Online Clubs: Social Opportunities for K12 Students
Socialization is usually one of the first topics in question for families looking into online education. Actually, there is a wide range of options available for online students who want to connect with classmates. From sports teams to school dances to national competitions to online clubs, the possibilities are probably much broader than you might think.
K12 online schools recognize the concern for social opportunities and make an effort to provide the same extracurricular activities students find on a brick-and-mortar campus. Virtual clubs are high on that list of activities because they provide students a chance to connect over shared interests while also providing forums for leadership development, networking, and friendship, which is crucial to student success.
Now, in addition to National Student Clubs, K12 offers Online Summer Camps. These sessions are free for K12 families and are a great way to get and stay connected to your school community this summer. The one-hour virtual camps are scheduled through the first of September. STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and design, and math) topics will be covered this year. And there really is something for everyone—so get ready to make new friends, have fun, and explore interesting topics!
Learn more about these Online Summer Camps by reading about our online club leaders:
Erinn D. will be entering her sixth year as a high school science teacher at Hoosier Academies. Through the years, Erinn has helped build the school science department, created STEM initiatives, led science professional development for K12 Inc., and hosted various science-based K12 summer and school year clubs. She will be leading Maker Camp sessions where students will not just play but be creative and learn engineering concepts with household items. Students from all over the country will collaborate on what they are currently doing, and how they can expand on ideas and designs. In these summer sessions, students will come to create or watch and discover all about Mechanical Arms and 3-D Printing. At Hoosier Academies, Erinn is active in creating onsite science activities for virtual students throughout Indiana, and she has secured grants and partnerships with state universities to obtain these goals for their students. She is looking forward to these summer sessions inspiring students to think beyond what is in front of them and encouraging them to share, explore and, “tinker” together.
Jamie S. is an instructional coach for the Oregon Virtual Academy, and she has taught every grade level since the school opened in 2008. This past school year, she hosted the Art & Sketching and App Builders clubs engaging students in STEAM concepts. For summer clubs, she will be focusing on a popular theme from the Art & Sketching Club, Anime and Manga! In the “Anime”zing Summer Camp, students will explore this fun and colorful world by sharing favorite stories and characters and learning the basic concepts for creating their own characters in the style. Students will leave with their own virtual manga that was freshly created in the session. The Apptastic Summer Camp should be equally exciting as students delve into the ever-changing world of technology and explore favorite apps. Participants will also leave with resources for building their own apps and a virtual idea book that will be created live in the session.
Rustie R. is a middle and high school science teacher and lead teacher at Destinations Career Academy of Colorado. She is also the mentor for National Honor Society and is the Gifted and Talented/Advanced Placement coordinator. This year, Rustie is leading some sessions for the K12 Summer Camps and K12 Maker Sessions, including Make a Catapult! and Build Your Own Motor. Rustie is a self-declared science nerd and is passionate about all things science!
The leaders agree that these club options give students the opportunity to expand their education beyond traditional classes and allow students to be creative, collaborate, and have fun.
Are you eligible to join a club?
Clubs are available for full-time K12 students, and Independent Study Program Families are also able to join! Log in to the Online School and view the full schedule, including camp links, under the “summer camps” announcement.
K12 Inc. will have the 2016–2017 National Club lineup posted at the end of July on www.k12.com/k12-student-clubs. There will be about 50 clubs during the school year with an increased focus on STEAM.
Brittany Marklin is a contributing writer for Learning Liftoff and a community manager for K12. She coordinates all K12 student contests and connects with families who pursue online education. She attended George Mason University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing, with a minor in tourism and events management. Brittany spent her first five years at K12 on the social media team where she aided with content and strategy for multiple channels, and helped construct K12’s user-generated content site, “What’s Your Story?” When she’s not working, Brittany loves spending time with her husband and daughter in North Carolina.