Spring semester clubs on the rise


Students with green thumbs can find their botanical family within the Paly Plants Club, founded by sophomore Eliza Stoksik. The club intends to revitalize the school’s community garden where members can nurture their own plants, according to Stoksik. “We are a garden club who plan to refurbish the Paly community garden, and encourage others and teach them how to nurture and grow plants,” Stoksik said. (Photo: Kristine Lin)

Evan Chien, Christopher Choi, and Kristine Lin

It’s been a few weeks since Palo Alto High School’s spring Club Day, and new clubs are still looking for members. With over 100 inclusive and innovative clubs across campus, there is no shortage of opportunities for students to get involved. Here are a few of our favorites:

Escondido Buddies Club

Founded by sophomores Aidan Wong and Aditya Romfh, the Escondido Buddies Club encourages high school students to tutor younger students at Escondido Elementary School, according to Romfh, who is an Escondido alumni.

“Our club mission is to give a mentoring opportunity to high school students, and also enrich learning for elementary school students,” Romfh said.

Romfh said he believes getting enough people to start this program will be difficult at first.

“I’d say that the hardest challenge will mainly be just starting and getting the word out there,” Romfh said. “But once it gets going, it will be a lot of success.”

The club meets Wednesdays and Fridays at lunch in Room 302. According to Romfh, in addition to helping their community, Palo Alto High School students can also earn service hours.

In the future, the club hopes to expand the reach of its tutoring program to other schools, considering Addison Elementary or even Greene Middle School as other viable options.

Paly Plants Club

The Paly Plants Club, led by sophomore Eliza Stoksik, meets Thursdays at lunch at the school’s community gardens. According to Stoksik, the club intends to plant and grow a variety of abundant flowers and leafy vegetables.

“We plan to plant mostly seasonal vegetables as well as a couple of flowers, either to give to students to take home, for a food drive, to [give to] the culinary arts classroom at Paly, or also even a farmer’s market,” Stoksik said.

Stoksik said her interest in gardening stems from her family and their Australian roots.

“My grandpa owned a farm,” Stoksik said. “When I was little, I would help out there whenever we went to visit him, and I absolutely loved it.  I really want to go into some form of agriculture in my future; [someday] I even want my own little farm.”

According to Stokskik, the Paly Plants Club offers many benefits for students who join, including learning how to create and care for their own home gardens. She said she believes knowing how to nurture a garden makes it easier to access fresh produce.

“Students actually can benefit a lot from learning how to grow their own plants,” Stoksik said. “They can take that information home and they can even make their own little gardens. If you have your own little garden where you grow your own things, then you don’t always have to worry about going to spend money on a lot of vegetables or fruits.”

Paly Aviation Club

Juniors Neel Sharma and EJ Rudolph-Harris are the co-presidents of the Paly Aviation Club, which aims to teach students about the often-overlooked world of aviation.

According to Sharma, their club is unique in the sense since no other club at Paly covers aviation. According to Rudolph-Harris, students can benefit from joining the club by learning more about technology, especially as Paly is located in the technology-rich Bay Area.

“In Palo Alto, we tend to really emphasize our partnership with technological advancements, like with computer chips and so forth,” Rudolph-Harris said. “But we always forget about aviation history, like the rich environment around here. It’s really just glossed over and we really want to highlight that rich history in our area regarding aviation.”

The Paly Aviation Club meets every other Thursday at lunch in Room 1714. Sharma and Rudolph-Harris encourage all students to join the club, as aviation is an inevitable part of the future.

“Aviation’s pretty prominent and always will be because we’re always going to need transport across countries since it’s very efficient,” Sharma said. “You’re always going to somehow use planes in your life. Being knowledgeable about planes can help us come to a consensus and help change the future of aviation.”

AI Art Club

The Artificial Intelligence Art Club was founded by freshmen Jonathan Yuen and Jeremy Yuen. According to Jeremy Yuen, the brothers hope to garner and promote interest in AI art within the student body.

“Our goal is to spread awareness about AI art and learn to make some cool-looking art,” Jeremy Yuen said. “AI art is just another form of artistic expression and it can help to channel your inner creativity, even for people who aren’t especially good at traditional art mediums. I think that people can benefit by learning and having fun while doing it.”

The Yuen brothers decided to form this club after seeing other AI artworks and realizing that it wasn’t too difficult to make their own, according to Jeremy Yuen.

“We were inspired [to create the club] by how people have made amazing art without needing a lot of experience in painting or drawing,” Jeremy Yuen said. “You can still make cool things without [needing] too much background knowledge.”

The club meets Wednesdays at lunch in Room 862. Jeremy Yuen said he believes the club will be able to recruit students who are genuinely interested in learning about artistic technology.

“People will be interested in joining the club if they want to learn about AI art and try it for themselves,” Jeremy Yuen said. “There aren’t any attendance or work requirements, so anyone is free to drop by and check it out.”

Assassin’s Guild Club

For the gamers of Paly, the Assassin’s Guild Club, formed by senior Lucas Abraham and sophomores Rohan Bhatia and Graeme Kieran, provides the perfect opportunity for students to engage in a thrilling, competitive game. According to Kieran, the rules of Assassin’s Guild are similar to those of Senior Elimination, except instead of using beach balls to tag players out, players must attach clothespins onto other participants, thus “assassinating” them. The club plans to play all across campus, using all space as part of the game, Kieran said.

“You can play all around the school,” Kieran said. “There are safe zones, like an active classroom, just to not disrupt class time. But during passing periods or before and after school, are all valid pinning times.”

Kieran said he hopes that playing in Assassin’s Guild will help students loosen up from the stress of schoolwork, especially before heavy exams.

“I just think it’s a good place for students to get away from the stress of school, especially right before finals week,” Kieran said. “It’s a fun thing to do during passing periods. There’s a little bit of fun to the school day.”

The club has biweekly meetings in Room 1706 at lunch on Tuesdays. According to Kieran, the club also hopes to introduce new, more innovative game modes, including a zombies game. Kieran said he looks forward to connecting with more students and reviving the game, which used to be more popular before COVID.

“Join, because it’s really fun,” Kieran said. “Just give it a shot, like play one game, and see how you like it.”