What Inspired the New Student-led ELs?

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What Inspired the New Student-led ELs?
Nidhi P. ('23)

This article introduces the new student-led ELs, the inspiration behind them, the activities they do during meetings, and what students can learn from them. 

       Students at Seisen have always had the opportunities to share their hobbies and passions, and now with the new student-led ELs, they have even more! As Seisen prepared for its return back to campus, they provided more opportunities for students to do what they love, by letting them start their own ELs (Experiential Learning classes). These 45-minute activities on Mondays allow students to explore new subjects in order to develop creative and critical thinking skills for the future. To help stimulate this environment, multiple student-led ELs were proposed this year, including the Medical Careers Club, Environmental Action, Chemistry Club, Media Studies, and Dissection Club. Since each EL has a unique purpose and is led by students from various grades, it begs the question, “What inspired them to start these ELs?” From an interview with a few leaders, we were able to dive deeper into the journey behind the creation of these activities.

Medical Careers Club

       Ena I. and Yuuna M. are two seniors who co-founded the Medical Careers Club at Seisen. Starting it as an after school activity back when they were in 10th grade, they grabbed their chance to make it into something bigger, being the first students to lead a Medical Careers EL at Seisen. When asked what inspired them to start this club, Ena replied, “Both of us are looking into pre-med for the future. Assuming other students also had similar interests, we wanted to provide a club where they could explore and learn about their passions.” The EL helps make masks, as a continuation of the NPO they started last year and teaches first aid to the students. Although the NPO is still somewhat active, their main focus is now on helping others learn more. The leaders also have plans to arrange online seminars with doctors and colleges in the future to introduce pre-med programs to the students. In addition to these experiences, by teaching real-life medical skills, the club is able to improve the members’ knowledge of various different parts of medicine.

Environmental Action 

       Speaking of spreading their knowledge and passions, that’s exactly what Yui K. (9) wants to achieve with her Environmental Action EL. An environmental activist in the making, Yui took the opportunity to pitch her idea and form an EL that raises awareness about the importance of helping the environment. Along with Mr.Wilk, the Science teacher at Seisen, Yui wants to encourage the students in middle and high school, to take initiative and learn about environmental issues they are interested in. Through personal research and plans to take action, at the end of the month, groups pitch their ideas, and if approved, work towards making them happen. Although there are no active projects yet, the EL has planned a future “food waste project” with Cezars Kitchen. As the youngest at Seisen to start her very own EL, when asked what inspired her to take this initiative, Yui replied, “As a child, I wasn’t really the type of person who cared as much for environmental issues. But after I went to a few programs, one of which was called Operation Earth, I began to notice the consequences of the small decisions we make in our everyday life. A quote that inspired me was, ‘The world doesn’t need us, but we need the environment, our world to live’, and I learned that we need to appreciate the environment we live in.” 

Dissection Club

       Furthermore, the Dissection Club was started this year by senior, Chloe Lee. The goal of this EL is to give students more experience in dissecting various organs and help improve their knowledge of different organs. When asked how students prepared for the dissections, Chloe replied, “They first learn about the structure of one organ, and in the next class, they dissect the real specimen to identify important parts.” Apart from that, when asked what makes this club unique from others with similar purposes, such as the Medical Careers EL, Chloe explained, “Although the Medical Careers Club conducts dissections, I believe that our club’s main objective is to enhance people’s interest in animal/human physiology instead of focusing on the medical aspects.” Finally, when asked what inspired her to start the dissection EL, Chloe replied, “I really enjoyed the dissections I did in  Biology class, but we only had the chance to dissect two organs. Therefore, I made a club where we can dissect organs in both greater quantity and variety.” Chloe’s initiative will provide future students of Seisen with more chances to learn about numerous organs, as well as getting first-hand experience through dissections.

Media Studies

       Finally, Media Studies was another EL introduced this year, brought to us by 10th grader, Yui K. Inspired by events such as the Black Lives Matter movement, Yui, like others, aspired to create a media outlet to spread awareness and teach others about important global issues. Although the idea came to Yui as a personal project, after the school offered students to create their own EL, she felt that everyone could benefit from the learning experience. When asked about what the members do in the club, Yui responded, “The ultimate goal for our club is to make an outlet (Instagram) where we continuously post about events that happened in the world.” When asked what makes them different and unique, she replied, “We try to not take stands or share biased arguments on our Instagram posts, but if we do have disagreements with a specific issue, we share it in our meetings and not on social media since the comment section of our platform is open to discussion.” 

       Everyone is looking forward to the growth of these ELs in the future and the new ideas that they will bring to Seisen. Their stories inspire us to have the courage and follow our passions because it will be more worthwhile than we think.  

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