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Spark-Y is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our mission is to empower youth through hands-on education rooted in sustainability and entreprenuership. Spark-Y serves its mission of youth empowerment through three branches: school programs, an annual internship, and an urban agriculture lab. These initiatives work together systemically, creating multiple touch points for youth engagement. 

Hands-on Class Programming 

Spark-Y integrates sustainable projects into classrooms, schools, and elective programs providing experiential education for youth throughout the Twin Cities. Our model is to pair hands- on agriculture systems, such as aquaponics, with curriculum focused on sustainability, entrepreneurship, and STEM- based (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning.

Summer Internship 

Spark-Y hosts an annual internship every summer for youth around the country to gain real-world sustainable experiences through community partnerships. 60+ youth from Spark-Y school programs and applicants from job placement programs, college graduates, and graduate students combine into teams to execute sustainable projects throughout the Twin Cities. Teams are led by second- year internship graduates, to create a culture of youth development and leadership.

Urban Agriculture Lab 

In 2016 Spark-Y built and launched a commercial- scale aquaponics system and learning lab, on- site at our Minneapolis office. The "Urban Ag Lab," features 4, two- tiered systems, with over 1,700 square feet of indoor growing space. The systems were designed, built, and receive continual maintenance by youth staff and interns. Most importantly, the lab serves as a place for youth to test new sustainable innovations, with access to equipment and space. The Urban Ag Lab is a destination for school students to experience sustainable agriculture in an urban environment.

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