Lovejoy Students Participate in Senior Projects
All seniors at Lovejoy High School must complete a senior project unless they completed a different program that meets senior project requirements. This year, 305 of the 341 seniors will complete a senior project. When Lovejoy High School opened and Principal Chris Mayfield was the vice principal, he introduced senior projects to the school. Lead Counselor, Mary Shaw said, “This was his passion project.” Mayfield describes senior projects as, “A hands-on opportunity to learn about and do what interests students that incorporates academic rigor. Every senior is required to take a part in Senior Project as part of their graduation project.” Senior projects can fall into three categories: Live out a passion, investigate a career or serve others. Approximately 70% of the projects are serving others.
Lovejoy ISD schools utilize their email communications to share donation requests for senior projects such as fleece for blankets to be given to a hospice center and participants for the third annual Running over Depression 5K run.
A sampling of senior projects from last year senior projects included researching famous paintings, producing a one act play at the senior’s church, create a fish tank and breed fish and handwritten letters to people who inspired this senior.
Seniors must create a letter of intent and begin an annotated bibliography during their junior year, they complete the project, create a portfolio and give a presentation of their project to members of the community. All projects must be pre-approved. Students can work together on a project, but each student will be responsible for submitting each requirement of senior projects. Some projects are sustainable and seniors designate a senior to carry on the next year.
The presentation is the culmination of the project. Students dress professionally, and with some form of visual aid, they share their experiences. Judges are community members, parents and teachers. They score the presentations on two categories: content and delivery. After the presentation, judges engage with the presenter in a casual time of question and answer. The entire presentation, including interaction with the judges, should be between 10 and 15 minutes.
There were 19 senior project presentations on Nov. 14. Daniel Xue’s project was a project that was established by last year’s salutatorian, Anthony Tang. The project is Lovejoy Music Medicine which uses musical therapy in nursing homes. Lizzie Weichel stated in her letter of intent that she is interested in the area of STEM, especially for younger students and females. She proposed to shadow a 6th grade STEM teacher for her senior project.
Weichel chose to shadow Traci Reagan, 5th and 6th grade GT (Gifted and Talented) science teacher at Sloan Creek Intermediate School. During her presentation, Weichel shared observations she made about teaching style, classroom management and teacher respect. She determined through this project that she would like to teach GT science in high school.
Shaw explained the whole point of the senior projects is to find their learning stretch. The projects allow for interaction with the community. Some projects have local and national impact.