Bright Spark™

BrightSpark™ is a social innovation initiative of Bridge Innovate® designed to ignite creative confidence in students and educators by utilizing design thinking, education workshops, coaching, and providing free online resources to help solve design challenges.

Students build critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills, as well as essential "designer" skills, which include empathy, brainstorming, creating, experimenting, failing, and trying again.

Ways to invest in the next generation of creative leaders:

Click here to contact our Bright Spark Director, Mary Kim


2018-2019 Bright Spark™ Programs


Invent Prototypes to Win!

Open for 4th grade to college level
Register by September 15, 2018
Competition ends: October 1-31, 2018

Foster creativity of your student by competing in the Invention Challenge! Students use simple maker supplies and tools to create invention prototypes and submit their video pitch. Bright Spark provides free design thinking tools and resources for a classroom or after school activity. 

Important Dates: 

  1. Challenge announced (Mid-August)

  2. Inventions submitted by video (October 31)

  3. Social media voting (November 5-16)

Check out our last year's finalist here.
Reserve your ticket now to compete!


Design Community Solutions to Help People in Need!

Open for 4th grade to college level
Register by November 15, 2018
Date: January-March 2019

This year’s challenge: HOW MIGHT WE connect resources and services within and into our communities to help students and families in need thrive?  

Form a team, gather inspiration and design new products to win! Education support, such as design thinking training, webinars and prototype feedback, are included. 

Important dates:

  1. Design brief announced (September 2018)

  2. Registration deadline (November 15, 2018)

  3. Virtual team kickoff (January 2019)

  4. Prototype review (February 2019)

  5. Final submission (February 2019)

  6. Student design awards (March 2019)

Check out the last year's competition here.
Reserve your ticket now to compete!


Highlights from Last Year's Design Competition


Design Competition Sponsors:


College-Level Design Competition Partners:


Bright Spark Advisors:


2017-2018 Bright Spark Schools:

  • Auburn University

  • Avenues, the World School

  • Baylor School

  • Beacon Academy

  • Chattanooga Christian School (CCS)

  • Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy (CGLA)

  • Chattanooga School for the Arts & Sciences (CSAS)

  • Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD)

  • Dalewood Middle School

  • Hixson Middle School

  • Morris Innovative Hight School

  • Mount Vernon Presbyterian School

  • Nolan Elementary School

  • Rivermont Elementary School

  • Rock Spring Elementary School

  • Thrasher Elementary School

  • Westwood Elementary School


Bright Spark™ Student Design Awards

Transportation of the Future Award Winners Announced

Over the course of the year, 20 teams of more than 150 students from 17 different schools across the Southeast, New York and Ohio competed in a Bright Spark Design Competition to create the "Transportation of the Future" using the challenge statement:

How Might We reimagine the transportation system of the future to move people and products more efficiently while protecting our natural resources?

On Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at Volkswagen Conference Center in Chattanooga, we celebrated our Bright Spark teams and presented seven awards to the winners. 

Congratulations to the following award recipients:

  • Bright Futures, Elementary School Best Overall -
    Rock Spring Elementary led by Ralph Keith

  • Bright Futures, Middle School Best Overall -Chattanooga Christian School led by Andrew Meador

  • Bright Futures, High School Best Overall -
    Beacon Academy led by Stevenson Pangkey and Tiffany Britt

  • Bright Futures, College Best Overall -
    Auburn University led by Ben Bush

  • Regional Innovation (Tristate Award) -
    Hixson Middle School led by Lee Smith

  • Inspire & Impact (Most Creative) -
    Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences led by Kelly Davis

  • People's Choice -
    Beacon Academy led by Stevenson Pangkey and Tiffany Britt



I believe Design Thinking is one of the most important and valuable tools I have given my students. If I can teach them to be independent thinkers and problem solvers who want to improve their world, the possibilities are endless!
— Bright Spark™ Teacher Leader