Senior Project is a capstone experience1 for high school seniors to demonstrate a diploma-worthy set of skills and abilities . Many i3 New England Network schools use Senior Project as a mechanism to drive students to engage in thoughtful inquiry, and to demonstrate their abilities before an authentic audience. Projects are linked to state standards, and frequently tied to competencies. On the eve of their graduation, students are called upon to hone their academic skills, such as reading informational text, writing, research and public speaking.
Senior Projects typically require students to complete a project proposal that defines the topic, states the essential question, and outlines the learning progression – including the final product and exhibition; create a portfolio including a research paper, as well as document correspondence with project mentors, reflections, and signed agreements; develop a product that demonstrates mastery of the topic – these vary widely depending on the scope of the project for example: a musical piece; hosting a fundraiser; or a prototype; and present a final exhibition in which students answer the essential question, reflect on their experiences – both good and good, and deliver a lecture in front of a juried panel. These projects enable students—as well as teachers, peers and others—to take ownership of a substantial piece of work, thereby signaling an important coming of age milestone.
High school seniors tend to be the most vociferous advocates of the Senior Project, often commenting that the experience prepared them well for post-secondary life, as expressed by these two students:
“I found myself learning a lot more than just my topic though. It helped me learn how I work the best, allowed me to become more confident in public speaking and how to properly research, all of which I have found extremely helpful in college.”
Noble High School graduate Rebecca Cosgrove
“The senior project allows a student to explore at least one of the possibilities they see in their future, and they're granted access to valuable resources like teachers who can provide research help, experts in the field, and real-world experiences. High school needs more of these kinds of projects, if anything.”
Noble High School graduate Matt Wood
1 Plymouth North High School: Senior Projects
The purpose of the Senior Project at Plymouth North High School is to empower all students to explore an area of great personal interest that extends beyond the classroom. Through this project-based learning, students apply knowledge and connect research that culminates with a showcase demonstrating their learning stretch. Learn more about the Plymouth North Senior Project here.
Kearsarge Regional High School: Senior Project
Senior Project at Kearsarge Regional High School is a personalized learning experience that allows students to branch out into an area of interest to explore, research, create, and present your findings to the school community. It is a requirement for graduation. The school believes that the ability to function effectively and resourcefully within student surroundings is an important life skill. Active participation in education results in higher quality learning. It develops ownership of learning and provides an opportunity to develop a set of skills to continue learning throughout life. Download the Kearsarge Senior Project Packet here.
Noble High School: Senior Project & Portfolios
Learn more about Senior Projects and student portfolios at Noble High School - https://sites.google.com/a/msad60.org/senior-project/