Club Options: The Ultimate Guide

Hadley H., Staff Writer

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The ever-growing number of club options reflect the diverse interests of the Potomac students.  This article is a guide to tell you when these clubs meet, what activities the clubs include, and why the teachers hosting them think they are important.

Makerspace club:  This club is hosted by Ms. Ashley during breaks on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays inside the Innovation Hub.  The tables are painted in whiteboard paint for convenience and used to solve logic and math problems.  A pile of electronic waste is kept for anyone is allowed to pick through and dismantle.  Arguably the best part of the Makerspace Club are the 3D printers:  Machines that give the opportunity to design whatever you can imagine online and see it molded, seemingly from thin air, over several hours.  The Makerspace creates an environment where students are free to experiment and create whenever and whatever they want.  

Book Club:  Every Tuesday, Ms. Ramos opens the Arundel library doors for any ISer who wants to spend their break eating a snack, checking out books, and reading.  Right now they are enjoying Turtles All the Way Down by John Green as a group.  The club is non-committal and open to new members.

Intermediate Insight:  This club meets in Ms. Gaw’s room to discuss the topic of diversity, giving students the chance to express their similarities and differences and write about current-day events from the “I” perspective in magazine form.  The Insight gives the unique opportunity of blending information with an opinion on diverse options like gender, race, sexual orientation, and economic or social status.

Mindful break:  Ms. Parry hosts a club every Wednesday in Ms. Brock’s room where anyone is free to participate in activities like blowing bubbles, yoga, brain dumps, square breathing, and mindful eating.  As Ms. Parry said, Mindful Break gives “time to have fun with games and experience that demonstrate being mindful as opposed to mindFULL,” where students get the opportunity to take a ‘break’ from their hectic days and simply relax.

Intermediate Insider:  Every Wednesday at lunch, students gather in Ms. Doss’s room to discuss what is happening in the Intermediate School and write articles to keep others up-to-date.  Ms. Doss compared the newspaper to “an old-fashioned train pulling away from its platform,” starting slow, but “in little time [giving] way to a scene marked more by speed and power and certainty of direction.” This gives way to the perfect idea for an article, “racing down the track towards publication.”

Hands on Life:  This club is hosted by Ms. Krul, Ms. Steel, and Mr. Mueller, usually Thursday at lunch.  Activities include sewing, cooking, and woodworking.  At the first meeting, students began building a picture frame from slats of wood and practiced cutting at a 45 degree angle.  Hands on Life teaches students practical life skills with help from specialized teachers in a fun environment.  

SDA:  Student Diversity Alliance was founded four years ago as a way for students to discuss the events at Ferguson.  Afterwards, students requested a place where they could meet on a more regular basis, so Ms. Hollingsworth offered to host a club that currently runs in Dr. Rushing’s room on a bi-weekly basis (alternating Thursdays and Fridays).  SDA gives students from different backgrounds the chance to express ideas and opinions in a safe environment.  Contact Ms. Hollingsworth or Mr. Clark for further questions.

SEA:  In the first year of the club, Ms. Cunningham hopes for students to look at their impact on the environment and what could be done to improve them.  Members of SEA will also have a role in planning Potomac’s Earth Day event in April.  The club will meet on a monthly basis, starting November 17th at break.

Chess Club:  Every Friday at lunch, Mr. Scharf hosts a club where students can have fun and play chess.  It is perfect for players of all levels, whether they are experienced or want to learn how to play.  If you’d like to join, contact Mr. Scharf, because you have to be invited to each meeting due to a limited number of chess boards.

Service Learning:  Throughout the year, Ms. Stein organizes several events where Potomac kids can be involved in helping their community around them. This includes the 8th grade community service around hunger and the 7th grade day of action around the environment in April, but the main focus is around the children helped by Second Story, including the Halloween Party in October, the Art and Board Game Event in February, the Nature Hike in April, the Field Day in May, and the School Supply Drive.  She was inspired by Roberto Clemente of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who tragically died on an airplane full of emergency supplies he was hurriedly sending to aid Nicaragua after a tremendous earthquake.  Ms. Stein always tries to live by the same motto as Clemente did:  “Any time you have an opportunity to make a difference in this world and you don’t,  you are wasting your time on Earth,” and she hopes that students will also learn to serve their communities and help others in whatever way they can.  

Yearbook Committee:  Ms. Matey will begin hosting this club after Thanksgiving break on a regular basis.  Students will be able to design the IS pages for the yearbook by taking and organizing photos, labeling names, and creating the layout for each page.  The Yearbook Committee is a great opportunity for anyone interested in graphic design or photography, along with anyone who’d like to be involved in a lasting gift for the Potomac community.  

Design Company:  This club gives students the chance to impact on the way the IS looks, starting after Thanksgiving.  This includes artwork on bulletin boards, as well as on bigger scales in public spaces.  Meeting will be based around projects, and meeting could be at break, lunch, or occasionally after school.  Contact Dr. Rushing for more information.

Slam Poetry: This club gives students a space to learn about and write free-verse spoken poems that powerfully tell a story or express an idea or experience.   During meetings, members watch example videos of slam poetry or try writing their own poems, sometimes off of given writing prompts given by Ms. Gaw.  

Events Committee:  This club gives students leadership opportunities outside of Student Council.  Members can give their input and help design school gatherings, like the School Dance.  Meeting times will change throughout the year.  Contact Ms. Krul for more information.  

Anime Club:  This club will be run by Mr. Hanson on a not-yet-decided basis.  Students will be able to gather and watch the unique art form.  Mr. Hanson also wants to clear up misconceptions on the sometimes misunderstood art form, and he hopes to encourage students to appreciate the medium more.

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