Ignite is a program at Grinnell College that offers local students the chance to participate in mini-courses created and taught by one to three Grinnell College students. Ignite Program classes can be about anything and everything, from rockets to storytelling and everything in between. The Ignite Program is open to students in grades pre-K through six grades. These courses are meant to be both educational and fun! As the students get older, the courses become more challenging and allow for more complex processes. 

Who can teach an Ignite course?

All Ignite courses are taught by Ignite teacher scholars. Any Grinnell College student can be an Ignite teacher scholar; you do not need to be in the education program. You just need a buddy or two to help you teach!

What can I teach about?

Your course and lesson plan are entirely up to you! We really want teachers to have autonomy over their courses. You have room to create a course on just about anything as long as there is an educational aspect involved and the students will learn.

You can teach just about anything, especially as intended audience gets older.  However, courses about the following subjects will not be approved:

  • Courses that are dangerous. Courses should not involve toxic chemicals or explosives. We want Ignite to be a safe and fun activity for our students.
  • Courses that espouse a certain viewpoint (e.g. political, religious, etc.).
  • Courses that encourage illegal activity (e.g. violence, illegal drugs, etc.).

If you are uncertain about whether a topic is allowed, please contact one of the Ignite leaders before applying. We are happy to help you develop your lessons!

How many students will take my class?

All courses will have 12-20 students. This limit ensures that these courses will be intimate and will mimic the small, liberal-arts courses found at institutions like Grinnell.

How long are the classes?

Ignite Program courses are an hour long and will be taught twice that afternoon.

Where will the classes be?

All courses will be taught in the academic buildings of Grinnell College.

What is the time commitment?

You get to design your course all on your own! We will meet with your teaching team several times to ensure you are prepared. You will teach the same one-hour class twice on the afternoon of Ignite, depending on enrollment in your course. There will be training sessions to prepare you for the day, as well. In total, it is a 12–15 hour time commitment.

What if I don’t have someone to teach with me?

All courses for Ignite require at least two Ignite teacher scholars. If you have a plan, but not a partner, don’t worry! Just email Ignite and we will find someone to teach with you.

What if I have a partner, but not a plan?

If you know you'd like to teach, but are having a hard time thinking of a topic, contact the Ignite team for ideas.  The team of Ignite organizers can share lesson plans that you can use for inspiration. 

What do students say about teaching for Ignite?

Grinnell College students love this program and are so excited to be a part of it. One hundred percent of Grinnell teacher scholars surveyed would recommend teaching Ignite to a friend, and the majority of Ignite teachers come back year after year. In fact, many students teach for Ignite all four years at Grinnell.

How do I become an Ignite Teacher Scholar?

Just sign up using the link below. It’s OK if you don’t have everything planned out, we will work with you to modify your course. We’ll purchase your supplies, and make sure you’re prepared to teach! 

Contact Ignite with any questions.

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