Holmes Science Club Delegation Advocated for After School Programming

A delegation from Holmes Jr. High school including Jenna Atkins, Kunyu (Kimi) Du, Brendan Moody, Simon Plassman, Harri Surnedi and staff member Logan Mork traveled to the State Capitol on Tuesday to visit with legislators about the positive impact After School programming has had on them.  The delegation met with Representatives Bob Kressig, Walt Rogers, Senator Jeff Danielson as well as a number of other legislators while showcasing their After School Science Club.

The students from Holmes traveled to the Capitol to visit with policymakers about the importance of After School programming in Iowa schools. Iowa’s youth are faced with many demands and challenges – more rigorous academic standards are expected within the current school day, and, in Iowa, most parents are out of the home working for several hours after the school day is over. Afterschool promotes high quality programming for youth that leverages the learning day and links with the greater community, recognizing that afterschool programs in local communities provide essential learning and social supports that fill basic needs for many of today’s students and families. Afterschool programs not only provide a safe environment for kids when parents are not home, but they are in a unique position to foster relationships among youth, parents, and their communities to maximize learning opportunities and provide much-needed guidance and support. After school programming helps provide our children and youth with the tools they need to succeed in school, work and life.  The delegation appreciated the opportunity to visit with legislators about their experience in After School programming at Holmes Jr. High.

Science Club at Holmes is an open invitation club that meets weekly after school. Three Holmes classroom teachers, one high school teacher, and one member of the community currently coach the After School program. The main goal of science club is to engage students in scientific thinking and engineering activities and to provide an enriching, supportive environment for students interested in science. Students work in small groups to create projects (towers, roller coasters, robots) as well as learn about select topics (diseases, thermodynamics, invasive species).

Every year, a team of students prepares for and competes in the Iowa Science Olympiad competition, a statewide event that sends groups to the national event later in the spring. We have routinely earned a top 3 placement in the competition and students have a great time showcasing their projects and knowledge.