STEM Club: High Opportunity, Low Commitment

April 9, 2022

After Physics teacher and Women in Stem club (WiSTEM) sponsor Katie Page held a meeting the same time as Zoo Club for the second time, she realized that something needed to be done to avoid this conflict from happening again. As there were multiple different science-related clubs at Prospect and this problem was at risk of happening again, she called each of these club sponsors together in an effort to find a solution. 

They decided to merge all of their clubs together into one Schoology course, with the name STEM Club. 

The clubs included are WiSTEM sponsored by Page, Zoo Club sponsored by Science teachers Nick DelBoccio and Shelby Rosin, Environmental Club sponsored by Science teacher Michael Higdon, Scrubs Club sponsored by CNA teacher Laura Tomeczko and Marine Biology Club sponsored by Science teacher Angeliki Michelis.

While they have been consolidated into the larger STEM Club, each of the individual clubs will still function as they normally have, with meetings and events every once in a while. The main purpose of this was to create a new Schoology course where everything is located in the same spot, which will help to both organize and plan meetings better and bring in new members. 

“I think that it was a very smart choice and that we could kind of just consolidate our efforts instead of trying to communicate with the same kids, but through a bunch of different means,” Senior and Scrubs Club president Sylvia Merz said. 

At the moment, Page said that they are just getting started with plans for what the new club will look like in the future. She has thought about doing a few social events where kids involved in the different clubs within the STEM club can get to know each other, as they all share similar interests. 

Over the course of the eight years since Page first started WiSTEM, some years have been filled with many opportunities for students in the club to participate in, while other years have not had as much going on. Her hope is that, with this new consolidation, there would always be something happening for students to choose from. 

“I hope that we’ll get a lot more kids interested in all the things going on in STEM,” Page said, “and that more and more students will join because they’ll be able to see all of these awesome opportunities that are happening.”

Merz, who was interested in WiSTEM but was never able to get involved in any of the other clubs aside from Scrubs Club because of her busy schedule, is excited to have the chance to now have access to information about WiSTEM. 

She is looking to study biostatistics in college, and more specifically health inequities across genders and how gender plays a role in health care, which she noted is not the conventional career for someone interested in healthcare, as the two main career paths are typically doctors and dentists. 

“There’s so much to do within the world of health care, which is I think another reason why they consolidated,” Merz said. “…people that are interested in Scrubs Club, maybe there’ll be a doctor, but they’re [also] really interested in marine biology. So it kind of exposes you to all these different lenses that you can look at science through, so I think that that’s pretty neat.”

Having taught for 26 years, Page understands that clubs are prone to going in and out of existence, however, she feels good about having a larger STEM club so that, even if certain clubs don’t exist anymore, it can continue to be a living, growing program.

Page says STEM club is a low commitment, high opportunity club that can fit into anyone’s schedule, which is why they should join. 

“It really opens your eyes to everything that you could do,” Merz said, “and not even that, but it’s a way to connect with new students, and new students with a lot of diverse interests.” 

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