In the beginning of the school year, students receive a packet of paper to sign and bring back. Among those, is a document with a list of clubs for us to check off the activities we would like to participate in. While some of you don’t give it a second glance, there are also those that really get excited and check off everything. But when you looked at that paper, did you guys give it any real thought? Excuse me, but I am just thinking of all the organizations at school that do not get as much recognition as they should. People most often have never heard of it, or believe their are limitation with joining. Well, guess what…you are! And here is a list of my top 6 clubs to look at:
Unique name and an awesome club for those fitness junkies, or people intent on getting or staying fit. This is also great for athletes preparing for their season! It is sponsored by the famous Mr. James Garner, the intense History and amiable Psychology teacher. He will make sure you guys get whipped into shape. With meeting dates typically on Tuesdays and Fridays, workouts run from 3-4 pm in the gym. Optional weightlifting is from 4:05-5:15 pm, but you have to participate in the earlier workout if you wish to enter the weight room. Activities include working with jump ropes, as the main form of cardio (typically 2,000-5,000 skips per meeting), circuits, and weight training. Do not let this intimidate you, because this is something you can work up to! Please note: this is quite a physically strenuous club, so please do not overexert yourself!
Homework Assistance Program (HAP):
Remember those blissful days of elementary school homework? Do you like working with kids? Then this is the perfect club for you. HAP matches high school students with students from Thomas Fitzwater Elementary School. Mentors help the younger students with their homework and reading, math, and study skills. It is really nice for high schoolers because it gives them a chance to pass some guidance and encouragement to their little buddies. Beginning in mid-November to early-March, you meet with the elementary children on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:30-4:20 pm. If interested, contact the lovely Mrs. Randi Windheim at Thomas Fitzwater Elementary School.
Model United Nations and World Affairs Club(aka Model UN):
For those problem solvers out there ready to take on and save the world, Model UN is something you’ll want to be a part of. They hold heated debates on international issues. Every so often, a current event topic is to be selected, and the officers host a small conference, imitating the United Nations. After being briefed on the issue, members (in groups of 2 or 3) will then select a country of their choice involved in the problem, and then through research, get an idea of how their country would deal with it. In the mock UN meeting, countries will work either together or against each other to present a resolution to the conflict. It is an official process where a parliamentary procedure is used, formal attire is worn, and members assume the attitudes of the countries they represent. Model UN also travels to official conferences (so you can miss school!) at local universities (e.g. Temple, Penn), and will even host one of their own at school this year! Improve your debating and speaking skills, and learn more about the world that surrounds you! Some of you might be unconvinced, but as a member myself, I can verify that it’s very fun, competitive, exciting, and thought-provoking. It is much better in person than on paper. Mr. Tim MacBain, the worldly History teacher, can tell you all about it, if you’re interested.
Nothing exudes coolness like science. And you do not need to be “good at science” to join. There is an annual regional competition in February, where all local Science Olympiad clubs compete in various events that focus on different sciences (e.g. Physics Lab, Ecology, Forensics, Chemistry Lab). Teams of two within the club can participate in either competitive tests or a building event. For the building event, the whole team builds something beforehand and competes with other schools to see which one performs the best. Last year, the group built a mini wooden bridge to see which club had the sturdiest bridge and which one could hold the most weight. If successful at regionals, you can move onto states and nationals. Science Olympiad looks forward to emulating past successes and hopes to welcome new members to join their tight-knit team. Be prepared to learn and make new friends with a chill group of people. 10 out of 10, would recommend. See Mrs. Dawn Edelman (Pav), the amazing Chemistry and Biology teacher, if you’re interested!
Speech & Debate Team
Speech & Debate Team and debate is calling for all those incredible actors and wordsmiths out there. No need to start fights with family and friends, when you can fight with complete strangers on contentious topics. Sounds way more fun, if you ask me. But this club is also for those who do not like public speaking. When you wholeheartedly get involved in this team, you eventually, enabling you take more opportunities to use your voice than you would expect. Now debating can be done in a multitude of ways. Teams of two compete in the Public Forum (PF) or Policy debates, where your team works together to outwit the other! Or, if you’re more of a solo person, the Lincoln-Douglas (LD) debates are a 1 on 1 fight. When you win, it is the greatest feeling ever. And if you get enough points, you can move on to a state level, and win awards! This goes for Speech as well. In Speech, there is a variety of events you (and sometimes a partner) can compete in! Poetry, dramatic or humorous interpretation, and impromptu are just the tip of the iceberg. Speech & Debate is one of the best clubs out there to work on your public speaking, putting yourself out there, and improving your oratorical skills. If you are tired of being afraid to present in front of your class, join now! For more information, you can talk to Mr. Christopher Cobb, the new English teacher, who has graciously taken on this very phenomenal club this year.
UD Robotics Team
R-O-B-O-T-I-C-S, what does that spell? An excellent, reputable program the school has to offer! You caught me, it really spells Robotics, but it truly is a grade A club. It’s all about building a robot, which is a lot more fun than some have come to think of it. Mr. John Tralie, math teacher and former NASA employee, sponsors it! Along with the membership, students can learn how to work on time management, leadership, and building close friendships. They go to competitions, and even made it to states last year! It is open to all, boys and girls alike, but especially to those interested in science and engineering. Don’t worry if you “don’t know anything about technology,” that’s the great thing about Robotics! Everyone can learn and become more knowledgeable in it.
If this didn’t convince you…still get involved! You’re in highschool, so have some fun! Part of the experience is in the clubs and activities you are in. They are worth your while, trust me.