Stories of young women encountering greatness.

For International Day of the Girl 2018, we are proud to present a new short film, Spark Moments.

Spark Moments


We believe that “spark moments” are defining steps
in the development of girls as lifelong leaders and innovators.

Watch real-life pioneers in STEM at the beginning of their journey,
when they first felt empowered to explore their interests and pursue their dreams!


Want to spread the word about Spark Moments?
Download our MEDIA KIT with digital assets and sharing info!


The Women


Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya – Innovation Artist + Neuroscientist

Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya is a science communicator and innovation artist. Her background in neuroscience grounds her work in the fundamentals of human cognition + emotion.

We’re all connected by our curiosity and our pursuit of understanding.
— Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya


  • Check out Beyond Curie, Amanda’s project that uses visual design to highlight the stories and achievements of extraordinary women in STEM who have changed history. Try the Beyond Curie AR (Augmented Reality) app that is part of the project here. The project strives to bridge the gap between the general public and scientific community by infusing the perception of science with more humanity.

  • ATOMIC by design is a fashion line and community for curious ladies. Under Amanda’s direction, they produce bold, head-turning shirts, dresses, and accessories centered around the 118 atomic elements that make up our world. Help us create a world that celebrates these young women, helps them connect and take their passion further.

  • The Leading Strand is a TED Residency-backed multidisciplinary initiative founded by Amanda to bring the disparate worlds of design and science together to deepen our understanding of what's possible.

  • Watch Amanda’s mainstage TED talk at TEDWomen 2017 on how design can make science accessible.


Make a collage about a woman in STEM that interests you. Share it on our Tumblr with hashtag #mysparkmoment.

Joanne Kamens - Geneticist + Biotech Executive

Joanne Kamens is a geneticist and executive director of AddGene, a non-profit biomedical company that allows scientsts to share DNA-based research.

I think being a scientist is a thing you are, not a thing you do.
— Joanne Kamens


  • Eight fun and easy microscope experiments for kids from Microscope Detective.

  • Conduct a genetics experiment with your family members to learn if fingerprint patterns are inherited.

  • Collect objects around your house and neighborhood that you think would be interesting to look at under a microscope.

  • Watch this video from Stated Clearly about what DNA is and how it works.


Take photos of your microscope explorations and genetics experiments. Share on our Tumblr and hashtag #mysparkmoment.

Wangari Maathai – Environmentalist + Activist

Wangari Maathai (1940-2011) was a Kenyan environmentalist and activist who founded the Green Belt Movement, planting more than 30 million trees. She is also the first African woman to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.

When we plant trees, we plant seeds of peace and seeds of hope.
— Wangari Maathai


  • Read a book about or written by Wangari Maathai.

  • Download the free mobile device app called TreeSnap (iOS and Android) to identify trees in your area.

  • Watch this video from Plant for the Planet and learn more about its founder, youth activist Felix Finkbeiner, and his mission to plant a trillion trees.



Grab a grown-up and plant a tree or another perennial plant. Take a photo of you with what you planted and share on our Tumblr with hashtag #mysparkmoment.

Grace Hopper – Computer Scientist + Navy Admiral

Grace Hopper (1906-1992) was an American computer scientist and United States Navy rear admiral. She was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer and she developed computer languages written in English, rather than mathematical notation — most notably, the common business computing language known as COBOL, which is still in use today.  

A ship in harbor is safe – but that is not what ships were built for.
— Grace Hopper


  • Find your local Girls Who Code club. Can’t find one at your school? Start one of your own!

  • Watch the video below to hear Grace Hopper explain the concept of a nanosecond (one billionth of a second).

  • Listen to the SoundCloud link below of former White House Chief of Technology Megan Smith discussing Grace Hopper, her personal STEM hero.

  • Check Secret Coders, a young adult graphic novels series by Gene Luen Yang & Mike Holmes.

  • Watch the video below to hear Math Bites host Danica McKellar explain binary numbers.


Post a link to a favorite project you have done involving coding to our Tumblr with hashtag #mysparkmoment.

Sylvia Acevedo - Rocket Scientist + CEO of Girl Scouts

Sylvia Acevedo is a rocket scientist, a technology leader, and the CEO of the Girl Scouts of USA. Sylvia found her passion for science and engineering as a Girl Scout herself. She worked as a rocket scientist at NASA, as an engineer at IBM, and was Under Sylvia’s leadership, the Girl Scouts released 30 new badges focused on STEM, including awards for programming robots and cybersecurity mastery.

Just because you don’t succeed, doesn’t mean that you have failed.
— Sylvia Acevedo


  • Join your local Girl Scouts troop!

  • Read Sylvia’s new book, Path to the Stars, to learn more about her journey from Girl Scouts to a career in STEM.

  • Build your own model rocket kit, take a video of its launch, and share it on our Tumblr page.

  • On a clear night, go stargazing with a friend and and adult. Use one of the many handy stargazing apps available for iOS and Android. We love Star Walk 2.


Take a photo of your Girl Scout troop and post to our Tumblr with hashtag #mysparkmoment


The Song


"Bright" is a new digital single by artist and songwriter, Lisa McGuire. Co-produced by Jimmy Stofer, recorded at Egg Music and Grey Ghost Music, mastered by Ryan Gilligan, and cover art by Mindi Price.

The song was written as an anthem for Spark and is about a moment of finding the light and realizing that it’s you.

“Bright” will be available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music and all digital music outlets on October 11th for International Day of the Girl.

A portion of all digital sales will be donated to UN Women and Girl Scouts of America.


Behind The Scenes