Seniors share details on the Senior Project

Seniors Mariam Grigoryan and Eunice Sedano give tips on how to successfully conquering the task.


Eunice Sedano trains at a gym and receives help from her mentor.

“I chose my topic through the process of elimination, and I chose dance for my Senior Project,” said senior Mariam Grigoryan. Topics for the Senior Project can be chosen by process of elimination as long as the topic is approved. However, choosing one’s topic is just one step in a multistep and complex yearlong process.

The Senior Project has been around since the start of Clark Magnet and the main point of the project is for seniors to show what they’ve learned over the years and broaden their knowledge of the world, according to Senior Project coordinator Anne Reinhard. Then with the knowledge they gain, seniors create a powerful learning experience to demonstrate for the judges. According to Reinhard, students who start early on the project get more out of the experience.

This year there have been changes made to the Senior Project. Seniors are now required to fill in a form explaining the topic they chose for their senior project, and it must be approved by a panel of teachers. The reason for this change is so that other teachers, besides English teachers, will be more involved in the process of helping students with their area of expertise. For example, if a senior chose a science-related topic then a science teacher would be more of help to him or her than an English teacher.

The Senior Project not only asks students to use whatever they have learned at Clark, it also gives them an insight into what the real world is like.

The Senior Project consists of different parts, and students create a portfolio at the end with all the parts put together. The first part is writing the research paper, then there is the field work and the final product, and finally there is the ten- to fifteen-minute speech before a panel of community members. Grigoryan says the research paper is one of the hardest aspect of the project. “Don’t procrastinate on your senior project,” Grigoryan advises future seniors.

Seniors turn in their research paper earlier in the school year and then after that they work on their final product which will be used in their presentation as proof of the work and research they had done. While working on the projects, many questions arise. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help,” advices senior Eunice Sedano, knowing the importance of her project.

Like their fellow seniors, both Grigoryan and Sedano received help from mentors. Grigoryan is getting tips from a dance teacher on how to teach others dance moves, because she will be creating three audition dance videos and sending them to three different dance competitions. Her final product is showing the audition videos to the judges and talking about how she came up with the moves and created the choreography. Sedano goes to a gym and has an instructor who helps her tone up her body and gives information on how it benefits others.

The Senior Project not only asks students to use whatever they have learned at Clark, it also gives them an insight into what the real world is like. Choosing topics gives students connections to experts in that area, and it also requires them deal with managing their time to be able to do school work, go to their jobs, apply to colleges, accomplish their volunteering hours and keep up with their social lives.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

— Eunice Sedano

The importance of the Senior Project is not only the fact of presenting and being graded by judges but it also decides the final English grade. There is no security that seniors will get their English teacher as a judge so they must have a great presentation to impress the judges and receive a high score.

While watching the presentation and seeing the final product, the judges use a rubric to give out the scores. The judges look through the portfolio and give a score, and after that they judge how the student maintains eye contact, how they speak, how they deal with questions, and how much work and effort was put in the final product.

Despite the many challenges of senior year, many seniors say the experience is valuable. “My Senior Project was an overall great experience,” Grigoryan said.