Projects are done for the 2008 seniors
Senior projects, the often-dreaded final phase of studies before high school graduation, are handed in at North Kingstown High School. Students from Jamestown who hope to graduate from North Kingstown High School in June feel a big weight lifted off their shoulders now that most of the year's work is done.
Four graduating islanders look back on their school year and reflect on their accomplishments.
"I've opened a new door for myself," said Sydney Ferguson about the fashion line she produced as her project. Ferguson's creation bridged over to a fashion event organized by another senior. She collaborated with the other student, who booked Ferguson as one of the fashion designers for the show. Ferguson admits that she never planned to make fashion a career, but enjoys it as an interesting hobby. She plans to attend Wheaton College in the fall.
Alexa Furtado, who will study communications at the University of Rhode Island, focused her project on how the media has caused health problems, related to fostering certain body images. "I thought it was an important topic," Furtado said, explaining how youth, especially young women, were affected by eating disorders. Nevertheless, Furtado found the 12 books she read for her topic repeated the same information and the research began to drag. "I even read parenting books which told about what you can do if you have a child with an eating disorder," she said.
Their heads bobbed in unison when asked whether their research skills have improved.
"I liked the research," said Chris Clark. His topic about how to start a business on eBay led him to a step-by-step process towards making money. He has bought or sold items up to $200 in value, and claims a $500 net profit in the first two months of business.
"Their Web site gave me tips, ins and outs of the business." His research now includes finding things at garage sales that he can sell online. Clark plans to major in Environmental Studies at Temple University.
When asked about the oral presentations they were required to give, smiles went around the table. One girl tapped her chest imitating a beating heart, admittedly nervous about standing before a panel of judges with her research findings. They all agreed that, despite the "grueling process," they were not worried about the oral presentations. "I just want to get them over," Sam Andreozzi said.
The research is done, the projects
are finished, and now all they have left is the presentations. "Senioritis would have set in much earlier if we didn't have these projects to do." Students around the table murmured in agreement, also admitting, "Senioritis has, indeed, set in." Smiles broadened.
The twelfth grade students showed more nerves about going on to college. "We don't know what to expect," Sam said. One morbid fear they laugh together about is whether research papers like the ones they just finished might be assigned every week in college. "We learned time management skills, which is what I'm going to need a lot of when I get to college."
Ferguson remembers complaints from her older sister that high school did not prepare her at all for college. But she knows the rigid graduation requirements demanded from the state were not adopted as regular practice at the time her sister graduated a few years ago. She exudes confidence in her ability to do college level studies.
Seniors will give their final presentations on May 21 to a panel of judges. If any adult would like to volunteer as a judge that morning, please contact Marianne Kirby, senior project coordinator, at Marianne firstname.lastname@example.org.