After-school clubs are allowing students to explore exciting new activities in several Shawnee Mission schools. Community partners often lead or help facilitate the clubs, giving them the opportunity to engage with students outside of the classroom.

At Comanche Elementary, approximately 150 students, K-6th grade, are taking part in the STEAM clubs which are held on five Mondays from February through May immediately after school.

Steam Tech 1Caring for Kids community volunteers and teachers work together to provide engaging activities. In Science, they have held a boat float; for Tech the Overland Park Police Department has helped students use a radar gun; in Engineering they have created circuits; in Art they have made party blowers and dream catchers; and in Math they are building a container to hold 293 pieces of popcorn! Due to the large response from students, a sixth activity was added, Coding, to help keep smaller group sizes.

Community partners assisting with activities include Community Impact Church, Overland Park Neighborhood Programs, the Overland Park Police Department, and St. Thomas the Apostle Church.

“This year the response for STEAM club was much higher than last year,” said Amanda Harlow, Comanche Elementary social worker. “We attribute this to students being excited to participate in these fun and engaging activities. The next time we have our STEAM club, we will look to possibly break out our groups so that the kids can get more help with the activities.”