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Senior Project 2015 – An Overview

Purpose: Senior Project provides a yearlong independent exploration of an essential question supported by your teachers and with the guidance of an adult mentor that culminates in a presentation before a panel of adult judges.  Senior Project is aligned to Common Core State Standards and is an integral part of the PHS Diploma Plan.

Getting started:  Think about an area of interest or some topic you would like to explore in more depth.  You may be interested in planning and hosting an event, creating or designing some physical product, improving something in the world around you, conducting research, or providing a service to a person or group. 

Develop one essential question and two supporting questions:  You will do this with help from your English teachers early next fall. 

Choose a mentor: The mentor must be at least 21 years old, have a strong knowledge base in your area of exploration, and commit to overseeing at least 15 hours of your work.  Your parent/guardian must approve of your mentor choice.  The mentor cannot be a family member, and we prefer the mentor not be a family friend.  You may not earn money for work you do toward senior project so paid hours at a job do not count. 

Write a proposal:  The proposal is an overview of your plan for Senior Project and will be reviewed for approval by a team of faculty members next October.  The proposal includes your essential and supporting questions, an explanation of your learning stretch, a description of your mentor’s qualifications, and what you will do or create (your product) that will demonstrate you have learned something new as you found answers to your questions.  Your English teacher will help you craft your proposal.

Reflections: Monthly reflections will help you think about where you have been, where you are, and where you still need to go; consider how your research and product work supports your essential/supporting questions; and reflect on conversations you have had with your mentor.

Research and annotations:  As you research your essential/supporting questions, you will write an annotated bibliography for each source.  You will have a minimum of four sources plus an in-depth interview with an expert or mentor in your area of exploration for a total of five sources minimum.  You will present your research as part of your presentation to the board of judges in May.

Product:  Your product will demonstrate that you have learned some answers to your essential/supporting questions and will be evidence of your learning stretch. 

Portfolio:  Gather all of the above elements of your Senior Project into a portfolio.  This will include a minimum of FIVE PIECES OF PHOTOGRAPHIC evidence, so as you work on your product and work with your mentor, look for photo opportunities along the way.

Presentation:  You will present your year’s work to a panel of adult judges in May 2015.  The presentation will be a minimum of 11 minutes long and no more than 15 minutes.  You MUST present evidence that you have found answers to your essential/supporting questions through research, working with your mentor, and creating a product.