How to Open a Science Club in School
Science is perhaps one of the most difficult subjects in school, which often means that not every student is allowed to take as much science as they might wish. They most likely do earth sciences and geology, and some basic biology, but physics and chemistry are often out of reach.
Yet these sciences can be fun and fascinating subjects when taught properly. Part of good science education is lab work and hands-on experience. Safety and proper supervision are key to the success of science-based activities. An enthusiastic teacher might be willing to start a science club.
Why a Science Club?
The academic benefits are already clear. For students, they might also get to meet new people, and science club will always look good on their resume and college application.
Steps to a New Science Club
1. Brainstorm what type of club it will be
Will it be open to the whole school, or certain grades? Will it meet at lunchtime, or after school?
2. Decide on a focus
It could be a club about the environment and climate change, astronomy, or whatever else the students and a supervising teacher are enthusiastic about.
3. Make a list of projects you would like to work on as a club, or in small groups
Examples of environmental projects might include adopting a local park, keeping it clean, and growing a garden. Zoological projects might include research on a particular animal, field trips to zoos, bird watching and so on.
4. Make a list of the people leading the club
In addition to a teacher, it would be helpful to have a president, vice president, treasurer and secretary to keep things running smoothly.
5. Ask permission from the school to hold the club
Many schools allow teachers to use their own initiative. However, some schools have a more formula process for club approval that will need to be followed.
6. Write rules and regulations for the club
This will ensure everyone is on the same page. They know if they break these simple rules, they will no longer be welcome in the club.
7. Make a list of safety rules and regulations
These will usually be similar to what a science teacher would give out to their class in relation to lab work, but again, it is important to keep an eye on safety issues in school at all times.
8. Work out funding and a budget
In many cases, students might be able to use equipment that is already in school. However, they might have to replace used-up materials. All of this can throw a department budget out of kilter. Some schools have discretionary funding for school clubs and activities. Otherwise, students might be able to fundraise for what they need, buy their own supplies, and/or pay a small monthly fee for materials. The teacher and club treasurer will need to keep an eye on the budget.
9. Set goals for the club
It is great to get together and enjoy science, but more might be learned and accomplished if the group sets a goal each term of things they wish to accomplish.
10. Start out with quick, fun activities for the club
Plan a few fun activities that will get people interested. Simple science experiments using common household items are always popular.
11. Spread the word about the club
Chances are students will invite their friends, but there shouldn’t be any cliques in the club or potential bullying situations. Use the quick, fun activities above as an icebreaker to help everyone feel welcome.
12. Keep the club alive
After all the hard work of setting up, don’t let things slide. Encourage new members, activities, and projects to keep students interested in science.
A science club can get students really passionate about science. Who knows, maybe it will be the start of a great career in one of the many science-based professions.