The value of a SPARK membership

You have probably heard that SPARK Museum has closed again temporarily, pursuant to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s Nov. 15 mandate. More than ever, memberships are invaluable in supporting the work that SPARK does in the community. A membership is one of the best ways you can support SPARK Museum right now, because that money goes straight to supporting online education programs for students and to helping SPARK bridge this time when we cannot accept visitors in person.

A SPARK membership is a special gift that provides unique entertainment for family members and kids of all ages while also supporting a Bellingham cultural institution. Here are some reasons to believe in SPARK Museum:

SPARK helps teach critical thinking skills.

Here at SPARK Museum, we believe that science is for everyone, and science education is as important now as it’s ever been.

“Being able to see critically, to weigh information and to think for yourself are as basic as any other skill needed to succeed in life,” says Tana Granack, SPARK’s director of operations. “At SPARK, we want to give students the tools to think for themselves.”

For more on how we do that, please read this.

SPARK works with local educators to supplement school learning in science and critical thinking, playing an important role in Whatcom County’s educational experience.

“This was the best 90 minutes of my life!”

Exclamations like this, from a fourth-grader on a SPARK Science field trip, are why we do what we do.

Memberships at SPARK Museum help fund STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programming that serve our community. We strive to create high-quality, accessible, and inspiring STEM experiences for learners of all ages, and each membership supports that effort both financially and by creating a community of support. And in the meantime, while we are closed due to COVID-19 regulations, we continue to share custom online resources for teachers, educators and other community members about science learning.

SPARK helps preserve important cultural artifacts.

Michael Faraday’s rotating cup experiment is among the many important electrical artifacts at SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention.

Thomas Edison’s first successful electric lamp. A collection of Voltaic piles. A section of Edison’s DC electrical cable in New York City. The first transcontinental telephone. Rare and original books, treatises and scientific papers by such authors as Gilbert, Newton, Galileo, Franklin, Volta, Hertz and Marconi. Faraday’s rotating cup experiment. The list is long — in fact, SPARK Museum contains the largest collection of 19th-century electromagnetic apparatus found in any private collection.

By the way, did you know that businesses — when we are able to reopen, of course — can hold company outings at SPARK? Our collections provide endless conversation starters for business get-togethers. An organizational membership would provide your company with free admission to all employees plus access to SPARK for a company party. Makes a great corporate gift!

SPARK brings people to Bellingham and Whatcom County.

Museums are an important part of the travel experience. SPARK Museum is a draw that encourages people to Whatcom County, bringing money and attention to downtown Bellingham and the larger city and county.

Did you go on any road trips as a kid? If so, odds are that many of the stops were at museums like SPARK. As an anchor tenant in downtown Bellingham, SPARK serves as a draw to downtown for many people from outside the city, county and even state. Read why The Seattle Times considers SPARK Museum worth the trip to Bellingham.

SPARK is an entertainment experience for the community.

The MegaZapper in action.

SPARK Museum does its best to keep costs low while providing a valuable experience to visitors. SPARK Museum is a place where magic becomes reality, five days per week, as the museum’s docents drop jaws with MegaZapper demonstrations or prod minds with knowledgeable demonstrations of electrical history. Memberships make amazing gifts, and when we reopen — around the middle of December, with luck — we will be excited to once again share all of this in person.

SPARK is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit museum.

SPARK Museum was closed for several months during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Memberships help bridge such events by spreading out museum’s income. Keep in mind that gifts to SPARK are 100% tax deductible. And speaking of gifts — shout out to SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, for their support of our 2020 membership drive.

Ready to become a member? Check out our membership page to learn about the many perks of membership and to get started.