The Senior Project is the capstone of your four-year learning experience at Evanston High School.
Rationale: Senior capstone projects require students to take their thinking and learning beyond the brick and mortar of the school to apply college and career ready skills such as project design, initiative, self-direction, time management, adaptability and much more.
Goal: Seniors demonstrate the successful application of core content knowledge with College and Career Ready skills through the design, completion and presentation of a challenging senior project.
The scope of the project encompasses
- work with a faculty mentor
- an interest-based topic or career exploration
- a successful Literature Review (review of research)
- connection to an outside authority on your topic
- application of 21st century skills
- a public presentation of your learning
- internship opportunity
Work with a Faculty Mentor
Each faculty member works with no more than three seniors on their projects. For this reason, it is important that you connect with a mentor early in the year. Your mentor and advocacy advisor will review your project proposal, and help you submit it to a review panel. You and your mentor will meet monthly to document your progress. You may choose from a number of methods to share your research with your mentor:
- highlighting copies of articles
During the preparation of your project you will be keeping a progress log that details your work step-by-step along with your on-going reflection on your efforts.
An Interest-Based Topic
In order to best demonstrate your acquisition of 21st century skills, it is crucial that you select a topic for exploration that engages your curiosity. Once you have identified your area of study, you will consider an essential question. This statement details the specific topic, how you plan to go about researching the topic, and what you hope the outcome of your research will be.
Much of your learning about your topic will come from research. This study should include work within most of the following categories:
Your mentor will help you document your findings, and they will serve as a foundation for your presentation in the spring. A complete bibliography will be presented to your project evaluators at the time of your presentation.
Connection to an Outside Authority on Your Topic
In addition to your research, you will consult with someone who works in your selected field of study. This should be included in your bibliography. Your outside authority may be someone who you meet face to face or communicate with online. Think of this person as someone who can check your perceptions or provide you with specific information that you cannot find elsewhere. Be creative in finding your outside consultant, and don’t be afraid to contact someone with impressive credentials. This person is not to be a direct relative.
Application of 21st Century Skills
Demonstrating your growth in the 21st century skills lies at the heart of your senior project. Your presentation of learning will explain to your audience how your course of study has added to your knowledge and abilities in the following categories:
- Core Subject Skills
- Information, Media, and Technology Skills
- Life and Career Skills
- Learning and Innovation Skills
- 21st Century Themes
These outcomes are explicitly stated in your reflection paper. Your project does not need to address every aspect of each skill, but it should show your growth in each of the skills.
Public Presentation of Learning
On April 13, 2021, all seniors will present their projects to an audience consisting of their parents, peers, and an evaluation panel. Attire is professional, and the presentation is designed to follow the following timeline:
15 Minutes for presentation
10 Minutes for the panel to ask the presenter clarifying questions
(Students can determine if they want questions during the presentation or at the end)
5 minutes for the panel to discussion and grade the presentation
5 minutes to give specific feedback to students
More than just an assessment, this presentation is a celebration of learning. We encourage all students to invite those important in their lives to share in their accomplishments.
Following your presentation, you will prepare a 2-3 page paper that explains your experience in creating your project plus explain how you met the 21st Century Skills. Below you can find guidelines for the writing of your reflection. Copies of the paper are due to your advocacy advisor and your mentor by the second Monday in May.
The Project and Advocacy
During Advocacy, you will:
- research your topic
- apply your research to your project
- maintain timeline dates
- develop your presentation
- practice your presentation
- reflect upon your learning