- How many children should I invite?
This will vary depending on the space you have to run the club in, the experience you have, the number of children interested and many other factors.
From our experience, we think 10-14 is optimum numbers, smaller than a traditional class size but big enough to have some decent conversations and gather enough data to be able to compare and discuss results.
- Should I charge a fee to come to the club?
As the educator leading the club, you will know whether this is something your school community can withstand. It is certainly helpful to have some cash to spend on consumables that your clubbers will use and it may be that your school might be able to provide a small amount of budget towards the running costs if charging would exclude some families. You might consider a BOGOF (buy one get one (or more) free) for families with more than one child so as not to exclude them. From our experience as little as £1 GBP (or equivalent) for a set of 6 sessions will be enough to get you started. Optimum would be £1 GBP per child per session would allow you to purchase some more specialist equipment and allow for things to be taken home too.
- When shall I hold my club?
Your children may all rely on buses or cars to transport them home so attendance at after school clubs might not be ideal – why not try a lunchtime club instead? The sessions might be shorter so instead of a half term (6 weeks), you might want to run the club over a longer period of time. If this is not a barrier, running an after-school club can be preferable when there is free access to outside spaces or larger ones like a school hall. Try to pick a night when other clubs are running too so more families are already staying after school and more likely to sign up on a club night. Alternatively, this might be a barrier for some – you will know which option is best for your school.
- How long should the sessions last?
We always think an hour is about right – by the time the children have arrived from their classes, you have done a register and you have got going, you are often down to 50 minutes anyway so any shorter and you might not be able to get as much done, any longer and it might lose the short snappy focus of a club when everyone is already tired at the end of a long school day.
- What kit do I need to start a club?
We are big advocates of Billy-basics kitchen cupboard science for club activities. There’s so much chemistry in salt, sugar, vinegar and bicarbonate of soda. Not much you can’t do with a yogurt pot and child’s medicine syringe for measuring equipment and the great outdoors – lots to see and explore there too!
Why not try one of our free sessions and get your creative juices flowing – or sign up for our membership and let us do the hard work for you. Link to join now page of My Science Club
Bryony and Paul
Founders and creators of My Science Club ltd