Team

Marina von Achten

Why am I with SPARKS?
Together with Steffen, I founded SPARKS to bring BEAM to more schools and create a reliable structure for it. As a mother at the English Institute in Heidelberg at the time, BEAM showed me how school can inspire. SPARKS' mission is to  address important topics in concrete projects. My vision for SPARKS  is a creative cell that innovates school in different areas.

What do I do at SPARKS?
As co-founder, I am responsible for the strategy at SPARKS and decide with Steffen which projects we pursue and how. I also take care of the solid financing of the projects so that they can be continued in the long term.

What does SPARKS mean to me?
SPARKS gives me the opportunity to give back to society. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, I had a privileged start in life. I don't want to rest on this privilege. I have four children and want to help shape the future of young people in an entrepreneurial way. We have a solid school system in Germany, but learners and teachers urgently need more "sparks"! Concrete, innovative projects can inspire students and relieve teachers. 
 

Steffen Haschler

Why am I with SPARKS?
I wasn't able to develop BEAM further in the previous years because I lacked a structure like SPARKS. When Marina approached me about founding SPARKS, I was very excited. It would be wonderful if SPARKS could not only succeed in scaling BEAM, but also enable further school innovation. I'm looking forward to that!

What do I do at SPARKS?
As a co-founder, I can bring in my 15 years of teaching experience and I am therefore confident that Marina and I  can bring many "sparks" to our schools. It is important to me that these are not extracurricular activities or "one-offs", but firmly anchored in the school curriculum.

What does SPARKS mean to me?
SPARKS gives me the opportunity to develop my own ideas and the ideas of innovative teachers in schools. Children are our future and the current school system does a poor job of preparing them for that future. As the father of a pre-school child, I want my daughter to be able to learn in a school that is responsive to her needs and has the courage to change.
 

Christin Schuler

Why am I with SPARKS?
I came to Sparks through the BEAM project and am delighted to be part of it! I think it's very important that new and innovative projects come to schools to break up traditional teaching structures and enable students to think outside the box. Because outside of the usual lessons, there are many more "sparks" that can enrich students' lives.

What do I do at SPARKS?
At Sparks, I am primarily responsible for the BEAM project, as I have been enthusiastically teaching this at our school together with my colleague Steffen Haschler since 2017. I mainly take on coordinative and communicative tasks for the foundation, such as networking the BEAM teachers or curricular work to establish BEAM sustainably at other schools.

What does SPARKS mean to me?
For me, Sparks means enthusiasm, innovation and sustainability. Enthusiasm for new and innovative projects, cross-school collaboration between teachers and the transformation of schools. Sparks offers a suitable platform for establishing these three aspects in the long term and enriching school life.
 

Sébastien Elbracht

Why am I with SPARKS?
I became aware of SPARKS through Steffen. As a prospective teacher, I am looking forward to coming into contact with innovative educational formats early in my training, which will motivate me to continue pursuing my teaching career. I am pleased to support a foundation that takes an active role in the transformation of the educational landscape.

What do I do at SPARKS?
I am an intern at SPARKS and support the foundation with various organizational tasks. Since the 2023/2024 school year, I have been teaching as a teacher at the English Institute alongside my studies (high school teacher training for computer science, geography and theater pedagogy). In doing so, I bring the perspective of a young teacher to the foundation.

What does SPARKS mean to me?
In Germany, access to important educational resources unfortunately still depends on one's own privileges. BEAM gives students the opportunity to learn knowledge that would otherwise not be taught to them at school, but in companies and university institutions. They will experience major upheavals and inherit various problems that previous generations were unable to solve. Not giving in to these gigantic challenges, but actively shaping them with all your heart - for me that is the central spark that SPARKS conveys.
 

Daniel Uhlig

Profilbild Daniel UhligWhy am I with SPARKS?
At various events and activities, I was able to get to know not only BEAM but also its founder Cristina Florea as a guest and in the company of Steffen in February 2024. By joining SPARKS, I would like to do my bit to help spread BEAM and make it accessible to many learners.

What do I do at SPARKS?
At SPARKS, I take on administrative tasks that consist of supporting the BEAM schools and teachers. This includes in particular the coordination of events and school-specific annual planning as part of the BEAM curriculum.

What does SPARKS mean to me?
For me, SPARKS is literally a spark that can ignite a flame in the current educational landscape that will continue to burn in learners and drive them forward. This opens up completely new and innovative opportunities to supplement and enrich traditional teaching.