Brescia partners with Thames Valley District School Board to host SPARK


London, ON –The Thames Valley District School Board and Brescia University College are teaming up to host two Specialized Programming Activating Rich Kinds of Experiences and Discoveries conferences (SPARK) aimed at gifted high school students in Grades 9 through 12.

The conference will be designed to offer accelerated learning opportunities and unique outreach activities to augment the curriculum that is currently being followed in the traditional classroom setting. Brescia will host the conference in hopes that the activities provided to the students will “spark” interest in exploring academics in various disciplines and courses offered at the university level. It also aims to help these students understand what unique and interesting topics can be studied within the realm of Social Sciences. Gifted Itinerant for Secondary Schools at the Thames Valley District School Board, Mel Gollan-Wills, says, “As part of a larger vision for secondary gifted and enrichment programming at the Thames Valley District School Board, large-scale enrichment conferences are created to bring like-minded secondary students together to inspire them and “spark” their interest and passion for learning and creating.”

Both conference days have been designated as “ology” days, where students have the opportunity to be on a university campus, like Brescia, and explore the social sciences, including psychology, sociology, criminology, and anthropology. The students will have an opportunity to attend three mini-lectures and also learn about a variety of other resources available to them at the university level. Registrar and Director of Student Affairs at Brescia, Marianne Simm, says, “The SPARK conferences are a wonderful opportunity for this group of high school students, in all grades, to learn more about the university setting, and yet still be in a smaller class size, where they can share their ideas and be engaged with a professor and other students.”

Both conferences will be held at Brescia on Thursday, May 23rd and on Wednesday May 29th and are restricted to students who are enrolled in the gifted high school program.

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For more information please contact Colleen Aguilar, Communications, Marketing & External Relations Officer, at 519.432.8353, ext. 28280 or

Brescia University College, Canada’s premier women’s university college, is affiliated with Western University. The 1,275 women registered as either full or part-time students at Brescia study a wide variety of subjects in Arts, Social Sciences, and Foods & Nutrition in an empowering, compassionate, student-centred, and invigorating environment. Degrees are granted by Western. The Catholic College welcomes students from all backgrounds and values diversity. For more current and archived news, a listing of faculty experts, and photos please visit our Online Media Room at