Club fair goes virtual

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By Anika Basu, Staff Reporter What was once a hallway fair bustling with club presidents, students, poster boards and Schoology join codes has been converted into a virtual Flipgrid. This year, Conestoga held the annual club fair online via Flipgrid, a video making and editing website where students were able to create short videos about...

By Anika Basu, Staff Reporter

What was once a hallway fair bustling with club presidents, students, poster boards and Schoology join codes has been converted into a virtual Flipgrid. This year, Conestoga held the annual club fair online via Flipgrid, a video making and editing website where students were able to create short videos about their clubs. 

The virtual fair took place from Sept. 21 to Sept. 25. Each day featured a different club category: academic, service, culture/language and sports/activities. On the final day of the fair, a Flipgrid was posted with all categories as an overview. Director of student activities Chandra Singh said she knew the fair would be virtual before the school year started. An in-person event wouldn’t be possible because the earliest reopening would be the week of the club fair.

“That just wasn’t going to be conducive for students. To get acclimated to the building and to throw a club fair on top of that.” Singh said.

Aside from participants themselves, Peer Mediation played a large role in communicating information about the fair to presidents, compiling the Flipgrids, and promoting the event.

This outline for the fair contrasts with the in-person fair from previous years. There was a gallery walk where members could present their club to students through posters and interactive activities. Anyone with a free period could come by and view the available opportunities.

When making videos, students had a limited amount of time to convey information about their club, meeting days, and accommodations being made during virtual/hybrid learning. There were opportunities for club presidents to be creative with how they made videos. Various editing techniques, presentations, and numbers of members introducing the club allowed for a wide range of representations. For example, the Crew club inserted photos in the background while the president was speaking.

After composing the video, students could trim it, allowing for the ideal introduction to a new member. Modifying and perfecting what people say would not be possible in person.

When creating their videos, club presidents had various opportunities and disadvantages which would not have been present in person. According to junior Rylie Di Maio, co-president of the French Club, the virtual setting was easier socially, especially for freshmen speaking to upperclassmen. 

“It’s way less intimidating and I think it’s easier for them to navigate,” Di Maio said. 

However, some students believe that the change in setting altered or eliminated some important aspects of the fair, such as the unique atmosphere. Junior Aaron Grossman, president of the Computers for Kids service club, said he was planning on displaying custom-built computers made by club members this year. Additionally, he would ask people if they could identify computer parts from pictures.

” They would get a little piece of candy if they did, and it was just a great way to get people interacting and signing up,” Grossman said. However, he was not able to replicate this interaction virtually.

Senior Andy Mei, president of the Statistics Club, thought that less communication during the club fair would be a struggle throughout the year during meetings as well. Students choosing not to actively participate would downplay the club environment.

“Not everyone has to turn on their camera and this kind of forces only the people who are genuinely interested in the club to participate,” Mei said. 

From the viewing perspective, freshman Rhea Malik said she enjoyed having the entire fair available for reference. Rather than picking up information in the moment, she was able to rewatch videos. .

“Things were very accessible for everyone that wanted to join,” Malik said. “In the end she put all the clubs in one Flipgrid didn’t have to go back and forth .”

Despite these costs and benefits presented, Singh was impressed by the overall performance in the fair. When asked if the Flipgrids met her expectations, Singh said they exceeded them. 

“Our students are so capable and they’re so tech savvy,” Singh said. ” I hope that everyone saw value in the club fair.” 

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