Overlooked Clubs

Overlooked Clubs

There are plenty of clubs for students to join at John Sevier Middle School, but some of them float into the background when it comes time to join.  A lot of students don’t even take time to consider joining clubs like robotics, math counts, chess, and bridge.

Math counts, is a club that teaches more advanced math and sends students to competitions. Sevier Middle volunteer Carolyn Russ sponsors the club.

George Armentrout, an 8th grade student at Sevier, is a member of math counts.

“My favorite part would be learning advanced math that makes all calculations easier,” Armentrout said.

Math Counts only had four members this school year, but the participants know why very few people are interested.

“It’s not as well known, and not a lot of people like to do math in their spare time,” Armentrout said.

Another club that students overlook at Sevier Middle is the robotics team. The robotics team builds robots out of Legos and robot parts. Science teacher Jenny Jensen and Sevier volunteer Carolyn Russ co-sponsor the robotics team.

“My favorite part about my club is the opportunity to work with the robots,” team member Grant McDowell, a 6th grade student, said. “It’s a really cool experience.”

The Robotics club only had 12 members this school year, but they all really enjoy the opportunities they get to participate in.

“I really love robotics and I feel that technology is the future of our world,” Gabriel Tipton, a 7th grade robotics team member, said.

The robotics team actually can only take a limited number of students, so tryouts are competitive.

The chess and bridge clubs are also frequently overlooked by students. These clubs meet to play chess and bridge weekly and participate in tournaments. Math teacher Michelle Cunningham sponsors both of these clubs.

“The bridge club is a card game that is played in groups of four where the players are paired to work as a team,” Cunningham said. “The chess club is an individual game that is played player against player. The number of players varies from year to year in both clubs. This year we had 7 bridge players, six of which competed against Robinson in our championship. We also had 5 chess players.”

“[My favorite part is] just actually playing the game because it’s pretty fun most of the time.” Joshua Hall, an 8th grade student at Sevier, said. Hall is a member of Sevier’s bridge club.

The students who participate in these clubs enjoy them a great deal, but many other students have no interested in joining them.

“No [I wouldn’t join] because no one knows about them,” Jaden Potts, a 7th grade student at Sevier, said.

A lot of students wouldn’t join these clubs because they believe that they are too challenging.

“People don’t seem to have an interest because of sports or they don’t think they are smart enough,” Jacob Park, an 8th grade student at Sevier, said.

Students don’t join these after school activities because of middle school stereotypes and the belief that certain clubs or activities make you cool. “Because now I guess really is what makes someone cool is if they do a sport, and people overlook these because they think their geeky or that they are too good for it.”  Park said.

So, what can these clubs do to make membership seem more interesting?

“Put themselves out there more and make it seem more interesting when they advertise it,” Natalie Bates, an 8th grade student at Sevier, said.

“They need to win,” Potts said.

Students who have experienced the clubs and how they work think that if more people tried them they would like them.

“Students would like the club if they tried it because you get to work with robotics and Legos and a lot of people like Legos,” McDowell said.

“Definitely, we have a lot of fun,” Tipton said about the robotics team.

Cunningham does not believe that these clubs are overlooked.

“No, I don’t think it’s overlooked because many kids inquire about it,” she said. “When they hear it is a commitment that they have to attend weekly for the full season, some decide not to join because they want to only attend sometimes, when it is convenient. These, however, are teams and in both clubs students need to learn the rules of the game and then commit to practicing it. It is hard to compete in a game when partners attend sporadically.”



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