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 12 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.
  • Alternative Energy Club

    Bring awareness of alternative energy sources, clean energy possibilities.
  • FFA

    Events include livestock judging, leaderships events, career events, State and National Conferences, and other career related trips and conferences. Build leadership skills and compete in career and leadership events. Network with other members nationally and within various industries to help make community connections to provide future opportunities in education and careers.
  • History Bowl/Bee

    A jeopardy-style team and individual competition where students are quizzed over their social studies knowledge.
  • Knowledge Bowl

    Students will practice for and compete in a statewide trivia contest that involves questions from all academic disciplines as well as current events and pop culture. Team based competition-two rounds played in the fall.
  • Maroons in Health Sciences and STEM Careers

    In this program, DCHS Students will have a unique opportunity to explore the many fields of health sciences and STEM careers. Students will be allowed to express interest in the program of choice on their registration, but must apply for admission through Student Services.
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • Art Club

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

    Come share your love of reading! Join us for our monthly meeting where we discuss the book of the month and make suggestions for what to read next.
  • Chess Club

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

    This club is for students who would like to step outside of their comfort zone and explore the world of rock climbing.
  • 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.
  • CSI/Forensics Club

    Allow students to explore real life analysis tools in forensic science, discuss methods and validity as well as current events using science to solve crimes.
  • Dowling Fishing Club

    Promote fishing around the Des Moines area. Learn fishing techniques and strategies.
  • Dungeons & Dragons Club

    A meeting for adventurers of all sorts to gather and weave a story, devise a strategy, and role play.
  • 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. Maroon Crew also sponsors the Intra-mural Sports Program.
  • Math Club

    Do some “funny” math, more advanced math, possible math tournament
  • Ping Pong Club

    Play ping pong
  • Political Club

    To provide a safe and open space for the discussion of current political issues.
  • Rugby Club

    Rugby is a club sport played by seven people at a time. The girls play in the fall and the boys in the spring.
  • Trap Shooting 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.
  • Video Game Club

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


List of 21 items.

  • Angel For A Day

    To foster a good mentoring relationship between high school and elementary age females.
  • Best Buddies

    An organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of peoplewith intellectual disabilities by providing opportunities for one-to-onefriendships 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 Student Guild

    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.
  • 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 whosepurpose is to unite strong leaders to promote progress toward racial, social,and educational equality at Dowling Catholic.
  • 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 Association (EYWA)

    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.
  • HDMC (Helping The Des Moines Community)

    A student-led group which provides service opportunities to help various organizations in and around Des Moines.
  • Maroons For Veterans

    Raise awareness, funds, and interest in helping veterans from all wars who suffer physically, mentally, and emotionally. Also, raise awareness and remembrance for the lost men and women of all wars and national tragedies.
  • 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 Helpers/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 7 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.
  • Junior Class Officers

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

    Student Ambassadors are committing themselves to a highly visible position as representatives for DCHS. Students assist the Admissions Office in working with prospective and new students.

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.