CAS-ting a light on CAS Clubs
Five CAS club leaders give us a glimpse at what
it's like to be a member.
PYP Buddies Club
Hosted by MRS. VILLADIEGO Category SERVICE
PYP Buddies is all about... students in the Middle Years Programme (MYP) spending time with students in the Primary Years Programme (PYP). This reciprocal relationship benefits both sets of students: younger learners look up to and learn from their peers, while older students develop as leaders and role models. Together, buddies read books, play outside, and do arts and crafts. The duos come to know one another and look forward to spending time together. Students become friends and the school becomes a smaller place.
You should join if... you enjoy having fun with younger children. You should also join if you'd like to embrace the role of a big brother or sister.
You'll learn... how to care for your younger buddy. You'll learn how to lead and how to be a responsible role model.
Expect to do a lot of... nurture and play. Students who join the club practice how to interact positively, appropriately, and energetically around younger kids and return to the joy that is imagination-based play.
"I love activities where older kids get the opportunity interact with younger kids in a caring, principled, and fun way. When I see students run to greet their buddies on the playground, I know that my club has contributed to what makes our school a special place to be."
Hosted by MR. JAMES WILLMS Category CREATIVITY
Knife Safety is all about... letting students practice an uncommon skill while learning the knife skills they'll use in a variety of outdoor pursuits.
You should join if... you enjoy outdoor recreation or have an interest in crafting. While learning how to use a knife, you'll craft wooden implements such as tent pegs and spoons!
You'll learn... how to grip a knife, how to situate yourself, and how to make safe strokes. Students become experts in the standard push away stroke and the curved sweep stroke of safe knife usage. Students also learn the different parts of a knife.
Expect to do a lot of... knife handling. Students also gain an understanding of knives and the essential role they play in outdoor survival and recreation—knives are not evil! They are a useful, helpful tool.
"Knife handling used to be a common craft. There's a lot of value in knowing how to safely handle a knife. It's also terrific for personal well-being. During our CAS block, we sit in a stump circle—each kid has their own stump—and we just sit and focus on our work. Nobody talks; everyone is focused and quiet. For that one hour a week, kids get a chance to do something entirely different from their regular school day and activate a different part of their brain."
Model United Nations
Hosted by MR. KEVIN KENNEDY Category SERVICE
Model UN is all about... internationalism, care, and figuring out what matters. Students grow into themselves and take risks while speaking in public, building consensus, and engaging in thoughtful debate. It's all about getting involved with our world.
You should join if... you care about the world and want to use your voice to help it. You should also join if you want to practice public-speaking and solution-finding.
You'll learn... how to research and deliver a speech. You'll learn the difference between building consensus and debating. Model UN is not about winning or loosing, it's about building consensus and finding solutions.
Expect to do a lot of... research and examination into the issues affected our world today. Model UN conferences focus on the same issues that are being discussed in the United Nations. Right now, that means there's a big focus on the refugee crisis, gender equality, and water scarcity.
"I care about what's going on in the world. These aren't make-believe issues made up to facilitate a discussion; it's real stuff happening in the world right now. I'm happy to partner with kids who also care about these issues and want to engage with them. I also believe in the skills that the Model UN develops: the skills we want to develop in IB learners are the same for Model UN-ers."
Hosted by MRS. CARRIE MOHORUK Category CREATIVITY
Robotics is all about... problem-solving. Because at its core, robotics is about problem-solving as a team.
You should join if... you're human! Students will develop ways of thinking that will save our world. Critical thinking is what will lead to the next life-saving surgery, or energy-efficient vehicles, or eco-friendly plastics... it's the way to help the most people. Students find effective solutions—not just theoretical solutions—to problems.
You'll learn... everything from coding, to engineering principles, to teamwork. Students also learn how to present and research.
Expect to do a lot of... solving real-world problems. It's all about the design cycle: you'll identify a problem, conduct research, and find a solution. Then you'll test, reflect, and upgrade... and then test, reflect, and upgrade again. We have a rule—something has to work five times in a row before we deem it successful!
"I've played sports, I've done art, and I've taught... and I've never found something that develops more personal attributes in students than this. They learn skills that will lead to more success in so many areas of life, beyond robotics. Plus, we need people to save the world! Business, medicine, engineering... all these fields need people who can solve problems. The superheroes of tomorrow won't wear capes, they'll use the design cycle!"
Hosted by GREG M. (Grade 11) Category SERVICE
Student-Initiated Service is all about... fulfilling the mission of Meadowridge School; Learning to live well, with others and for others, in a just community. It's about being kind and proactive in the mission to improve our community.
You should join if... you are interested in keeping our school community clean and maintained.
You'll learn... organizational and communications skills. By doing various activities, members learn to employ organization and critical thinking.
Expect to do a lot of... all sorts of tasks! We organize the lost and found quite often, as well as pick up any garbage around the school. We also do a lot of teacher-requested tasks, which can include sweeping bulletin boards and moving books. Sometimes the SIS squad helps with the set-up of other events—for example, we helped set up the Autumn Harvest Dinner this year.
"I host the Student-Initiated Service Club because I believe in our school's Mission and I am passionate in upholding its values."