Generating SPARCS … Sustaining Passion, Ambition and Resolve for Career Success

SPARCS … a youth technology development program for female middle and high school students in Minnesota

Click Here For Upcoming SPARCS Events  


SPARCS is designed to help students:

  • increase awareness and understanding of information technology (IT) career opportunities
  • explore different types of technology tools and applications and build technology skills
  • be supported by women technology professionals and engaged with IT employers
  • build relationships with other young women who have similar and differing technology interests
  • consider higher education options and prepare for college entrance
  • become aware of special program offerings provided by SPARCS partners including awards programs, business tech skill offerings for youth, conferences with youth tracks, competitions, and more….


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How is SPARCS delivered?

Special events are offered during the school year; evenings, Saturdays in some cases during the school day.  Some  summer camp options are offered. Students and parents receive notice of the events and are provided a registration link.
Activities, classes, competitions and special events offered by SPARCS partners are communicated to SPARCS eligible participants. SPARCS is a development program associated with the Minnesota Aspirations in Computing Program. Visit:

Who is SPARCS eligible?

Female students who applied for the Minnesota and National Aspirations in Computing Award are eligible to participate, as are other high school students who have technology interests and aspirations.  In some cases, the program serves females in middle school as well.  The activity description typically specifies eligible age/grade levels. The SPARCS program year is generally October through July of the following year.

What organizations are involved?

The lead organization is Minnesota State IT Center of Excellence.  Financial support is provided by sponsors of the Aspirations in Computing Awards Program, the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT), and other available resources.

Existing sponsors and partners are: STEM Fuse, Best Buy, Land O’Lakes, Maverick Software Consulting, SPS Commerce, Target, Upper Midwest Security Alliance, PeopleNet, Twin Cities Chapter of the Association of Women in Computing, Code42, Digital, General Mills, HelpSystems, Merrill Corporation, Metropolitan State – Institute for Professional Development, Minnesota Twins, Thomson Reuters, Unisys, Veritas Technologies, ESP IT, Microsoft, Minnesota Computers for Schools, Securian, Stoneridge Software, BDPA, College of St. Scholastica, Fueled Collective, Information Systems Security Association, Minnesota High Tech Association – Women Leading in Technology, Nerdery, Prime Therapeutics


Contact Russell Fraenkel, Director of IT Career Pathways and Partnerships

(651) 253.9438