Encounter “Explore!” : a new club at GBHS


photo courtesy of Explore

Explore co-presidents Shivani Gautam and Kaitlin Shin and treasurer Perleen Deol stand at their table at Club Rush.

Every Friday, students are seen escaping school when the bell rings. Across the campus away from the main gate, a group of approximately 20 GBHS students enthusiastically skip across Feist Park toward Ridgeview Elementary School, dedicating part of their afternoon educating students on a particular topic they’re interested in. 

Explore, a new club at GBHS, made its debut this year, with a goal in recruiting high school students to teach younger  students about  various topics, ranging from academical topics to more elective-based enrichment activities. Lessons vary from basic tutoring to presentational seminars. High-schoolers earn community service hours through time dedicated to Explore. 

Shivani Gautam and Kaitlin Shin, the co-presidents of Explore, were motivated to start this club after reflecting on their educational pursuits. They realized that having an exposure to materials at a younger age would help them at school all the way to college. 

“(Kaitlin and I) would always talk about how we wish that we could have started earlier in…so we thought this would be a good opportunity for those kids to start (learning advanced materials earlier),” Gautam said. 

In addition to fostering the next generation of students, Explore also strives to be a club where they can bring GBHS students together as well, encouraging any high-schoolers with the willingness and time to join. 

“I decided to open Explore because I thought it would be a good way to help the next generation of GBHS students discover and develop their talents early,” Shin said. 

The club is divided into groups, with one person leading each subject matter. High school students spend the week before planning materials and instructional content that will be taught at these sessions. They plan activities within their subjects and write weekly lesson plans. Funds might be raised to bring the students to a play or musical act for students interested in learning more about the performing arts. 

With the 30-minute weekly program promptly starting right at 3:45, elementary school students stay after school as if it were a co-curricular activity. 

This educational outreach program plans to have an end-of-the-year presentation where students can showcase what they’ve learned this year. 

“We are planning to hold a showcase to show off everything that we’ve accomplished with the kids to the adults, and to prove (our) student accomplishments,” Gautam said. 

Explore is still accepting new members, and anyone can qualify. Since the mentees range between the ages of ten to twelve years-old, anyone at GBHS can join. Although Shin and Gautam are beginning their outreach to Ridgeview, they hope to expand to other elementary and middle schools In fact, they even envision other chapters to arise. 

“We hope that with time, our team at GBHS will become big enough to influence other schools to create their own branch of Explore!” Shin said. 

The next meeting will be on Friday, October 14, at 3:30 pm.