Senior Project Materials

The Senior Project                            


This phase of the Senior Project is actually the part where you do The Project! Every student must develop and implement a “hands-on” experience under the supervision and guidance of a mentor. Your project will usually fall into one of several categories including community service, career related, and special interest/hobby. The possibilities of available projects to choose are endless.


How do I pick a project?


Because the Senior Project will be one of the most important assignments of your high school career, you need to consider your choice of project very carefully.



Think about all of the things you are interested in—things you would like to fix, do, learn, understand, see, improve, create, experience, or own. Brainstorm your ideas as they come to you. Narrow your ideas down to three or four ideas which are “do-able” and prioritize them. In deciding whether or not a particular project idea will work, take into consideration whether the project is one which you can financially afford to undertake, will take you at least fifteen hours to complete, will maintain your interest for several months, and will be approved by your parents. Also remember that in order to qualify as a Senior Project, your plan needs to be one which will stretch your abilities and challenge your limitations. Remember: you must be able to prove that you, personally, have accomplished your goals. This project is all about growing over time and demonstrating learning. 


Possible Projects:

·      Design an effective sustained advertising campaign for a product

·      Learn to scuba dive

·      Coach a Special Olympics participant

·      Design a lesson and work as a teacher’s aid for an elementary school teacher

·      Test and monitor E-coli bacteria in local groundwater

·      Design and produce an authentic Elizabethan garment

·      Design and implement a Red Ribbon campaign for an elementary school

·      Coach a basketball team at the YMCA

·      Shadow, and assist, a person who holds an occupation that you are considering. There  

     must be active participation, not just observation.

·   Organize and or support a political campaign. 

·   Organize, support or sponsor community activism




These projects will cause problems and are not acceptable for your Senior Project:


·      Weather dependent projects: landscaping a garden may be fun and productive, but what will  

     you do when it rains every day from January to May?

·      Projects that depend heavily on variable subjects or participants (such as training a dog or  

     other pets)

·      Illegal activities

·      Dangerous activities (no skydiving, anything involving firearms, explosives, etc.)

·   A project that requires a mentor that is unavailable or unrealistic

·      Group or collaboration projects: you may be reliable, but your friends and colleagues  

     may let you down. No collaboration or joint projects will be  allowed

·      Unfinished work: we know you mean well when you say you will write a novel, but  

     turning in three chapters of low quality, unfinished work will not be accepted

·      No stretch or challenge: working out at school, painting a room, babysitting your  

     nephew, taking pictures of your friends, baking one cake and decorating it, cooking a dinner   

     for your family, or activities that are done during school hours. 


This is your opportunity to take a risk and do something worthwhile for yourself or your community. This project is not about reporting an activity that you already do. Show that you have grown over time.


How Do I Prove That I Did All the Work?


The Project Log: 

As you are working on your project, you will be expected to keep a project log (See Appendix). You should have a log entry for each time you do anything having to do with your project. Your log should begin and end with the date and actual time (hours, minutes) spent on the project on that occasion. Include in your log not only a description of what you did, but a reflection on the successes and failures, frustrations and victories you met along the way. You will divide your log entries into two (2) labelled sections per entry. One will be labelled “Activity” (what you actually did) and the other “Commentary” (what you thought and felt about what you did). 


In other words, your log should be a log not just of time and work done, but of feelings, emotions, and reactions as well. A log entry could cover as little as a short phone call to arrange an interview, or as much as a day spent learning a new song on the piano. The log will help the judges better evaluate your project. 


Do I need my parents’/guardians’ permission?


Yes, regardless of your age, you must have parent/guardian permission for your Senior Project selection.


The Parent Permission Form

It is not only important, but it is required that your parents know about the Senior Project, what you are planning on doing, and how important it is to your graduation. Your Project Proposal and the Parent Approval Forms (see the Appendix) must be signed before you start working on your project. Your teacher will give you the due dates.


Project Advisor

Your English teacher will serve as your on-campus project advisor. As outlined above, they will discuss with you the practicality of your project and verify your progress and your project completion. This person will guide you through each step of your Senior Project process—your advisor is your on-campus resource for basic questions, general guidance, and project verification. If your project has not been completed and verified prior to Senior Presentations, you will not be allowed to present it, and you may not be allowed to participate in senior activities and graduation. 


The Outside Mentor

Your Outside Mentor will be someone from the community who will assist you with the completion of your project. Your Outside Mentor should be someone you seek out because of their expertise in the field of study in which your Senior Project lies. Your mentor should not be a family member or someone you live with. An Outside Mentor is someone who can give you advice, answer specific questions, and verify the hours you commit to working on your project. However, your Outside Mentor does NOT have to be present whenever you work on your project. Think of them as a reference, a troubleshooter, a guide. Make sure you pick someone dependable, who you can count on to be there when you need help. You will also need to include a signed Outside Mentor Agreement Form (see Appendix) in your portfolio. When you finish your project, your Outside Mentor will co-sign the Mentor Evaluation Form as well.


Due dates:

Your English teacher will determine final due dates for all these forms. It is crucial that you keep your portfolio up to date. Remember, your portfolio will be graded, but more importantly, if you do not have all the forms in order, your project will not be valid, and you will run the risk of not graduating. Make sure to get things signed and turned in on time.


How will I be graded and evaluated for this project?

There are several ways that you will be assessed during this project process. You will turn in various forms, your work logs and your English teacher may have other assignments associated with the project. The major grade, however, will come in the form of the Senior Project Portfolio evaluation and the Senior Project Presentation evaluation.