West Shore Senior Project
In the spirit of the mission guiding West Shore Jr/Sr High School, the Senior Project provides unique experiences for intellectual development, academic achievement, and preparation for life’s work.
Seniors are required to complete these steps as part of a Senior Project:
• Research and write an academic research paper on a topic of personal interest.
• Create a product, activity, or visual aid with assistance of a mentor.
• Maintain a portfolio of the process.
• Present the project to a board of school and community representatives for judging.
The Senior Project is part of the behavior contract signed by each student and his or her parents for attendance at West Shore Junior/Senior High School. It is also one of several components required to receive a Diploma of Distinction from West Shore.
Phases of the Senior Project - The Four P's
In the first phase, you choose a topic. Students should choose a topic they are genuinely interested in learning more about. The topic may be academic or practical. The key principle is to choose a topic you find interesting and that will stretch your current knowledge. Many kinds of information are available to you, and you will be expected to use reading, computer, and interviewing skills to investigate sources. You will be expected to find a mentor to advise you about your area of interest. In addition, your English IV teacher will guide you through the process of researching, writing, and documenting a scholarly 6 - 8 page paper, using Modern Language Association (MLA) format. You will complete the paper in the first semester, and the grade will be part of your first semester grade in English IV and Sr. Seminar class.
The second phase of the Senior Project requires you to apply the information you have gained from research to create something yourself. Your product can take a number of forms, including a performance, a physical product, or a visual documentation of what you have learned, such as a video or Power Point presentation. The form you choose should demonstrate a direct correlation between your research and the type of project you produce. A minimum of 15 hours of documented work will be required which must be reflected in your Senior Project journal. The Senior Project should not require much expense. If your anticipated project is costly, you may wish to consider another alternative.
Your portfolio will document the entire process of your Senior Project, so you must maintain the portfolio in your homeroom through every phase of the project. Your portfolio must include copies of all required forms, any articles and research materials you use, as well as notes you take or letters you write. It will include a copy of the final draft of your research paper. You are required to keep a journal of your process, and that will be included. You may want to add photographs or prototypes of your product. The Senior Project Portfolio is separate from, and in addition to, your overall West Shore portfolio.
The final phase of your Senior Project is the presentation, also referred to as the “Senior Boards.” Your presentation will consist of a 6 – 10 minute presentation in front of a panel of judges, followed by a question and answer session with the panel. The panel will include at least one faculty member (who has not assisted you in your Senior Project) and several judges from the community. The presentation date will be scheduled well in advance, and you will have ample opportunity to prepare.