STEM Club Close-Ups


Get to know some of PFHS’ more science-oriented clubs: Astronomy Club, Robotics Club, and Science Olympiad.

Potomac Falls offers a variety of clubs at the school, including creative, cultural, and social ones. It seems there’s an option for everyone. However, one area of interest that’s often overlooked are the school’s STEM-based clubs. 

Astronomy Club

Meeting once a month on Thursdays in Room 243, Astronomy club is focused on our solar system and beyond, dwelling in interstellar topics. 

“The goal of Astronomy Club is to get people interested in astronomy,” said sophomore and vice president Sophia Gill. “I feel like there are a lot of people who like it and are fascinated by it, but don’t fully understand it. The goal is to just reach out.”

Each meeting holds a presentation, with some past topics including dark matter, constellations, and space missions. They’re usually prepared by the organizers.

“[Presentations are also open to] the members, if they’re interested in a particular topic,” said Gill.

Along with presentations, the club also has ‘Star Parties,’ or gatherings to stargaze, often held behind Algonkian Elementary School. Members bring food and telescopes. 

As of the moment, the club is relatively small, with between five to ten people attending each meeting. “It would be great to gain some popularity and width, and have the freedom to hold more events and do more things,” said Gill.

“Getting to talk about something I love, and spread that joy to other people, is really special.”

Robotics Club

“Robotics Club is just a bunch of people who enjoy hanging out and building robots,” said sponsor and science teacher Amelia Zarate. “They come in, they talk to each other about what sort of things they’ve found, and they build robots together.”

The goal is to learn about building and coding robots, according to the club’s website. Meetings are held weekly on Wednesday mornings in Room 241. 

Along with building, members sometimes hold competitions against each other, to see who can make the best robot for a specific purpose. “They had one where they were trying to race each other through a little maze, one where they were trying to knock each other out of a ring, that sort of thing,” said Zarate.

The atmosphere of the club is generally relaxed. 

“It’s super laid back, super fun, and anyone who’s interested in robotics should definitely come in.”

Science Olympiad

Science Olympiad is a club that meets in order to prepare for “academic track meets,” according to the school’s site. 

“[It] is, what I would consider, to be the nerdiest club we offer at this school,” said Gill. 

“Founded in 1984, Science Olympiad is the premier team STEM competition in the nation,” says the Science Olympiad website, “providing standards-based challenges to 6,000 teams at 425 tournaments in all 50 states.”

There are invitationals throughout the year where members are tested on different topics and compete in events, including but not limited to earth science, chemistry, physics, and technology.

“You’re assigned a topic at the beginning of the season, and you study it, and you research, and then you go in. You test your knowledge and see how much you know.”

The club meets once a week, usually on Thursday, and sometimes both before and after school. They spend the time preparing for meets: getting ready, setting up, and making sure everyone is ready for their events.

Though the extensive work isn’t for everyone, the club boasts around twenty dedicated members. “We have a lot of new people this year, and a lot of them are girls,” said Gill. “It’s really exciting.”