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
· 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
· Design and produce an authentic Elizabethan
· 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
· 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
· Illegal activities
· Dangerous activities (no skydiving,
anything involving firearms, explosives, etc.)
· A project that requires a mentor that is unavailable or
· 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
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
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.
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.
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