Seventh and eighth graders explored extracurricular opportunities at the school for the first time at the new Middle Division (MD) Clubs Fair held last Tuesday.
The clubs fair was created in order to “provide an opportunity for students to learn about what activities they could participate in and celebrate the passions of their classmates,” MD history teacher and Student Activities Coordinator Caitlin Hickerson said.
Teachers and high school students organized booths to represent each club. Some middle schoolers also represented their clubs by communicating with their peers at their booths, Andrew Li (7) said.
Each booth brought a unique aspect of their club to the fair, Laine Goldmacher (7) said. For example, the Science Olympiad Team had a trophy that they won, she said.
After a 20 minute explanation of all the clubs, the middle schoolers looked around and asked questions to high school club leaders, Gisella Fischberg (7) said.
Melissa Migdon (7), who attended the clubs fair allocated a similar amount of time exploring each club, she said. “My favorite part was that there were no restrictions, and we were able to ask the leaders of the clubs questions,” she said. “Surprisingly, it wasn’t hectic.”
Li, who gained exposure to many new clubs, believed some of the most memorable ones at the fair included The Debate Team, The Robotics Club, and Model United Nations. Although Li is still considering what clubs to join, he is an active member of Debate and enjoyed the overall experience at the fair, he said.
“The clubs fair places more of an emphasis on one on one interactions as opposed to making announcements for the entire grade. It gives middle schoolers more of an opportunity to sign up for everything they could be interested in and gain some experience with each club,” Co-Head of the Middle Division Debate Team Nader Granmayeh (12) said. The middle schoolers who signed up for the debate team will be able to experience structuring arguments, researching about individual topics, and improving in rhetorical skills, he said.
Although the fair contained a small selection of clubs, Li liked the fact that the students could focus on learning about specific clubs, and would like for there to be a similar amount of clubs if the fair were to be held again, he said.
“It was a great opportunity for the majority of the student body to get to know some of the lesser known clubs and gain interest in them. It gave me an opportunity to really explore the clubs in a short amount of time, as typically meetings take up an entire lunch period,” Sarene Choudhury (8) said.
“My favorite part was being able to see he behind-the-scenes of events that occur at the school that we might not notice, because now I know what I can take part in,” Goldmacher said.
At the end of the fair, teachers presented a video of somebody who was able to succeed at winning a yo-yo championship after being a member of a club, which inspired the students, Li said.
The Clubs Fair gave Fischberg an opportunity to branch out of her comfort zone and join the Speech Club, which seemed like an enjoyable and fitting opportunity for her, she said.
“I’ve always wanted to be involved in more activities at the school, but I wasn’t sure what appealed to me at first, so it was great to have options presented at the clubs fair,” Fischberg said.
“Student activities play an important role in forming new friendships, exploring interests, and celebrating the life of the mind. It’s a great way to have fun in school and share who we are with our teachers and classmates,” Hickerson said.