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Professor Michael Neden


Kid Spark Education STEM programs have been adopted in over 1600 educational institutions in all 50 states and over a dozen countries worldwide. Clients include school systems, libraries, nonprofits, and out-of-school educational programs.

We want to help bring STEM to your school.

The Michael W. Neden Memorial Fund provides matching grants to educational institutions to help acquire a Kid Spark program.

Grants range from $100-500 and can only be used for the initial purchase of a Kid Spark program. Apply today and see how we can help you grow your STEM capabilities!

Which role best describes you?
Are you already using the Kid Spark program and/or own Mobile STEM Labs?

About Michael W. Neden: Professor Mike Neden spent his career innovating in the field of technology education and was a nationally recognized leader in Applied STEM Education. Educators from across the nation consulted with him in his teaching labs in Colorado and Kansas. Professor Neden was also a founder of the International STEM Educators Association.

Professor Neden was dedicated to our vision of bringing STEM to all children and, as a result, volunteered hundreds of hours of expertise to Kid Spark. Professor Neden created the concept of the Mobile STEM Lab and designed the SnapStack and Advanced Projects Labs. He wrote many of our initial lessons and created the concept of bringing project­based STEM education into any classroom.

Mike passed away on July 4, 2016. This fund is dedicated to his legacy and his vision of bringing STEM education to all children. All of us at Kid Spark are deeply indebted to Professor Neden for his gifts of insight, wisdom, and creativity.

Image of Jenny Chien, 2017 educator of the year, for the Kid Spark STEM education kit review

Kid Spark engages all students, allowing them to interact and express what they know

—Jenny Chien, 2017 California Teacher of the Year


Our mission is to help all children prepare for a lifetime of interest in science and technology.


Three principles guide our STEM programs:

Early, regular exposure to STEM is essential

The most effective way to close the STEM opportunity gap is to expose young children to STEM subjects as soon as they enter their first classroom and to continue offering applied STEM experiences every year. Kid Spark programs do just that. They are designed to follow children through their entire elementary and middle-school careers, starting with preschoolers and continuing with progressive STEM learning all the way through 8th grade.

Mentors matter

Having a teacher who is an instructor, role model, and STEM program mentor all in one is critical. Teachers who serve as STEM mentors ensure that students stay at their learning edge, the zone where skills and fluency may be just shy of what’s required to accomplish the task at hand. A STEM mentor’s encouragement can mean the difference between a child giving up on STEM and excelling in STEM.

Image of kids working with a STEM education kit with computers and a mechanical wheel.

Make it easy and affordable

Schools often struggle with the traditionally high cost and complexity of STEM education programs. Kid Spark Education provides sustainable and easily managed STEM education programs for less than $45 per child over the course of their PK-8 education by utilizing existing teaching staff, existing classroom facilities, and reusable and long-lasting materials.