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The SPARQ Solutions Catalog is an online library of scientifically tested fixes to a wide variety of social issues and conflicts.

Easily searchable and practitioner-focused, it provides a curated set of evidence-based behavioral nudges in education, health, law & justice, peace & conflict, relationships, parenting, and the environment.

Civil Society Conflict Resolution Criminal Justice Economic Development Education Environment  Health Parenting Relationships Bias

woman selecting veneers

Problem: Stereotypically "geeky" spaces discourage women from pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math.

Solution: A few changes in room decorations can help women feel like they belong in STEM.


Problem: Low-income students and students of color often earn worse grades than do wealthier and White students.

Solution: Plotting a path from who you are now to who you want to be in the future helps students identify with school and earn better grades.

This Quick Writing Task Lifts Women's Science Grades

Women taking notes in a classroom

Problem: The stereotype that women are bad at science leads many of them to underperform in their courses.

Solution: A short writing task about treasured personal values deflects harmful stereotypes and helps women reach their full potential.

Teacher sitting in front of classroom full of students

Problem: School suspensions set students up to enter the school-to-prison pipeline, leading to unemployment and incarceration later in life (Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology).

Solution: Taking an empathetic, rather than punitive, approach to classroom discipline reduces suspensions and improves student-teacher relationships. 

Eyes peering over a Harry Potter book

Problem: People develop prejudice at a young age.

Solution: Reading about fictional characters who show empathy for marginalized groups helps children become more empathetic in real life. 

Civil Society, Conflict Resolution, Education


Problem: Many people fail to reach their goals.

Solution: To turn your ambitions into reality, make concrete and specific plans.

Problem: The leading causes of death for adolescents in the United States are alcohol use and alcohol-related events.

Solution: Showing students that many of their peers are uncomfortable with alcohol reduces drinking.

Problem: Rejection by peers leads teens to act aggressively and feel down.

Solution: Teaching teens that everyone has the capacity to change decreases aggression and symptoms of depression following peer exclusion. If people can change, so too can social labels like “bully” and “loser".

Conflict Resolution, Criminal Justice, Education

Girl balancing a book on her head

Problem: Students who are the first in their families to attend college struggle to keep up with their classmates from college-going families.

Solution: Acknowledging first-generation college students’ unique needs and empowering them to take advantage of university resources helps them adjust to college and earn better grades.

Vegetable cartoon characters smiling and waving

Problem: More than one-third of American kids are overweight or obese, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.  Junk food drives part of this obesity epidemic.

Solution: Storybooks that teach kids why they need different nutrients lead them to choose healthier snacks.

Problem: It's hard to change people's behavior.

Solution: Changing the behaviors of an entire group of people can be easier than changing just one person at a time.

Problem: College students often earn mediocre grades.

Solution: Helping college students understand that intelligence is a skill they can develop over time, rather than a talent they were born with, causes their GPAs to rise.

Seeing Diversity Lessens Discrimination

A poster of people's faces with the caption: "What makes us the that we are all different."

Problem: Prejudice and discrimination make life hard for many people around the world.

Solution: Showing that other groups are made up of diverse individuals reduces prejudice and discrimination.

"Nice job A' written on bottom of student's paper

Problem: African-American students tend to receive lower grades, partly because they distrust school and their teachers.

Solution: When teachers tell African-American students, “I have high standards, and I know you can meet them,” they build their students’ trust and help them excel.

Scan of a brain

Problem: In math and science, women and girls trail behind their male peers. 

Solution: Teaching girls that intelligence is a skill they can develop over time, rather than a trait they are born with, helps them earn higher grades in math.

A group of gay-straight alliance students hold a banner in a pride parade

Problem: Teens are notoriously intolerant of people who do not think, act, or look like them.

Solution: When just one teen stands up to prejudice, his or her peers often follow suit.

A girl studying

Problem: Many promising students earn bad grades their first year of college.

Solution: Informing college freshmen that many first-years stumble, but then do better, helps them pull up their GPAs.

Students sitting at graduation

Problem: Even the most prepared students of color have worse grades and health than their European-American classmates.

Solution: When African-Americans are reassured that they belong in school, their grades and health improve.

Problem: Many kids’ grades fall when they make the transition from elementary to middle school.  

Solution: Teaching middle-school students to think of intelligence as a skill they can develop over time, rather than a talent they were born with (or not), helps them persist in the face of setbacks and earn better grades.


Problem: American schools do not produce enough scientists, mathematicians, and engineers to meet the needs of 21st century workplaces. 

Solution: With a little guidance, parents can increase how many advanced math and science classes their teenagers take.

African American students in class

Problem: Students of color lag behind their European American counterparts at every level of education.

Solution: Writing about a personal value for just 15 minutes at the beginning of the semester elevates African Americans' grades, closing the gap between European American and African American students by 40 percent.