Student Life


Serve. Grow. Lead.

Dowling Catholic High School students are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities to enrich their high school experience and to positively contribute to the school culture. Extracurricular activities promote learning, development and student engagement by offering students opportunities to develop leadership skills, cultivate new interests, and foster personal growth. Participation helps students develop a sense of community and prepare for life after high school. For more information about each club, including specific requirements and the moderator, please download the Dowling Catholic Activities Handbook.

List of 1 members.

  • Photo of Jeff Ferguson

    Jeff Ferguson 

    Activities Director

Academic Clubs

List of 9 items.

  • Academic Decathlon

    Participants study a set curriculum in ten areas over the first six months of the school year. The curriculum changes each year. Recent areas of study have been WWI, Russia, and the environment.
  • Dowling Catholic Student Investment Fund

    The Dowling Catholic Student Investment Fund is dedicated to imparting advanced financial literacy education to students by providing them with hands-on experience in managing a real investment portfolio. Our program teaches about publicly traded stocks and other securities, investment platforms, and investment strategies that align with the Catholic Church and the Dowling Catholic Foundation Investment Guidelines. We also aim to promote philanthropy within the Dowling Catholic community.
  • FFA

    FFA is a youth organization consisting of more than 19,700 student members, as part of 263 local FFA chapters across Iowa. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education. 
  • Mock Trial

    Courtroom-based competition where students role-play legal cases, arguing their case in front of judges.
  • National Honor Society

    To recognize and encourage academic achievement while developing other characteristics essential to good citizenship, including character, service and leadership. 
  • Odyssey of the Mind

    Teams solve a long-term problem and prepare for a spontaneous problem to present at a state competition in March.

    Click here for more information
  • Robotics Club

    Teams design and construct a robot for the annual nationwide FIRST Tech Challenge Competition.
  • Science Bowl

    A jeopardy-style competition where students are tested on all the sciences.
  • Speech and Debate

    Learn rhetoric, research, and presentation. Competition opportunities vary depending on events and success. Students become members of the National Forensic League honor society. Events range from interpretation acting events to argumentation events.

Leisure Activities

List of 18 items.

  • Archery Club

    Meet other archers and go shoot as a group. Members can also plan trips to competitions and go as a group.
  • Art Club

    Allows students to share their love of art with other students in an informal setting, while producing, critiquing, and enjoying art together. 
  • Bee Club

    DCHS students will study and maintain bee hives. The club will meet weekly to discuss issues related to bees in general. We will also discuss the progress of our hives and prepare for the next steps depending on the time of year and the needs of the hives.
  • Chess Club

    Provides an opportunity for students to develop their game skills and a greater appreciation for the game of chess.
  • Creative Writing Club

    Creative Writing Club is a student-led gathering of writers of all different styles and abilities. The weekly meetings provide a positive, productive, and fun atmosphere where students can freely share their works and ideas.
  • Dowling Trap & Skeet Club

    Athletes participate in the Iowa Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP), focusing on the discipline of American Trap, Singles. The Iowa DNR states the goal of this program is to “instill life skills such as discipline, safety, teamwork, ethics, mental focus, self-discipline, and self-confidence.” Trap shooting teaches the safe, ethical use of firearms and provides both individual and team-buildingactivities that develop personal responsibility and maturity. Students participating in Dowling Catholic’s program will be asked to volunteer for outside activities that promote environmental conservation, ethical hunting, and community involvement.
  • Dungeons & Dragons Club

    A meeting for adventurers of all sorts to gather and weave a story, devise a strategy, and role play.
  • Fishing Club

    Members talk and educate other members about fishing and plan fishing trips together. It is for all skill levels and a way for students to meet other people interested in fishing.
  • International Club

    Foster a development and awareness, appreciation, and understanding of the international community. To learn about people and places around the globe.
  • Japanese Anime

    Club members will enjoy a social atmosphere focused on the culture of Japanese anime and manga.
  • Knitting Club

    To knit clothes (scarves and hats) and donate them to those in need.
  • Maroon Crew

    Maroon Crew is the student spirit group for DCHS. Crew members provide support, promotion and excitement for Dowling Catholic athletics and activities.
  • Movie Appreciation Club

    Students watch thirty minutes of a movie once a week until the movie is finished. When done, we discuss different aspects of the film and how they impact creation, look and performance of the film.
  • Origami Club

    Creation of Origami inspired art.
  • Photography Club

    If you enjoy photography this is the club to show off what you like to photograph. Use a phone or a professional camera, your choice. You will also learn how to make your photos better and more interesting to viewers.
  • Pickleball Club

    Play pickleball in the fall semester.
  • Rollerblading Club

    Bring students together of all skill levels to enjoy rollerblading.
  • Video Game Club

    After school club for students to socialize and compete in various video games.


List of 21 items.

  • Best Buddies

    An organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities by providing opportunities for one-to-one friendships and integrated employment, and by promoting inclusion of all people. Dowling students are buddies with students from Ruby Van Meter school.
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters

    Students are matched with an elementary student through the Big Brothers, Big Sisters Organization. Matches meet one-on-one at the child's elementary school for 30-60 minutes each week after school. The goal is to build a relationship to help increase the child's self-confidence and improve academic performance. Students must go through the Big Brothers, Big Sisters Organization to be matched and must provide their own transportation.
  • Bishop Drumm: Worship & Fun

    The members are charged with taking residents of Bishop Drumm to and from mass, visit with residents, participate as an usher, reader, song leader, and /or Eucharistic minister.
  • Cards for a Cause

    Cards for a Cause is a club that makes cards for people who could use a show of love and support.
  • Chick Fil-A Academy

    Service first oriented club. Chick Fil-A sponsored club where students take time during the school year to lead through action. Students take the leadership opportunity to provide service no matter the size, just to impact the community.
  • Christmas Baskets

    An all-school project led by the senior class to assist needy families during the holiday.
  • Community Outreach

    Develop young people’s commitment to support their community through volunteer efforts.
  • C.O.R.E. (Community of Racial Equity)

    C.O.R.E. Advancement is a student-led group whose purpose is to unite strong leaders to promote progress toward racial, social, and educational equality at Dowling Catholic.
  • DCHS Outreach

    A club dedicated to promoting mental health awareness and reducing the stigmas surrounding it.
  • Eco-Club

    Educates and promotes eco-friendliness in the DCHS community. Promotes recycling and provides outreach in the Des Moines community through eco-inspired projects.
  • Empowering Young Women

    After school small group focused on the investment of safety, education, inclusion and economic empowerment of young women in our school.
  • Habitat For Humanity

    Work in partnership with God and volunteers to eliminate poverty housing.
  • H.E.R.O.

    Providing a space to practice Spanish and embrace Latinx culture. 
  • One Dowling Family

    Using discussions, presentations, and group activities, this group's focus is to educate and develop awareness regarding gender and sexuality diversity and issues both historical and current.
  • Peer Tutors

    Academic tutoring offered to students in grades K-12 throughout the school and community. Students provide individual tutoring at several elementary schools and at DCHS.
  • People-To-People

    An international organization that develops leadership, cultural awareness and peace.
  • Service Of Solidarity (SOS)

    An organization that helps the children of families who attend an ELL (English Language Learner) class at Trinity United Methodist Church in Des Moines, IA. Our goal is for each child to feel that they are an integral part of a family. The goal for our DCHS group is to challenge ourselves to live more simply in solidarity with those who do not have a choice to do so.
  • Special Olympics

    Help coach, train and interact with special needs adults participating in swimming and track events. Season runs from March-May and requires weeknight commitments. Volunteers are required to attend a mandatory clinic before the season begins.
  • St. Joseph Fall Project

    An annual all-school project (typically on a Sunday in the fall) to raise money for or serve a worthy cause. The project is coordinated by the Leadership Team, which consists of seniors.
  • Super Cool Service Club

    A service organization that connects students with local community service events and other service projects initiated by the school. The club is dedicated to exposing members to various opportunities in serving our local community.
  • Terra Livre Club

    Assisting the work of Terra Livre in Goiania, Brazil. Students work to understand the poverty of Brazil and in solidarity attempt to eliminate poverty here at home. Some years a trip to Goiania is planned for Spring Break.

Student Leadership

List of 8 items.

  • Class Officers

    Each class elects four officers to plan activities for their respective classes.
  • Freshman Class Officers

    Activities vary, but have included designing t-shirts, a service project, planning freshmen Mass, mixers and decorating for Homecoming week.
  • Sophomore Class Officers

    Activities vary, but have included planning and implementing a carnation sale for Valentines Day, Homecoming Week decorating, planning mixers, and organizing a class-wide service project.
  • Junior Class Officers

    Activities vary, but have included: designing t-shirts for Prom, planning Prom, and entrance painting for Homecoming Week.
  • Senior Class Officers

    Activities vary, but have included: leading Christmas Basket project, entrance painting during Homecoming Week, MORP, senior ski trip, senior video, Welcome Mass and Senior Reflection.
  • Maroon Council

    Elected students from each class (Grades 9-12) serve to represent their class. They promote Christian community through the development of activities that encourage school spirit and unity, that allow for student-wide participation and representative body that promotes leadership among all students.
  • Student Ambassadors

    Student Ambassadors commit themselves to a highly visible position as representatives for DCHS. As a Student Ambassador your behavior, at all times, reflects on the way our school is perceived.

    Students also assist with the Admissions Office in sharing the value of a Dowling Catholic education with prospective and new students, as well as their parents.
  • Student Philanthropy Council (SPC)

    The Student Philanthropy Council develops student leaders through engagement with the Advancement Department, which includes 
    fundraising, alumni services, events, marketing and communication. 

    Members will increase their project management, public speaking and leadership skills, as well as build their college resume and network. 

Student Publications

List of 2 items.

  • Newspaper

    The Dowling Catholic Post is the student produced newspaper. The focus is writing and publishing. Grades 9-12.
  • Yearbook

    The student staff produces a professional, quality yearbook to be published at the end of each school year. Students are responsible for content, design and financing which is done through yearbook sales and paid advertisements. Grades 9-12.

Dowling Catholic High School

Dowling Catholic High School is committed to serving the Greater Des Moines Catholic community and embracing learners of all faiths. In an environment that is faithful, caring and dedicated, Dowling Catholic forms each student to become a Christ-centered leader.