Frequently Asked Questions

What is Senior Project?
At Wakefield, each senior is required to choose, define, and accomplish a significant “real world” project. The project includes instruction, research, and experience. An outstanding project reflects 135 – 150 hours of work. Students document their hours in journals and write about their experiences in personal essays. Each project culminates in an oral presentation before an assessment panel. The student chooses three of the four panelists who will evaluate the project.

How can I learn more about Senior Project?
Explore the Senior Project link on the WHS website. Especially check out the Photo Galleries.

Must a Senior Project be approved?
Projects will be officially approved in fall of senior year. The student, the S.P. Teacher/Advisor, and the S.P. coordinator will work together to decide on a topic that will allow the student to pursue a topic of personal interest and meet the academic requirements for earning a high school credit. Students who are interested in starting their Senior Project in the summer after their junior year can meet with the coordinator to have their project approved in June.

What is necessary for project approval?
A Senior Project must be “a learning stretch.” Before a Senior Project is approved, the student must explain specifically how he/she will further develop a talent, grow in knowledge, and/or become more skillful. The focus of a Senior Project is not what a student already knows or has accomplished; rather, each Senior Project must demonstrate an aspect of new learning and growth (a learning stretch).

What is a Senior Project consultant?
Each senior must find an expert who will provide resources and experiences so significant progress is likely. The expert may be an employer, a volunteer coordinator, a coach, or a teacher.The interaction can occur at work, at a volunteer site, at practice, during lessons, at school, etc. The expert shares knowledge while guiding and challenging the student to continually strive for improvement.

How is the final project evaluated?
There are four components to a Senior Project: the journal, the essay, the oral presentation, and the audio-visual aids. The rubrics used to evaluate these components are included in the Senior Project Handbook which is distributed to seniors in fall.

How do I choose a topic?
Students choose topics of personal interest that allow them to further develop skills, knowledge, and/or talent through research, expert instruction, and experience.
Popular Senior Project topics include: community service, advancement in a fine art, youth-centered volunteering, career or cultural exploration, licensure in a trade, job experience, and extracurricular activities.
Since your Senior Project must be a “learning stretch,” consider how will you demonstrate and/or provide evidence of your growth.

What is a Senior Project journal?
Students must carefully document the hours that they work on their Senior Projects. This RECORD OF PROGRESS is called the Senior Project journal. Only hours properly documented in the student’s journal will count. For more information, see “The Senior Project Journal” and the “Sample Journal Entry” included in this packet.

When should I start my Senior Project journal?
Start your journal on the day you begin your project. Write in your journal EVERY DAY that you work on your project.

How can I start my project over the summer?
Participate in a structured and supervised program. For example, (1) take a class; (2) participate in a workshop; (3) get a job; (4) attend a camp; (4) learn a skill from a family member; (5) land an internship; (6) volunteer with an organization, school, or camp.

How can I get credit for work done over the summer?
Any work done over the summer must be carefully documented in your journal. Ask your parent, consultant, or another adult to confirm your work on any given day by signing your journal entry. Also, take photographs and collect memorabilia as additional evidence to show your SP teacher when you return to school in fall.

What else can I do over the summer?
Read books and articles directly related to your topic. Everyone must read at least one book on their topic. No boring books allowed! Biographies and autobiographies are highly recommended. You may also read articles. Print the articles and then highlight, underline, and take notes in the margins as your read. Submit the articles with your journal. Be sure to take notes as you read. These notes belong in the research section of your journal. In your journal, be sure to record bibliographic information for every source.