Club Meetings

Starting a new club and coming up with ideas for meetings can be difficult. These pointers could help with your planning of the first few meetings.

First Two Meetings

During your first two meetings discuss what the club will be about. Will your club be purpose-driven (community service, laboratory activities, career planning), theme-driven (art, environment, food, forensics, make-up, etc.), or something else?

Then establish bylaws, elect officers, and create a calendar of events you would like to participate in, like National Chemistry Week, Mole Day and Chemists Celebrate Earth Week.

Subsequent Meeting Ideas

After your initial meetings to establish your club use the resource packets you will receive throughout the school year. Each resource packet contains a sample meeting guide, including ideas for a lunchtime meeting when you have less than 30 minutes to meet. Below are two sample meetings from the 2016-2017 Resource Packet #1—Polymers that shows how you can use the resource packet during your meetings.

Meeting opener
Video: Watch a video to get a quick overview of polymers, starring science students as the monomers coming together. 

Main portion of meeting
Lab: Prep your own plastic—from potatoes.

Meeting closer
Take-home Experiment: Send home materials for student to complete the Polymer Seed activity.

Mix and match, or create your own!

Meeting Formula
Follow a “formula” for club meetings. One of our clubs uses this formula:

  • 15-20 minutes of socializing (perhaps with snacks, but not in the lab!)
  • 10-15 minutes of club business
  • 30 minutes of hands-on science

Only have a very brief time for a Club meeting? Items from the resource packet that take a shorter time, or can be split into separate sections:

  • Effect of Heat on Plastics. The demonstrator could do either the HDPE or PET portion of the demo and discuss. 
  • Polymers in Hair Gel. The demonstration time is very short. The only preparation needed is to gather several common household materials, plus several beakers. 
  • Molecular Spaghetti. Each student group could do just one of the four portions of the activity (normal noodles—flow & strength; short noodles—flow & strength) and pool data.
  • Polymer Seeds. The activity could be introduced at the meeting, then the materials could be handed out for students to do the activity at home. The polymer spheres kept for making observations.