Ashley Fryer teaches science and health at ISKS/KSVA.
Last year, I participated in the K12 “Connect to Careers” day and spoke to over 100 students about Hobby Farming and Dog Breeding. I was surprised by the amount of interest my audience displayed. So, when I was asked to host a club, I knew what hobby I should choose! This is my first year hosting a K12 National Club and I love it! I am leading the Hobby Farm Club for grades 7-12. I was thrilled for Hobby farmers and enthusiasts to meet and connect with one other. It’s also a great opportunity for students. In fact, many other new clubs were added this year to meet requests from families. Our clubs having seen a 90% national increase in participation!
K12 Club FAQ’s
How do they work? Students log into our club session and are excited to be there. These clubs are totally optional, but students willingly attend and participate. It is my hope that my club sessions are inspiring and informative- and feedback indicates they are! I have students from all over the United States with all different backgrounds connecting with each other during our Hobby Farming Club session every few weeks. Several students even watch the recording to see what they might have missed if they couldn’t attend live. My email is full of messages and picture from students about animal births, homemade crafts, and gardening questions.
What do we do in a club session? Students log-in virtually and have some time to chat with the group, share experiences, and ask questions. Sometimes I don’t know the answer, and I find the students can help each other, which allows me to learn something new from them! At the beginning of the year, students completed a survey letting me know what topics they were interested in. This allows us to use each club session to focus on one to two of those topics. I often show pictures of animals or veggies we have on the farm or puppies and chicks on webcam. We had an amazing guest speaker, Nate Freitag from “Free Day Popcorn”, give an amazing presentation on popcorn farming. Students in my club volunteer to share about their experiences with raising animals, gardening, crafts, corn mazes, and the list goes on. There is an educational aspect (hey, I’m a science teacher first) to each of our sessions that ties to the topics we are covering. However, there is always time for fun and games like virtual pumpkin carving and “name that fruit”.
Want to know more? If you want to know more about the K12 National Clubs, the website is http://www.k12.com/k12-student-clubs. I know not everyone is a hobby farmer, but there are so many other clubs to choose from. Students can participate in more than one (and many of them do)! Check out the list at the website above; there truly is something for everyone! This is a great way for students to connect over a common interest.