When was Splash! Chicago founded, and how as the organization changed over time?

Splash! Chicago was founded in 2007. Our program originally consisted only of our annual Splash! program, and we introduced Cascade in 2009. Since then, our program has expanded in size from about 30 students to about 500 students.

What schools do our students come from, and what educational backgrounds can I expect from them?

Most of our students come from schools on the South Side of Chicago, but others come from other areas of the city or suburbs. The quality of these schools varies: some are among the top schools in the city, and others are severely underperforming. If is always best if you can teach a class that requires no background knowledge. However, you can reasonably expect your students to be familiar with basic algebra and other subjects that would generally be learned at the middle school level. If you are in doubt, then ask your students about their level of background knowledge at the beginning of class, and be prepared to adjust your class based on their answers.

Are there any other programs like Splash! Chicago at other universities?

There are currently Splash! programs running at nearly 20 universities across the nation. MIT runs the largest Splash program with nearly 3,000 students. Stanford, Yale, Northwestern, and Columbia also run significantly large programs.

I do not have any teaching experience. Will this affect my ability to teach for Splash or Cascade?

Teaching experience is definitely not necessary for Splash! As long as you an idea for an exciting class, feel free to register to teach! If you would like more guidance on how to teach, you can contact us or attend an informal teaching interview during the first week of Fall Quarter.

Teaching experience is helpful but not necessary for Cascade. If your application looks promising but you do not have any teaching experience, we may request a teaching sample to make sure that you can teach effectively. We also have three teacher training sessions for accepted teachers, in which we give them further teaching advice and practice.

What if need to cancel my class?

If you need to cancel your Splash class, please try to do so before September, when student registration opens. After that, students will start to enroll in your class, and we do not want to disappoint them by cancelling your class. Please keep the date of Splash (October 5) in mind so that you do not schedule any other commitments for that date. However, if there is an emergency and you cannot be there on the day of Splash, please notify us as early as possible, so that we can try to find someone to substitute teach for your class.

We generally expect Cascade teachers to make a commitment to teaching for our program when they apply. However, if you are accepted to teach for Cascade and have an unavoidable conflict, please let us know as soon as possible.

How much of a time commitment is Splash or Cascade?

Splash requires you to check in at headquarters 30 minutes before your first class. In addition to the time you'll spend teaching (one to a few hours on the day of Splash), we strongly recommend visiting us during office hours (first week and the week before). You'll also need to spend time preparing---we estimate up to two hours for each hour of class you're teaching, but only you can tell how much you need for your class to run well.

For Cascade, in addition to prep time, you'll have an hour a week 1st--3rd weeks in teacher orientation and training, and an hour every Tuesday night 4th--8th weeks teaching.

Can I purchase supplies for my class?

If you run your suggested supplies by us, we can reimburse you up to $30 for class supplies---but ask us first! We might already have something you're looking for from a previous class!

What if I don't know what my schedule is yet?

You can still register---but please let e-mail us to let us know what's going on, and make sure your plans are fixed by the end of August so that we can decide whether and when to schedule your classes!

Are there other ways in which I can help out with Splash?

Yes! If you'd like to help things run smoothly on the day of Splash, you can sign up now to volunteer!