By Lauren Amico
Broadening and enriching elementary students’ love for science; that is the mission of the Second Grade Club – a club at Byram Hills that organizes trips to Coman Hill Elementary School to teach science experiments to the second graders. The Second Grade Club brings fun and educational experiments to these classrooms that correlate with their curriculum and help promote curiosity about science among the students. It is a fun way for high school students to interact with younger kids and promote a love for science.
The Second Grade Club originated when a small group of students took a field trip to a Coman Hill second grade class. This trip evolved into a full-blown club that is now a great success at Byram Hills. Last year, the club took two trips to Coman Hill and performed interesting experiments with the children. One of the activities included using Dots candy and toothpicks to create structures that competed to hold the most mass. While the Second Grade Club visits are fun for the elementary students, they are just as exciting for the volunteers. Sophomore Drew Siskin says, “Being a volunteer for the second-grade club is so rewarding and such a fun experience. It really is so amazing to see the kids enjoying and learning from the experiments.”
Co-presidents Ellen Amico and Emma Lucchino are anticipating a great year for the club. Ellen says, “It’s really fun to hang out with the kids and start their love for science early on. I’m looking forward to seeing where this club will go.” The trips take immense amounts of preparation, from brainstorming ideas about activities to do to raising money for materials. To raise money for lesson materials, they usually organize bake sales or the club leaders finance it themselves. It is critical to the organizers that the lessons be fun, educational, and meaningful to the second graders.
Personally, I find it to be very fulfilling to be part of a club that brightens the day of so many young students. Science can be difficult to comprehend for both young and older students; however, this approach to learning makes it enjoyable for both ends of the spectrum. With many new members this year, the Second Grade Club should certainly remain strong and successful!