given opportunities to understand and make meaning of, and produce: essays, poems, graphic novels, films, animations, games, music, maps, apps,blogs, tweets, visual data, code, simulations, dance, plays…

INTELLIGENT RESOURCING

Participants learn to draw upon a variety of resources in creating their projects: books, Web sites, newspaper articles, subject matter experts, their peers, and many more. They determine areas in their work where resources are needed; outline what needs to be known; map out where and how to gather the resources they need; and how to evaluate their veracity.

FAILING

Participants feel that failing is safe, failing is necessary, and that success depends upon learning from failure.

COLLABORATING

Participants share ideas, engage in simulations and develop projects together, learning from one another throughout each workshop. They play test each other’s games, watch each other’s animations, and provide constructive feedback regarding the work of their peers. Many times, various participants assume particular roles for projects (producer, camera man, editor, actor) and work collaboratively to achieve a particular goal.

CONNECTING. SHARING

Participants share their creations with other makers in the Philippines and throughout the world. They share knowledge, insights, skills and a passion for making. They learn from one another in communities of practice. They connect through shared interests and support one another in the pursuit of their dreams.
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PLAYING

 

Apply for Fellowship

Selection Process

 

nominate a fellow

Do you know of a young person capable of changing the world?

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FELLOW APPLICATION

Tell us about your dreams and how you have engineered them into reality.

SELECTION COMMITTEE

Who are we willing to hedge our bets on to create positive change in the world around them?


Financials
  • Annual Fees
  • Scholarship & Financial Aid
Sparklelab Program Offering Learning Domains Course Hours Participant's Age Fee
Gamemakers Game Design and Development 40 hours per workshop cycle 7 to 18 15,000
The Toy Mill Design, Engineering, Digital Fabrication, Code 40 hours per workshop cycle 7 to 18 15,000
Stitches & Circuits Soft circuits, e-textiles, wearable technology 40 hours per workshop cycle 7 to 18 15,000
Get Reel Animation, film and new experiences in storytelling 40 hours per workshop cycle 7 to 18 15,000
Spark Robotics, electronics, digital fabrication, physical computing 40 hours per workshop cycle 7 to 18 15,000
MakerLAB All of the above 3 hours per workshop

Participants may join 4, 8 or an unlimited number of workshops in a month

Includes access to clubs, Sparklelab’s libraries and resources, and special events such as game night, design challenge competitions, film series 
7 to 100 Silver P2,900
Gold  P5, 900
Rainbow P9,900
Dream Engine Fellowship Program In-depth study of a problem area: Health, Peace and Security, Climate Change, Disaster Mitigation and Relief, Education
Combined with a
Technology, design and media arts program
12 month intensive 11 to 17 P100,000

 
Trajectory of Learning & Making
 
 
 
 
 
 

DEFINING THE SPACE

Fellows will explore the issue of adolescent health over a two week period through talks with health care professionals at the global level (WHO; UNICEF ADAP & WASH) and the local level (DOH, NGOs).  They will watch documentary films, read publications on adolescent health and gather relevant data to map problems in the areas of adolescent health from TB, Dengue and communicable diseases to mental health issues, childhood obesity and risky behavior. Fellows will then decide on a topic they wish to address and form working groups accordingly.
Fellows Will:
  • EXPLORE THE ISSUE OF ADOLESCENT HEALTH
  • MAP PROBLEM AREAS
  • CONDUCT RESEARCH
  • DEFINE THE PROBLEMS THEY WISH TO ADDRESS
  • FORM WORKING GROUPS

    ★ INQUIRING . RESEARCH . INTELLIGENT RESOURCING

EXPLORE POSSIBILITY

Kicking off with a day long Imagination Camp and continuing over a two week period, young people will explore emerging technological contexts. In a setting of inspiration gathering and group concepting, young people will work alongside industry professionals and innovators from Google, Globe, Sun Microsystems, Oculus and the like and explore how emerging developments in virtual and augmented reality, social media, mobile and place-based apps, soft circuits and wearable technology, robotics and digital fabrication can be applied to the area of adolescent health.
Fellows Will:
  • EXPLORE EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES
  • UNDERSTAND THEIR AFFORDANCES
  • BRAINSTORM APPLICATIONS IN THE FIELD OF ADOLESCENT HEALTH
  • ENGAGE IN RAPID PROTOTYPING AND GROUP CONCEPTING

★ EXPLORING & EXPERIMENTING . ANALYZING & SYNTHESIZING KNOWLEDGE

Generate Solutions

After mapping out problem areas in adolescent health and exploring the affordances of emerging technologies, fellows will engage in intensive brainstorming sessions where they design inventive solutions to specific health problems. They may imagine solutions as diverse as developing radio dramas or podcasts that reinforce messages on sexual and reproductive health; a mobile app that helps young people map out emotions and engage in self-care and wellness practices; to a physical device that records your physical activity and provides you with just-in-time prompts to keep healthy.
Fellows Will:
  • ENGAGE IN THE PROCESS OF IDEATION
  • RAPIDLY SKETCH OUT SOLUTIONS TO A SPECIFIC PROBLEM

★ DESIGNING. CREATING. PROCEDURAL THINKING

 

REFLECT

Integral to the fellowship program is a process called “praxis,” which combines ideation, design and practice with cycles of reflection. Self-doubt, critique and the practice of giving and receiving feedback are integral to this process. Fellows are challenged to question their assumptions and evaluate the merit of their ideas: Is the delivery system I chose the best fit for my end user? Am I using a particular technological platform in a purposeful way? Do I capitalize on its particular affordances? Is the technology I chose and features I designed a nice to have or a must have? Am I designing user interface and user experience in the best way possible for my intended audience?
Fellows Will:
  • REFLECT ON THEIR DESIGNS
  • QUESTION THEIR ASSUMPTIONS
  • EVALUATE THE MERIT OF THEIR IDEAS
  • ENGAGE IN FEEDBACK LOOPS WITH THEIR PEERS, MENTORS,
  • HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONERS AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS

★ INQUIRING. INTELLIGENT RESOURCING. EMPATHIZING.
ANALYZING & SYNTHESIZING KNOWLEDGE. ITERATING

BUILD A PROTOTYPE

Fellows engage in several prototyping processes. Armed with markers, post-its and craft paper, they build functional paper prototypes of their designs and immediately delve into a feedback loop with their peers and mentors. From there, fellows rapidly move to building a functional digital prototype that demonstrates key features of their product. Included in this process are: Modeling the flow of user behavior and interactions with the system; Determining key functionalities; Information architecture; Wireframing and design; Development; Internal testing; and iterations based on multiple forms of feedback.
Fellows Will:
  • MAP OUT DELIVERABLES
  • DEVELOP A PRODUCTION TIMELINE
  • ASSIGN ROLES (PROJECT MANAGER, DEVELOPER, STORYTELLER, ARTIST, UX DESIGNER, SOUND ENGINEER)
  • CODE
  • BUILD
  • TROUBLESHOOT/DEBUG/QA

★ LEARNING BY DOING. CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING

test

Once a prototype is built and tested internally, fellows then deploy their prototypes to a small sample of end users and key stakeholders in the problem area of adolescent health that they are addressing. Through surveys, one-on-one interviews, focus group discussions, video recordings of end users interacting with their products and any data retrieved from the back end of the systems they design, fellows gather relevant data that will inform the process of iteration and improving upon their work.
Fellows Will:
  • TEST THEIR PROTOTYPES WITH THEIR INTENDED END USERS
  • (ADOLESCENTS WITH A PARTICULAR HEALTH PROBLEM)
  • TEST THEIR PROTOTYPES WITH RELEVANT STAKEHOLDERS(HEALTH PRACTITIONERS, TECHNOLOGISTS, FAMILIES)
  • GATHER QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DATA

★ INTELLIGENT RESOURCING. LEARNING FROM FAILURE

iterate

Fellows will analyze data gathered through testing, synthesize knowledge and use key insights to inform the cycles of ideation, design, prototyping and testing that will ensue.
Fellows Will:
  • UTILIZE DATA RECEIVED FROM TESTING TO IMPROVE UPON THEIR DESIGNS
  • INFORM THEIR PROCESS AND BENCHMARKS MOVING FORWARD

★ ANALYZING & SYNTHESIZING KNOWLEDGE. ITERATING.
LEARNING FROM FAILURE. CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING

 

launch

Through a launch event and a series of conferences and meet ups on adolescent health problems and solutions, fellows will showcase their work; elaborate upon process and lessons learned; and pitch their prototypes to incubator programs or investors who may wish to provide the resources that will allow them to develop their products further.
Fellows Will:
  • LAUNCH THE PRODUCT OR SERVICE THEY CREATED
  • MAY OPT TO CONTINUE COMING TO MAKERLAB SO AS TO CONTINUE DEVELOPING THEIR PROJECT

★ ANALYZING & SYNTHESIZING KNOWLEDGE. ITERATING.
LEARNING FROM FAILURE. CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING