VHS Science club looks forward to future trips and projects
By Daalny Meyer, Reporter
After meeting via Google Meet over quarantine, the Science Club at VHS has begun meeting in person on Wednesdays. With a focus on field trips and exposing students to different careers in science, the club runs events and helps students learn about scientific fields.
Because of the split-lunch schedule, Science Club meets during SMART this year. VHS physics teacher, Susan Swan, the supervisor, noticed the pros and cons of the shifted meeting time.
“I like [meeting during SMART] because a lot more people are coming,” Swan said. “People weren’t as comfortable dropping into clubs at lunchtime.
They felt more established, I think. [However] it’s a little chaotic if you’re trying to do homework, [because] it’s not as quiet as it is at lunchtime.”
Senior Alex Ryan, the club president, unintentionally joined Science Club her sophomore year. However, this proved to be a good thing, as the club helped expand Ryan’s interest in science.
“I actually joined Science Club because I got lost and went into the wrong room,” Ryan said. “I always figured that science was something that I would never really love. I’ve gotten really into geology, astronomy, [and] definitely into biotech, which is what I want to go into now. It’s just been a safe space for kids who just like to learn, and who like to blow things up.”
As president last year, Ryan focused on distance projects and maintaining club interaction.
“It was kind of my main mission … to keep people meeting,” Ryan said. “… [We] actually did two career fairs that people could join via Google meet [to] learn about different types of science. We did one on marine biology and we brought in Leo Macleod. Macleod is an alumni of Vashon High School and he’s working in marine science and oceanography, and we had students come in and ask him questions. We also did one on computer science where we interviewed a computer scientist and astrologist from Caltech, which [was] really cool.”
Science Club has orchestrated many field trips and projects in the past. There were some that particularly stood out.
“We really tried to revolutionize the side of fundraising. I was done with bake sales,” Ryan said. “We did one thing before COVID called street science, where we did science experiments on the side of the street. You got little kids super excited [and] wanting to join when they were in high school, [and] you got older people just interested in science again … It was just really cool to see a communal aspect to science. We’ve also been on some really cool field trips. We went to the Bezos Spheres and we learned about a lot of horticulture and computer science.”
In the future, the growing club has more plans for activities relating to different aspects of science.
“We’ll take a spring overnight trip. We’re hoping to get down to Ape Caves and do some obsidian rock hunting,” Swan said. “We’re also going to the Burke Museum, which we were planning on doing two years ago, on the day school shut down for COVID. We have a new member whose parent works in the Seattle Police Department, so we’re going to go … look at their morgue, and talk to the coroner. It turns out that every time we do a field trip, we also talk about careers. [The coroner has] people who work for him that just have two year degrees from Olympic college. You don’t have to [have] a Ph.D. or anything to be involved with some of that cool stuff.”
Ryan is also looking forward to the coming year.
“We’re getting into criminal science lately. It’s definitely going to be an exciting year,” Ryan said.