By now, school is in full swing, but it’s never too late to explore different extracurricular activities and opportunities. While they’re called extracurriculars, the truth is that all of the after school clubs and events you join are extremely important for your college resume. When you apply to colleges, universities will look at your list of extracurricular activities as a way of distinguishing you from every other applicant. If you’re focused on a career in science, then you want your college application to reflect that goal in every way. Of course, participating in STEM extracurriculars is also rewarding and just plain fun, too!
Here are some extracurricular activities that you may want to consider as the school year continues:
Participating in a science fair or similar event gives you the opportunity to really dive deep into the field of science that you enjoy. You’ll be conducting your own research, crafting your own experiment, or putting together your own presentation. This kind of knowledge will help you grow as a scientist. Check to see if your school participates in the Science Olympiad and explore local opportunities like the Baltimore Science Fair.
One of the easiest ways to get involved in after school science is to join one of the different science clubs available at your middle or high school. Most schools have a biology club, or even a specialized science club, like robotics, that students can join. These clubs often go on exciting field trips to national parks, aquariums, or other locations that will help fuel your interests. Make note of the events you attend and the experiences you have with your club for your future college applications.
Don’t have a club that matches your future science major? Talk with your guidance counselor or principal about starting your own! You can also see if you have a local 4-H club, or similar organization (like Girls Who Code), that provides extracurricular STEM opportunities.
Volunteering or even interning with places that relate to your future science major is an incredible experience. It will give you early job experience in a professional field and give you a real impression of how your future career would actually look. You can explore opportunities online, such as through Maryland’s STEMnet, or you can reach out to local businesses and organizations. For instance, if you’re interested in becoming a doctor, then becoming a student volunteer at the local hospital might be a good volunteer opportunity for you.
You might also talk with your school guidance counselor or other college counselor about your interest in getting involved with an organization outside of school hours. The professionals within your school often receive information about intern and volunteer opportunities for high school students.
Summer courses are a great way to explore your interests in science and benefit your college future. Every year, Summer Science Academy offers a variety of fascinating courses for high school students. SSA offers a few sessions a summer, and students who complete at least one session are eligible to receive an incredible start at McDaniel College — an undergraduate scholarship of $40,000. Join the SSA email list and follow along on Facebook for more information.
Exploring the many available science opportunities outside of the classroom provides a solid foundation for your future in science. Think about the kinds of activities that you’d enjoy and see what you can find! Your future career will be here before you know it.