Van Antwerp has many opportunities for students to take part in, one of them being our wide variety of student groups. If you are interested in participating in any of the following, please contact the listed faculty member.
AMC Mathematics Competition
Advisor/Contact: Math Department
Time of Year: December
This is an annual national test competition in mathematics. It is open by invitation to students based on their math scores and achievement. See the AMC 8 website for further information.
Advisors/Contacts: Mrs. LaPatra
Time of Year: September-June
Art Club is open to all students grades 6-8. Students are in the process of painting 3 community mural projects in the school hallways. Art Club is also a space where students can come to catch up on school art projects or work on their own personal artwork. Art club is held every Thursday from 3:15-4 p.m.
Advisors/Contacts: Mr. McFerran, Mrs. McCarthy, and Mrs. Brady
Time of Year: October-May
Best Buddies participants partner with another student as a friend and support in order to promote social skills and promote an increased sense of community in our building. “Buddies” participate in a variety of social and service activities in our community.
Advisors: Mrs. Rakoczy and Mr. Yager
Students are taught the basics of fishing and take several fall and/or spring trips to local fishing spots. The club practices “catch and release” fishing and welcomes any interested student. Equipment is provided if needed and there is no cost or experience necessary to participate. The club is open to any student in any grade level.
Students plan and build a scale model of a “city of the future”. The club competes against other schools in the region based on a set criteria. See the Future Cities website for further details (www.futurecity.org) The club is open to students in any grade level.
Advisors/Contacts: Mrs. McCarthy and Mr. McFerran
Time of Year: As determined by advisors
Simply put, Game Club is a place to get together and play video games with friends. The school has a Wii gaming system that students are welcome to use. This club normally meets after-school as often as possible with a group of interested students.
Advisor/Contact: Mr. LeBel
Time of Year: November through January
The National Geography Bee is open to any interested student. Students qualify through a competition on their team to score the highest on a qualifying exam. The VA competition includes the 3 top scoring 6th and 7th graders as well as the 4 top scoring 8th graders. The Van Antwerp champion takes a written test to qualify for the NYS competition.
Advisors/Contacts: Mr. McFerran and Mrs. McCarthy
Time of Year: November through May
Homework Club is designed to provide assistance to those in need of homework help or a quiet place to complete homework. High school tutors are available to help. The club meets on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:20-4 p.m. when VA has late bus runs. Participation is determined by a combination of interest, need and recommendation of teachers and counselors.
Advisor: S. Wolfort
Makerspace Club is about encouraging exploration, building creative confidence, and developing grit through passion projects and design challenges. Activities range from coding and electronics to 3D printing and inventing solutions using recycled materials.
Advisor/Contact: Ivan Malcevic
Time of Year: September-June w/ Competition in February
Math Counts focuses on problem solving and investigation in mathematics. Work is completed in a group/team setting to prepare and compete in regional and national competitions during the month of February. The club is open to any interested 6th through 8th grader. See the MathCounts webpage for more information.
Niska-Day Float Club
Advisor: Mr. Aldous
Students of any grade level are invited to help plan and build our Van Antwerp Middle School Nisa-Day float. No experience is necessary. Participants are also encouraged to march in the parade.
Advisors/Contacts: Mrs. Leader
Time of Year: September through June (Monday and Thursday-Before and After School)
Podcasting Club participants help to film and edit Van Antwerp’s Morning Show. Students learn iMovie basics to create student -produced programs. Podcasting Club is always in need of anchors for the Morning Show. Contact Mrs. Leader to participate.
Advisor/Contact: Mrs. Postlethwait
Time of Year: November through March
Students met as a team to practice in a Jeopardy style question and answer format to prepare for the regional competition held at GE Research & Development during the first week of March. Students meet about twice a week to review science content and practice on a buzzer set up. They also must meet on weekends to build a lithium ion batter operated car as part of the competition. The winning team at Regional moves on the Nationals in Washington D.C. in April. All students are eligible, but must take a qualifying exam and meet other criteria in order to be on the final team of five.
SeaPerch: Underwater Robotics Club
Advisors/Contacts: Mr. Blechinger and Mrs. Tylock
Time of Year: February through May
SeaPerch is open to 7th and 8th grade students. This is a STEM activity sponsored by KAPL, incorporating many subject areas. In order to participate, students must be in good academic standing. Students will work in cooperative groups to design, construct and test a robot in underwater obstacle courses, after receiving initial instruction on submersible vehicles. They will learn the engineering design process to create a solution to a problem. Students will gain experience in working with a team in a competitive environment. They will work alongside an engineer mentor from Knolls Atomic Power Lab and the advisors listed above. See the SeaPerch website for more information.
Advisors/Contacts: Mrs. Redman and Mrs. Cotugno-Surin
This program is designed for any interested skier or snowboarder. We go to Jiminy Peak in Massachusetts. Lessons and rentals are available. Ski Club runs from January-February (Friday nights, the bus leaves at 3:30 p.m. and returns at 10:45 p.m.)
Advisors/Contacts: Mrs. Tylock, Mrs. Severance, and Mrs. Malkis
Seven students from each grade level are elected to Student Council. Meetings are held on Friday mornings from 8-9 a.m.
The purpose of Student Council is to:
- Provide for communication among students and to make VA an even better school.
- Keep faculty, students, and administration working together on school projects.
- Encourage school spirit and support school activities.
- Promote leadership and citizenship among students.
- Join in community activities.
Advisors/Contacts: Mrs. McCarthy and Mr. McFerran
This is a club aimed at helping students understand and appreciate diversity, build social understanding and explore related issues of bullying/harassment. The club receives support from Schenectady County Embraces Diversity and has the charge of promoting a school climate that appreciates/respects diversity. All 7th and 8th graders are eligible and qualify based on interest and recommendation from their counselor. Study Circle students participate in school visits, team-building activities, outreach and planning related to embracing diversity.
Advisor: A. Malone
Visibility meets as a group to provide a safe, supportive, inclusive environment both within the club and in the larger school community for students who identify as LGBTQI+ or as Allies. Students will participate in activities that educate themselves, their peers, and staff on issues that affect individuals who identify as LGBTQI+. Club members will be challenged to confront bullying and homophobic slurs/statements in order to create a safer middle school environment for all students.
W.E.B. (Where Everyone Belongs)
Advisors/Contacts: Mr. McFerran and Ms. Hughes
This is a club of 8th grade “leaders” that help 6th grade students make the transition to middle school. W.E.B. leaders contact their assigned 6th grade student, help to run the summer orientation and check in with their new students in the fall of their first year at VA. W.E.B. leaders also become a volunteer corps at school, helping with a variety of school events and projects. All 8th graders are eligible, but participants are selected by school counselors based on their ability to be a role model and work positively with 6th grade students.
Advisor: Mr. Pletman
This program meets one time a month for 6th graders, who travel by school bus to Wywood on Union St. at 3 p.m. Participating students work with Wynwood residents on crafts, a talent show, planting flowers, playing games , and most importantly, building relationships. Students are picked up by parents at Wynwood at 4:30.
Yearbook, Van Antwerp
Advisors: Mrs. Cotugno-Surin and Mrs. Redman
Time of Year: Pre-sales: August-December
The purpose of the yearbook is to create lasting memories for VA. If you are interested in submitting photos of activities, events or social gatherings, please submit an image CD to Mrs C-S or Mrs. Redman.