Press Releases

PA Cyber adds new club offerings to long list of choices

Dec 13, 2019

photo: Sara Seader participates in modeling competition during 2019 DECA State Conference

Global leadership, cooking, e-gaming added to roster

Sarah Seader makes it a point to be actively involved in school clubs. The 16-year-old junior has been able to find clubs that match her interests in reading, writing and science. She is also a member of the PA Cyber National Honor Society and Student Council.
Seader said she likes having the group interaction, and more opportunities for social and academic growth.

"I think it's a nice opportunity because you get to meet other students and you get to connect with something that you share a passion for," said Seader, now in her seventh year at PA Cyber.

While students aren't required to join any clubs, Jane Camp, supervisor of student events, highly recommends they pick at least one offering because of the opportunities they provide.

"They're a wonderful way for students to meet other students and to get involved and have more of a fun social enrichment," Camp said. "I would just love for all students to join a club. It helps build that sense of community."

Seader likes that clubs are student-run. Advisors are there to help and give direction, but she said students have a chance to own their clubs. They can serve as officers in leadership positions and help to run meetings by creating discussion topics or PowerPoint presentations for other club members.

"That way the club becomes your own," said Seader, who is vice president of DECA this year. "It also helps with group work because you get a variety of different opportunities academically and socially. You can also talk about where you're from and meet people that live near you, and then you can meet each other. Sometimes clubs have field trips."

Global Education Club, for example, has a field trip planned to Washington, D.C., a great opportunity for any students interested in travel, history, and meeting other like-minded students, according to Camp. Over the summer, the club ventured to five countries in Europe. In 2021, the club is headed to London.

"London will be home base and we'll take day trips from London and see the countryside. In Global Education Club, we really want the students to attend these bigger field trips on their own with staff chaperones," Camp said.

Clubs meet online twice per month, typically after classes, depending on the club. There are A weeks that meet the first and third weeks of the month, and B weeks that meet the second and fourth.

Students also have a variety to choose from, including a few new clubs added this year.
Elementary students in grades 2-5 can now choose All Aboard Gamers, a board game club teaching sportsmanship. At the high school level, there are four new clubs— Esports; Grub Hub, a cooking club; Dungeons and Dragons,and; a Model United Nations chapter, formed by PA Cyber CEO Brian Hayden.

Hayden felt so passionately about his college experience with Model U.N. that he wanted to offer the club to PA Cyber students and has taken on the advisor role. Model U.N. involves researching, public speaking, debating and writing skills, and simulating U.N. committees.

"In this exciting club, students research global topics and then role play U.N. delegates and simulate the United Nations committees. It creates a global awareness for students," Camp said. "Anytime you learn about other countries, it immediately shrinks the world and creates another opportunity for peace."

Camp said the club programming for high school students was lacking in the gaming department. The new Esports club will focus on video gaming and competitions against other clubs and organizations. Dungeons and Dragons lets students explore fantasy realms as they slay dragons, cast spells, and work together to defeat vicious monsters. Grub Hub might prove to be a popular club. The group focuses on cooking as a hobby and piques the interest of foodies, feeding off the popularity of television cooking shows such as CNN's Anthony Bourdain, the Food Network's Good Eats, and Fox's Master Chef.

"It's not only for people who like to cook and bake, it also goes into how to meal plan, meal prep, shop for nutrition," Camp said. "It's a really well-rounded club that will give students an overview of not just cooking and baking but also meal planning and prep and what goes into feeding yourself and your family."

Some returning clubs are looking to make changes. Rather than taking a global look, the foreign language club, for example, is putting its focus on French, German, and Spanish — countries with languages currently offered at PA Cyber — to introduce elementary students to foreign countries prior to choosing a language. Aspiring journalists who join the Student Newspaper club have an opportunity to write about PA Cyber. The club publishes monthly and stays up to date with student spotlights, what's happening in clubs, at PA Cyber, and upcoming Family Link events.

"Club advisors are super excited for a new year of engaging students in something that the advisors are also interested in, and they want to share their passion, which is great," Camp said.

Information about clubs can be found in the Family Link and Regional Course Card, and on the student dashboard in BUZZ under PA Cyber Clubs/Workshops. Information includes grade levels, club descriptions and meeting schedules. Once students are enrolled, their club will appear as a course card on their dashboard. Students can enroll in a club at any time.

High School Clubs
If you do well academically-2.5 Grade Point Average or above and on pace with schoolwork, you are eligible to join one or two of our clubs.
Art Club -- offers students an opportunity to share their work with fellow students, ;earn new techniques they can incorporate into their artwork, and gain knowledge of the world of art, including history and career paths.
Book of the Month Club -- students will have the opportunity to nurture and cultivate their love of reading through discussion board threads, participation in live, online classroom discussions with their advisors, peers, and field trips.
Chess Club -- designed for students at any level who want to gain an understanding of how to better their chess game. The course will start from the basics, and quickly advance through some of the more advanced strategies in the game of chess. Students will meet twice a month in a session through Collaborate; this involves either a lesson, or a session where they will log in together with the teacher onto an online site where they can receive ratings for playing each other in single games, and chess tournaments.
Connect Bible Club --  a non-denominational club that allows students to explore their faith with likeminded students. This student-led club allows members to connect together in prayer, worship, and fellowship with all who attend. There is no requirement for students to participate, just a willingness to hear the Word of God and fellowship with all who choose to attend.
Debate Club -- designed to develop solid thinking skills, the club challenges students to examine why they believe what they believe and learn to locate the values, worldview and assumptions behind positions expressed by others. Debate club members will be encouraged to participate in competitions within the club and externally with other debate clubs across the commonwealth.
DECA -- designed to develop our future leaders in the fields of marketing, management and entrepreneurship, club activities focus on developing leadership abilities, presentation skills and career job skills through collaborative projects. DECA members will be invited to participate in competitive events, conferences, and online challenges, and will also network with business professionals and other students who wish to pursue management or marketing careers.
Dungeons & Dragons Club – students in the club will create a character to explore a fantasy realm, go on quests, slay dragons, cast spells, and work together as a team to defeat vicious monsters. Students can take the role of a fighter, bard, wizard, cleric, rogue, ranger, or many other options and work with their team to complete the campaign over the course of several weeks. As they progress, students' characters will become stronger and gain new abilities, thereby gaining the able to defeat stronger monsters. Students will solve riddles, explore deep caverns, slay mythical beasts, and save the kingdom! The club welcomes veteran players along with students who are brand new and want to try the game for the first time. Anyone with a vivid imagination and a love for fantasy stories will love playing Dungeons and Dragons.
Equestrian Club – for the horse enthusiasts who want to share and grow their knowledge and understanding of horses with one another. Students will have the opportunity to engage with their peers through regular, online meetings, collaborate in discussion boards, and meet face-to-face on field trips.
Esports Club –  for any high school student who shares the love of organized, competitive video gaming. Students will gain an understanding of how to improve their skills individually and as a team. Students will be invited to participate in competitive events and tournaments, and online challenges. Students will also have the opportunity to share their knowledge with their peers through regular online meetings and collaborate in discussions boards. Students of all skills are welcome.
French Club -- students will be exposed to the French world around them here in the U.S., in France, and in other francophone countries. Regular online meetings will facilitate the sharing of love for the French language and culture both by students and knowledgeable faculty. Activities include listening to French music, watching French videos, exploring French art and literature, creating a project based on cultural themes, exploring cuisine, and conversational skills. The club is open to all middle school and high school students, with or without previous French exposure.
German Club -- open to any middle and high school student who is interested in the German language or German-speaking cultures, it is not necessary for students to be enrolled in a German course in order to be a member of the club. Students will practice basic conversations, read stories, listen to and sing all types of music, play games, and chat with virtual guests from German-speaking countries.
Global Education Club --The purpose of this club is to bring an understanding of the global community as well as world travel to the students of PA Cyber. Topics of discussion will include culture, history, and travel. In two year cycles, students will have the opportunity to participate in an educational tour at a global destination. Meetings and activities will prepare students for this trip by familiarizing them with the geography, culture, etc. of the area traveled to, but participation in the trip is not required to be a member of the Global Education Club.
GSA -- goals of the gender and sexuality alliance are to create a more accepting environment for all people, and to ensure that every member of the school community is valued and respected, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. This is accomplished through education, support, social action and advocacy. GSA believes that schools can be truly safe only when every student is assured access to an education without fear or shame. The GSA welcomes all students in the LBGTQI+ community, children of LBGTQI+ parents, and allies. The label is less important than the intention to create a welcoming, inclusive, accepting, safe space for everyone.
History Club -- no area of history is off limits as club member will explore the major historical accounts that profoundly affected the world we live in, as well as the local histories in our own communities. Club members should expect to participate in both synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities, fund-raising, field trips, competitions, and more. This is a club specifically designed for students who want to do more than just read about history in their textbooks. History club members will work from the perspective of "hands-on" history, walking in the footsteps of those from the past, and developing an appreciation for the living history all around us.
Maker Club – Join the MAKER movement and discuss, share, and collaborate with other students to learn how to integrate and build technology to enhance daily life, help others or merely add some creativity to their own do-it-yourself projects. Topics include, but are not limited to, robotics, 3D printing, code and software, traditional arts and crafts, current technological developments, microcontrollers and single-board computers (Raspberry Pi) plus so much more! BYOT (Bring Your Own Talent) and enthusiasm!
Model United Nations Club -- involves researching, public speaking, debating, and writing skills, as well as critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership abilities. Students roleplay delegates to the United Nations and simulate United Nations committees.
Newspaper Club -- in an effort to report and publish PA Cyber news and events, members will plan for effectively providing the school community with fact-based news, information and opinions. The PA Cyber Press strives to publish monthly, therefore active participation and meeting attendance is required.
Photography Club -- knowledgeable faculty advisors and student members will share their talents, knowledge, and love of photography through regular online meetings, chat rooms and photo-sharing websites. Members will be encouraged to grow in photographic competency, to learn about the history, techniques and art of still photography and to share their talents with others in their school and individuals within their home communities.
Running Club -- designed for those who love to run or for those who would like to begin a running lifestyle. Club members will learn proper workouts, techniques, and diets to modify a running or workout routine to best fit their lifestyle. Running club will allow members to not only learn the basics of running and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but will allow you to learn the importance of the training leading up to an actual race! You will also be encouraged to set goals and motivate your peers to meet their goals.
Science Club -- explores a variety of topics such as epigenetics, forensics, recent developments in particle physics, bioinformatics, the science of geology and new drilling methods; no science topic is off limits. Regular meeting times and a club website allow students to share their interest in science through discussions and presentations. Activities include labs, projects, and optional field trips. Students who love science and would like to explore more should join us.
Spanish Club -- open to any middle and high school students interested in learning Spanish or Spanish cultures. Club members will learn about the different Spanish-speaking countries, cultures, foods, dances, art, holidays and much more. We will plan some virtual field trips and some live field trips across the state.
The Grub Hub -- a club designed to develop, enhance, and encourage students in their cooking and baking adventures. For those who are acknowledged foodies, thinking about a path in culinary arts, or want to be self-sufficient in their daily lives now and after high school. This club will help foster plans to budget, prepare, and execute menus to feed a few or a bunch! This club will help develop thinking skills in meal preparation, while incorporating kitchen essentials to help with daily life skills.
Youth Ambassador Club -- members will engage in activities, discussions, and field trips to help improve their communities both within PA Cyber as well as in their geographic region. As ambassadors, students will gain knowledge about support services regarding social and emotional issues to make a difference in the world around them. Join us and, "Be the change you want to see in the world."

HOW DO I JOIN?
It's easy! Simply click on the link to the online club registration form, complete the form, and click SUBMIT. This form is also found in the Family Link site of BUZZ. After confirming that you are in good academic standing, we will forward your form to the club advisor who will then email you with important club information.

Club Registration Form

Middle School Clubs (Grades 6-8)
Middle School students may join one of the clubs listed below and also either French, German or Spanish Clubs.
Adventures in Reading Adventures in Reading (AIR) -- meets online twice each month to discover a new book and share a love of reading! During each meeting, we will explore our novel through many fun, online activities, including crossword puzzles, team Jeopardy!, word searches and so much more. Our book list changes every school year to keep our readers enjoying new books and adventures. Please join us for Adventures in Reading!
Art Club -- meets online twice each month through Blackboard Collaborate. This club is designed to offer students who are passionate about art the chance to interact with other students who have similar interests. Students will have the opportunity to create and share their artwork in a supportive and encouraging environment. Students will also learn about art history and look at and discuss various artists and their work.
Connect Jr. Bible Club -- a non-denominational club that allows our students to explore their faith with other likeminded students. This club allows students to connect together in prayer, worship, and fellowship through fun activities and engaging content. There is no requirement for students to participate, just come ready to hear the Word of God and build friendships with other students within the club!
Global Education Club -- (7th & 8th Graders ONLY) the purpose of this club is to bring an understanding of the global community as well as world travel to the students of PA Cyber. Topics of discussion include culture, history, and travel. In two-year cycles, students will have the opportunity to participate in an educational tour at a global destination. Meetings and activities will prepare students for this trip by familiarizing them with the geography, culture, etc. of the area traveled to, but participation in the trip is not required to be a member of the Global Education Club.
Science Investigators -- Science Investigators Club will start out meeting monthly online through Blackboard Collaborate and will actively use Buzz as a club website to connect our discussions outside of meetings. Question everything! Have you ever wondered things such as, "How did the moon form? Why is the sky blue?" This club will guide you through the scientific process and how to use it to investigate and "question everything." Our club will be focused to the interests of the members as they will have an active role in leading the discussions and direction of the club.


HOW DO I JOIN? It's easy! Simply click on the link to the online club registration form, complete the form, and click SUBMIT. This form is also found in the Family Link site of BUZZ.

Club Registration Form

Elementary Clubs (Grades K-5)
All Aboard Gamers -- (Grades 2nd-5th) students will play a variety of board games and watch game shows to promote logic, rule following, critical thinking skills, good sportsmanship, and FUN! Focus will be for students to have an enjoyable, engaging time without a controller in hand!
Bible Adventurers -- (Grades 3rd, 4th, and 5th) a non-denominational club that allows students to explore their faith with other likeminded students. This club allows students to connect through prayer, worship, and fellowship through the use of fun activities and engaging content. The only requirement for this club is a willingness to hear the Word of God and build friendships with other students in the club!
Bookworm Buddies -- (Grades 3rd, 4th, and 5th) This club is designed for elementary students who want to foster their love of reading. Students will read a book monthly while completing activities, discussion board posts, and participating in live, online classroom discussions with their peers and advisors.
Foreign Language Club -- (Grades K-5) students will explore other countries and languages through exciting online meetings. Club members will increase their awareness and appreciation for other ethnic groups and countries. They will have the opportunity to learn customs, languages, cuisines, and aspects of other countries. Activities include learning words and phrases in different languages, interactive activities, group and partner projects, video clips, online virtual tours, creating fun ethnic food/snack recipes, and foreign language games.
Hands on Science -- (Grades K-2) the Hands on Science Club will introduce young students to science through language arts and mathematics utilizing communication, problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and creativity while performing hands-on experiments. Twice a month, young scientists and the club facilitator will perform an awesome science experiment together, following the steps of the scientific method. Young scientists will gain a love of science, try new things, and get their hands dirty in this fun club!
Hands on Science -- (Grades 3-5) The Hands on Science Club will introduce upper elementary students to science through language arts and mathematics utilizing communication, problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and creativity while performing hands-on experiments. Twice a month, junior scientists and the club facilitator will perform an awesome science experiment together, following the steps of the scientific method. Junior scientists will gain a love of science, try new things, and get their hands dirty in this fun club
Ready, Set, Go Club -- (Grades K-2) Are you ready? Ready, Set, Go will reinforce reading and mathematics skills for PA Cyber's youngest learners. Through games and activities, students will sharpen their skills for academic success. The core goals of the club include social collaboration to problem solve, building self-esteem through positive interactions, and creating a sense of community!
Ready, Set, Go Club -- (Grades 3-5)  Ready, Set, Go will reinforce reading, mathematics, communication, and problem solving skills for PA Cyber's upper elementary learners. Through games and activities, students will sharpen their skills for academic success. The core goals of the club include social collaboration to problem solve, build self-esteem through positive interactions, and creating a sense of community!
HOW DO I JOIN? It's easy! Simply click on the link to the online club registration form, complete the form, and click SUBMIT. This form is also found in the Family Link site of BUZZ.
Club Registration Form
Whether you enjoy reading, or like to play board games, get INVOLVED, MEET OTHERS, EXPAND your horizons, and have FUN!

Media Contact

Casie Colalella / casie.colalella@pacyber.org

About PA Cyber

Serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) is one of the largest, most experienced, and most successful online public schools in the nation. PA Cyber's online learning environments, personalized instructional methods, and choices of curricula connect Pennsylvania students and their families with state-certified and highly-qualified teachers, and rich academic content that is aligned to state standards. Founded in 2000, PA Cyber is headquartered in Midland (Beaver County) and maintains a network of support offices throughout the state. As a public school, PA Cyber is open for enrollment by any school-age child residing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and does not charge tuition to students or families.