The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

A Deep Dive into HSMSE’s Clubs

When the final bell rings at 2:50, students rush to various clubs and HSMSE truly becomes alive. In these club meetings, our community’s uniqueness and diversity becomes apparent. Even after the school day’s learning ends, students get to enjoy a fun-filled afternoon with their friends and spend their free time in an environment that can pique new interests or expand on what they already know and love. It can provide an escape from the usual standard high school curriculum and stressful classes. 


Most students don’t realize how impactful a club can be on one’s life. Clubs allow a place for students to express your individuality. Just like the ideals of Romanticism that our English teachers drill into our brains in our sophomore year, self-expression is crucial for someone to connect with their identity and roots. When a student joins a club, they are able to embrace their originality and connect with peers. With the new cultural clubs, students also gain a new perspective on other people’s identities and backgrounds as well as a deeper knowledge of their own. This fosters a stronger connection between our school’s community. The independence, connections, and empathy students gain within the simple act of spending an hour outside school, follows them as they move forward for the rest of their lives. 


Maybe you signed up for a club at the club fair and got too caught up to attend the meetings. Maybe your parents have been complaining that you don’t spend enough time on your extracurricular activities. Or maybe you just want to find a group of people who share your hobby. Regardless, we hope that you use this guide as a way to find the perfect club for you. In case you don’t, take it upon yourself to start your dream club!




JSU (@hsmse.jsu) 

Last year, Jacqueline Feldman took on the task of founding the Jewish Student Union, bringing the welcoming National Conference of Synagogue Youth (NCSY) Jewish Student Union (JSU) program to our school community. Jackie being a part of the NCSY regional board allows for the HSMSE JSU to have a direct connection to the board and first hand opportunities to regional, national and international events and overnight trips. JSU is an amazing community and a great opportunity to make new friends within our school and outside of school. The club meets in B1 on Mondays and spends the time engaging with members in relevant and fun ways to teach Jewish traditions. Presidents Jackie Feldman and Nomi Gedzelman have hosted meetings that focus on Jewish holidays and stories. Those interested in becoming familiar with Jewish tradition or even just free pizza can speak with Ms. Bennet, stay updated on Instagram or simply attend the next meeting.




Ping Pong Club (@hsmse.pingpong)

HSMSE has a Ping Pong Club that meets every Tuesday in room C2 and is open to all students of all skill levels. The club usually sets up three tables and students play in singles or doubles. An interesting fact about Ping Pong aka Table Tennis is that it is a racket sport derived from tennis and has been an officially recognized Olympic sport since 1988.


German Club 

Under Mr. Salisbury’s supervision, this club is designed for National German Honor Society students and engaged German learners. Students come together to help with tutoring and planning for the German program in C3.  


GSA (Gender and Sexuality Alliance) 

GSA meets in 103 to talk about current events through group discussions surrounding a new weekly topic. The topics can range from historical, such as the history of different gender pronouns in languages, to current topics like today’s representation of LGBTQ+ in the media.  The club is also somewhere to allow for students to speak about serious topics, such as the marriage law. Oliver Grover says that the club feels like “an open space to talk and share personal experiences.” Some meetings focus on lighter topics like the Met Gala outfits and give students a space to relax. If you’re looking for a place to have safe and welcoming conversations come by when you can. The club welcomes new people, as Ocean Hiller says, “We’re always excited to meet new members.” 


MSA (Muslim Student Alliance) (@hsmse_MSA)

Under Mr. Salisbury’s supervision, students meet in C3 to share knowledge of Islamic culture and religion while having fun and strengthening the HSMSE Muslim community. They started from the idea that there wasn’t enough Islamic awareness in the school. The club’s purpose is to clear common misconceptions such as Islamic views on how Muslims should behave or discuss the widely misunderstood Quran verses/hadiths in their appropriate contexts. Students in this club also participate and plan activities such as henna night, potlucks, and trivia games. This year, the club is going into the MIST or Muslim Interscholastic Tournament. Sanjida Sultana, a member of this club, gave us an example of one of the club’s activities: Muslims believe in “jinns” which is another creature mentioned in the Quran (apart from humans). Jinns are also similar to (if not the same) what people would call ghosts. MSA had “jinn stories” where everyone told spooky stories and ate snacks.

Rock Band

Our school has our own rock band! A chance for students interested in rock music to learn and play new songs. Ms.Brown works alongside students to help familiarize them with instruments and improve their skills in C4. She says, “Play it loud! Students rock out weekly to their favorite music from a variety of genres with guest appearances from Rockstar Herr Salsbury.” We were all blown away by the performance of many students in the rock band during the winter recital! 

Key Club (@hsmsekeyclub)

In Key Club, students receive opportunities to earn community service hours. Students get 1 hour of community service for attending each meeting. Meetings are held every other Tuesday in B5. During the meetings, students have opportunities to get more service hours through games and activities, being introduced to service opportunities around the city such as cleanup and possibilities for leadership positions for passionate members. 

Aerospace and Rocketry Club (@rocketryclubhsmse)

Alongside leader Kim Huang, Ms. Gin meets with students giving them a chance to experiment and test their engineering skills. Thanks to the PTA they were able to get funding for model rocketry kits. You can find them in room 201. 

Hispanic Heritage Club (@hsmsehispanicheritage) 

You might’ve smelt the delicious food coming from 101 on Tuesdays. That’s the Hispanic Heritage Club. Started this year by Ciara Sanisaca and Jazmine Chavez to teach about Hispanic culture and create a safe space for cultural exchange and dialogue. Students from all different backgrounds are welcome, which fosters an environment of inclusivity, respect, and appreciation for a minority group at HSMSE. Two of the recent meetings consisted of bachata dancing and watching a telenovela. 


Creative Writing (@hsmse_creative_writing_club)

The Creative Writing club is a very casual club with no leaders (not even Mr. Choi, really) and no particular rules. It’s held in B1 every week and offers a forum for students to share their writing for feedback, either with others individually or with the whole class. “I’ve been a member since its founding, and it’s always been a very comfortable and welcoming environment,” says senior Asher Moskowitz.

Urban Neighborhood Club (@hsmseurn)

Urban Neighborhood is a club dedicated to learning and advocating about complications in Urban communities that started this school year. Taking place in C1 hosted by founders Melvin Mendez and Nathaniel Tjen and it is supervised by Mr. Pellegrino. Events are made in the hopes of supporting neighborhoods without much funding and presenting designated solutions and products.

Philosophy Club (@mse.philosophy)

Started by Leah Asinovski, the club is a place where people come together to debate over a wide variety of topics, ranging from the ethics of school food to the meaning of life. It’s held in Ms. Hesseltine’s C-floor dungeon (C5) on Tuesdays and fosters deep thinking and hones the art of argumentation.


Drama Club (@hsmse_drama_club)

An outlet for those wanting to build their acting skills or write short films, you can find them in B1. It is a small but growing club mainly focused on film-making. They are currently in the process of writing a script for a short film. Junior Eva Lang, president of the club, shares “We improve our acting through various fun improv activities. We would welcome anyone interested in joining to act, write, or film.”

Debate (@hsmsedebate)

Debate is held in B7 on Wednesdays as an opportunity for students to learn valuable skills such as written communication skills, public speaking skills, and presentation skills. This club is open to all students, whether you’ve done debate previously or not. Meetings are designed as a chance to participate in mock debates and debate exercises as a way to prepare students’ skills for upcoming tournaments. President Jazmine Chavez and assistant coach Ella-Devi Weerackody help teams create their arguments and hone their skills for tournaments. Recently on December 9th, the teams argued whether or not the federal government should forgive all student loans. Overall, they came out with 6 awards. This team, one of the most decorated teams in HSMSE, is always engaged in working with any interested students (regardless of skill level).

Dungeons and Dragons 

Described as a “fantasy tabletop role-playing game,” Dungeons and Dragons is played at our school in Mr.Salisbury’s room C3. The DMs or Dungeon Masters help to create and assign adventures to groups of 5-6 people. Mr.Salisbury joked that it feels like 5 million kids come to play and he has to open two rooms until almost 5 pm. The students in this club have been on adventures for sometimes even over a year. When asked they showered the club with praise, some even calling it the “best club ever!” “Salisbury makes it very fun and enjoys the company and also you can find a dragon on the door named Gus that was created by D&D.” There is a wide variety of D&D games varying from murder mysteries to traditional fantasy adventures. Students in the club urge you to “run into C2&C3” and have fun after a long day. 

Game Club 

Are you looking for a place to destress after a long day and play some fun games? If so, Game Club in 103 is where you will wanna be. Meetings allow students to play board games, card games, and/or video games and form camaraderie with their peers. The chance to be with friends and destress before going home to do work is an excellent opportunity for students that should be taken advantage of. 

Coding Club (@msecodingclub)

Coding Club is open to all students who want to learn different types of coding and/or programming such as machine learning and Python, etc. The club is virtual until Mr. Liu comes back as he’s the club advisor. Once he comes back they’ll be in his room (103)!


Asian Cultural Society (@hsmseacs)

An inclusive club started last year with the mission of presenting Asian culture to the HSMSE community in an engaging and fun way. Activities at this club include cross-cultural potlucks with delicious food, movie-watching, and other cultural activities like origami. Junior Tann Waraloardgoson shared that “the club feels very chill because you get to hang out with people and learn some things about my own (or others’) cultures. I love the chill vibes of hanging out with people at the club too. It’s so much fun!” You can find them in room 201 with Ms. Gin.

Fed Challenge

Supervised by Mr. Trimarco in room 202, The High School Fed Challenge is an opportunity for students who want to pursue a career in economics. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York designs a theme for these high school teams to compete against each other. The theme for this year is Economics at Work. The teams select any topic that relates to the theme and can be researched. Right now, HSMSE students are in the process of researching and working on a podcast script to submit. The Bank judges the teams’ academic analysis of the topic and selects submissions to be posted on the Journal of Future Economists. This year, new students can not join but they are always welcome next year. 

The Mental Breakdown and the SOS (@hsmsemb and @thesosmse)

This year, sophomores Samuel DeSilva and Laura Morel decided to bring to our community a podcast and newsletter. The podcast is designed as an outlet for mental health discussions. On the podcast’s Instagram, @hsmsetmb, they wrote “As high schoolers, we face a lot of academic and extracurricular pressure to do well. TMB is an outlet to unpack and rewind ourselves.” In a recent meeting, they worked to begin brainstorming and drafting a script for their first episode. You can find them in 108, biweekly. Alongside their podcast, Sam and Laura began a joint newsletter. Their goal is to work with other mental health groups as a way to create a safe space for students and promote their mission of normalizing mental health discussions. You can stay up to date by following @thesosmse on Instagram. 

Crochet & Crafts club (@hsmse.crochetcrafts)

In room 108, you can find this first-year club teaching and guiding members through the art of crochet. Join them from 3PM to 4PM in room 108! The club is led by president Nasid Anowar and vice president Kiara Wilson who help teach beginners how to crochet. There’s no need to bring anything because the club provides all the tools necessary to crochet. Nasid also has a playlist you can add to if you want to hear any specific music while crocheting. It’s a really calming and peaceful club, great for relaxing after a hard day in school! Just move your hands and chat with your friends, there’s no need for deep thinking here. Mr. Zara is the advisor (and he joins in on crocheting sometimes). 

Chess Club

The club meets in room C2 every B-day Thursday. It has an incredibly relaxed atmosphere where you can go in, grab a set and play anyone you wish to play. There are around 15 people in the club and it is led by Mr. Chan. In this club you can learn about chess from people who are more experienced, play normally or even alternate game modes such as bughouse and even simuls. There aren’t any major rules to uphold either and it lasts for around 75 minutes. If you want a relaxed place where you can just destress and play chess, chess club is the place for you. We are always looking for new members who are interested in the game, regardless of prior experience or not.


Bio Med (hsmse_biomedclub)

This club meets in 108 for students who are interested in pursuing the medical field. Everyone is welcome in this club even if you know nothing about medicine as it works to help students become comfortable with different topics in medicine. In these meetings, there is usually a small presentation on the topic of the day and then an activity to go along with it. Some of the recent activities included a practice suturing kit and jeopardy challenges. It helps to provide students with background knowledge on key subjects in medicine and ask any questions to Dr. Asamani. As a way to give back to the community, students packaged toiletries for Blythedale Hospital just in time for the holiday season. 


Black Student Union (@hsmsebsu)

BSU or Black Student Union was introduced to our school as a club for awareness and discussion in our community. It hosts many fun and lighthearted meetings but is also sure to encourage discussion of more serious issues that affect black students in our community and around the world. President Moussa Konde says, “[club members can] communicate any grievances to make the school a better place.” Meetings cover advice, coping mechanisms, educational trips, and games. Last year they visited the Schomburg Center and this year hosted the multicultural potluck with ACS and the Hispanic Heritage Club. They sold food from different cultures and raised money for a charity to provide food during the holidays to homes that were less fortunate. Anyone is encouraged to join! (room 103)

Science Olympiad 

Science Olympiad, led by Mr. Swenson, is a club where students compete in events against other schools. They are skill-based events and the previous one was at the end of January. Key topics discussed in this club include chemistry labs, forensics, plane building, scrambler, rocks & minerals, astronomy, anatomy & physiology, and cell biology. Another activity is team members working together, one team member describes something, and another rebuilds it. When Mr. Swenson was asked about the Science Olympiad, he gave the two-word response, “It’s good.” Join them in room 107!

Model UN (@hsmsemodelun)

Weekly meetings in B11, Model UN is an outlet for students to advance their attendance at conferences, win awards, public speaking, research skills, problem-solving, and teamwork skills. In December members attended a conference at Masters High School along with Mr.Pellegrino and Ms.Rasuk. Using the prior weeks to prepare, students showed off their hard work when they won verbal commendation awards and honorable mention awards. 

The Echo Student Newspaper (@theechohsmse)

After over a decade without a student newspaper, two seniors, Zoe Otto and Orlena Fella created The Echo to fill this gap. The Echo’s mission is to give HSMSE students a voice, provide entertainment, and serve as a helpful resource for HSMSE readers. In the humble opinion of The Echo staff, it’s the greatest club (and elective!) ever. Students meet in C5 and work as writers, editors, artists, photographers and designers alongside the elective to put together a new issue. The Echo club gives students an opportunity to express their ideas and opinions about both our school and events affecting our community in a fun and collaborative environment. Take a look at The Echo’s website, to see articles from past issues. If you’re interested in taking a role in the newspaper, speak to Ms. Hesseltine or stop by a club meeting on Thursdays in C5.


Book Club (hsmse.book_club)

The HSMSE book club meets in C5. President Kehaploy Kamonpanyakul says that “Book Club aims to be an open club where anyone can join to discuss books they have read before. As of right now, we make fun art projects for the book we are reading, Color Outside the Lines, by Sangu Mandanna. In the future, we hope that books are read for fun and not just for English class.” Be sure to stop by to engage in thoughtful conversations and achieve your New Year’s resolution of reading (and finishing) more books. 

Chamber Music

Led by Ms. Brown in C4, chamber music is a club where students work in a small ensemble to create a collaboration of beautiful music. As Ms. Brown says, “Deeply dedicated and highly talented students meet to collaborate on great works of classical music and make them even greater.” Students work with great passion to create music, and welcome anyone who is interested in participating in Chamber Music. 


Also led by Ms. Brown in C4, students meet and engage in activities such as karaoke and other fun singing-related activities. Ms. Brown shares, “acapella is a wild cacophony of enthusiastic, highly talented and intensely passionate, joyful collection of human beings that love to sing with each other.” She emphasizes the extent of club members’ love for singing and that the club allows them to do what they love in a fun, stress-free environment. 

Friends of St. Nicolas Park

Mr. Salisbury described members of this club as an engaged group of kids who do their part to clean up the big city. All the students interested in volunteering meet in C3 and are directed to do certain tasks that are given by an adult associated with the park. They then head to the park and help to clean up the city. If you are interested in making a difference (or boosting your community service hours) then this is a great outlet for you. 

Environmental Activism Club (@hsmse_eac)

Interested in helping your environment? You’re in luck. Environmental Activism Club is the perfect place for you to be after school. In B7 you can find out about all the ways you can help our community’s environment. Just this year they’ve hosted a movie, a quad cleanup, and a leaf cleanup at Riverside Park. These cleanups are a great way to earn service hours and do your part for the city. 

Dr. Dragon (@hsmsedr.dragon)

Advised by Mr. Choi, Dr. Dragon is HSMSE’s student-run STEM magazine club. With an issue published every semester, members work to curate a professionally written, edited, and designed magazine with articles focused on STEM topics including science, math, engineering, and architecture. They recently released their fall issue, which you can buy for $5 in B7 or read online at a later date. A new issue is on the way, with articles including: Zombies! Could a Zombie Apocalypse Really Happen?, The Science of Natural Hair, and Understanding the 4th Dimension. The club meets remotely every Thursday at 6 pm. Please reach out to Mr. Choi or Dr. Dragon’s current president, junior Leo Mazur at [email protected] if you’re interested in contributing as a writer, editor or designer! 

Art (@hsmse._.artclub)

Have you ever seen the gorgeous column in the chemistry room? That is the result of the art club’s hard and beautiful work. This club is a space for creative students to enjoy expressing themselves. The leadership positions in the club are split into two teams: half of the students go to Mr. Thompson’s room and the other half work on themed activities under Mr. Pedroso’s supervision, and they rotate jobs every week. In preparation for the holiday season, they decorated ornaments and cards. They’ve also worked with the drama club in creating props. 

Red Cross Club 

Under Ms. Rasuk’s supervision, students Rayna Parikh, Michelle Lee, and Sophia Chan teamed up to start our school’s very own Red Cross club. This club does fundraising activities for multiple foundations, including the Red Cross. For example, last year they set up a bake sale to raise money for a foundation that helps the homeless. This year, the club hosted an event for the elderly where they decorate paper bags that are used to provide hot meals in disadvantaged communities. The club is currently not meeting, but members are hoping to host more events throughout the year, so keep an eye out for opportunities to lend a hand! 


When your sixth period class ends and the final bell rings once more, chances are now you’ll run off to another room and partake in our school’s abundance of clubs. Clubs are a clear impression of how much our students care about our community: it takes a lot of dedication and love to stay in this building past 2:50. Students who have worked to start or keep a club running leave behind an amazing legacy that will make their mark on our school for future generations. As a small school, we should pride ourselves on the diversity our clubs offer, and the skills and lessons we can learn from them: not lectures or textbooks but rather stories, skills, and experiences.

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