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PHCS starting region’s first geology club

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PARISHVILLE - When Parishville-Hopkinton high school students return from their Thanksgiving break, they will have an opportunity unlike any other students in St. Lawrence County.

The school will host the first meeting of the Back Yard Geology Club on Thursday.

“There’s not a lot of clubs we could model ourselves after,” according to Michael Walter, who will be one of two volunteer advisors leading the club. “We found one in Ilion, but that’s the only one we could find.”

Mr. Walter explained the school has a lot of students who are interested in geology, but the elective offered by the school is only open to seniors. This club, he said, will allow students who may not be able to take the class due to their age or schedules an outlet to explore their interests.

“I know plenty of students who are interested in these activities, but they just don’t get the opportunity,” he said, adding the idea for the club actually came from a group of students.

One of those students, Jenna Converse, outlined the club to board of education members.

“As a club, we would like to have some guest speakers come in,” she said. “And maybe go on a field trip to dig for minerals or even visit a college to look at their science department.”

While nothing has been finalized, Mr. Walter said the club will likely host a few fundraisers.

“We don’t really want to rely on school funding for this,” he said. “We have a couple of speakers in mind for later this year and that shouldn’t cost anything, but if there was a field trip there would be some small costs.”

The club will be open to students in grades 9 through 12 and will meet on the last Thursday of each month.

“We know of some middle school students interested in this, but when you’re talking about field trips and speakers from colleges we feel it’s better suited as a high school club,” Mr. Walter said.

He will be assisted in supervising the club by Irene Sinclair.

After the board voted to appoint Mr. Walter and Ms. Sinclair as club advisors, high school Principal Robert A. Stewart said he’s excited to see another activity offered for the district’s students.

“We feel like this is a terrific opportunity for our kids,” he said.

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