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The Student News Site of Cape Coral High School

The Seahawk's Eye

The Student News Site of Cape Coral High School

The Seahawk's Eye

Psych Lab is a small but brainy club at Cape High

Psych+Lab+is+a+small+but+brainy+club+at+Cape+High
Renee Bella

With every passing school year, new clubs and students come and go. At Cape Coral High School, there are a plethora of clubs to choose from. Everything from chess club to esports, if you think about it, we got it. In the slight chance that Cape High doesn’t have a club, finding a sponsor to support a new club is an easy fix.

Last year at Cape High, AP/IB Psychology and AP U.S. Government teacher Ashley Koehler created a new club called Psych Lab. Koehler got the idea for the club when she went to a science conference and saw other science disciplines offering their students research and lab opportunities, so she decided to make a change for the better. 

“A lot of students, so many students tell me that they are planning to go into psychology or hear from former students who are in psychology majors now, or they’re getting their doctorate in psychology,” explained Koehler. “I thought what a leg up it would be for them to have research experience and maybe they could even put it on their college applications.”

After coming up with the idea for Psych Club, the only thing left to do was to come up with the design of how the club would run. Koehler stated, “Psych Lab Club is designed to look exactly like what research in college would look like. We even have an IRB (Institutional Review Board) which is where student research has to be approved by different members of the community.” 

Not only is the club based on what a real research lab environment would look like it is a student led club. Keijl explains, “We’re able to kind of coordinate what it is we’re studying. I mean, of course, we have those kind of limits based on like the ethics behind it, but the students are gonna be the ones leading these studies and, well, you know, she runs the group but it’s very student led or very student driven.”

By designing Psych Lab in this way, members of the club can get an in-depth view not only of what a psychologist looks like, but how a research lab feels and operates. By having these real life experiences, this club would be a perfect fit for anybody wanting to go into the research field.

One of the first experiments the club ever did was research on the impact of environmental distractions on people’s cognitive ability. 

Further diving into the specifics of the study, senior Tristan Hyatt explained, “We put people in a room and had them take a test in one group. There were no distractions like audio while there was another group with audio and then we just measured how many questions each group got right.” 

After hearing the specifics of this study, many people may have one question: “Do I need a background in psych to succeed in this club?”

“I would say that it would definitely help to have a psych background. But if someone was really interested in learning about research methods and how to conduct experiments, we would absolutely be happy to have them,” said Koehler.

Psych Lab is not only a place for people who take psychology, but people who are open, curious, and most importantly willing to try new things.

Even if you’re not interested in a career that involves research, Psych Lab is a great club to make friends as it’s a club that requires a lot of student interaction. From planning out psych labs to getting information from Cape’s student body, this club requires interaction. So if you’re a student who is struggling to make friends or just want to challenge your social skills, Psych Lab is a great place to be.

Elizebeth Keijl gives some encouragement to those who are still on the fence about whether or not they should check out Psych Lab. “If you’re even thinking about it, show up for that first meeting, talk to some of the students there, see why they’re interested in doing it and then go from there. See if you have those same interests, if you have the same kind of goals for the future, that sort of thing.”

As Keijl says, the first step is the most crucial component. Joining Psych Lab could spark a hidden passion that leads to a new career.

Another opportunity that Psych Lab provides is a great CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) opportunity for (IB) International Baccalaureate students. Psych Lab gives IB students to fill out not only their Creativity strand but their service strand as well. 

This is due to an IB student being able to come up with a lab that’s research would help people in their community as well as in the world. 

For those interested in joining the club, simply go to Koehler’s room, 226, and ask for the club permission slips. After getting it signed, turn it in to Koehler and you can attend the meetings which take place on the last Monday of every month. 

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Hector Alberro, Staff Writer
Renee Bella, Editor-in-Chief
All my puns are intended.
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