Quick Start

Step 1: Find a Partner School & Teacher

Not only is it important to identify a supportive school but finding an enthusiastic partner teacher can be the difference between a program succeeding and flopping.

Flyers are provided in the resources section of this website to educate potential schools and partner teachers about Science Discovery Club.

Step 2: Recruit like-minded individuals

Maybe the biggest component of the club is the mentorship opportunity it affords the children. Recruiting caring, dedicated volunteers is critical for the success of the club. While the club should be implemented however the organizer deems best, we have found the most success when we have the same volunteers participate each week, as opposed to a rotating schedule. This allows the volunteers to connect with the children in a meaningful way. A recruitment flyer is provided on the resources page of this website.

Step 3: Administrative steps with school and recruit students

Each school will have its own requirements and steps that must be taken to get the club up and running.

Once an agreement with the school is in place and volunteers have been recruited, a schedule can be formed.

We have provided a template sign-up form on the resources page of this website that should be provided to school administration for approval before distribution to students.

At OU-HCOM we have run the club during the second half of winter break. We schedule visits in each classroom (lunchtime is also a good option) to present the club to the students and pass out applications typically in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Winter Break. This gives us a chance to review the applications to make sure they were properly filled out by the parent/guardian and to finalize the roster. We then hand out "acceptance letters" to the students (available on the resources page). We feel that having the students write a brief (<50 word) essay on their application and handing out acceptance letters increases buy-in to the club.

Step 4: Run the club

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The typical rundown for a daily club session is as follows:

1. Students arrive at club classroom after school, sign-in, find a table, and start their word search

2. Volunteers engage with and help students settle as they arrive.

3. Once all students have arrived the session can begin. Volunteers should sit with students and help them remain engaged. Each weekly session usually consists of:

a. brief introductory lecture 

b. activity

c. recap

d. snack

e. dismissal

4. At the end of the session the students who walk home will sign-out and be taken to the school's entrance. After they have left the students who are picked up by an adult will be brought to the entrance where their adult will sign them out.

Step 5: Reflect, improve, build, connect

At the end of each session, it is a good idea to talk with the volunteers about what went well and what could be improved for next time.

At the end of the program reflection on the program as a whole can take place and intentional changes can be implemented for the future.

Connect through the forum on this site to share ideas with other Science Discovery Club chapters. Always feel free to reach out directly with any thoughts, questions, or suggestions.

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