“Spark! Igniting a Passion for Science, Technology and Math” is the Museum of Discovery’s signature fundraising event. Our interactive museum is the perfect venue for energizing our guests about the same things that energize our 150,000-plus annual visitors every day. Spark! is a unique event – no sit-down dinner, no speeches, just a lot of hands-on science, great food and drinks and small-but-premium live and silent auctions. At Spark! we recognize Arkansans who have had successful careers in fields that required the intensive study of science, technology and math. The event also features “Spark! Attractions,” led by companies and individuals who demonstrate their expertise in science- and technology-related activities. All proceeds directly support the Museum of Discovery’s statewide educational programs.

LaShannon Spencer “always wanted to be a news anchor. … I didn’t think about math, nor science, nor technology.” Until her physician, Dr. Orman Simmons with Cornerstone Clinic for Women, told her, ‘LaShannon, you need to think about medical school. … And as I grew older I understood the significance of why math and science are important. They are part of our everyday experience. Math and science help students understand healthcare careers. That’s what happened to me. Orman Simmons was that inspiration. I remember him praying a prayer, ‘Let this child go into health care.’ That was in the late 1980s or early 1990s, and because of him, I started thinking about health care as a career. When I was getting my undergraduate degree, I started looking at this from a policy perspective. I had access to quality healthcare, but so many didn’t.” That led to a master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis in health care policy and then another master’s in health care administration. LaShannon has completed all the course work for her PhD in public health from UNLV, a long journey that also took her to Henderson, Nev., then to southern California before returning to her home state to become CEO of the Community Health Centers of Arkansas.