Senior Exhibition is back in full swing this year; thirty-one current seniors are conducting rigorous investigations and working meticulously to create a unique project for all to see.
Senior Exhibition, or “Senior Ex,” is a year long project designed specifically for AHS seniors. They have an entire block to work on an independent project of their choice every other day until their presentation day, which is some time in the month of May. Throughout the year, each student meets regularly with a teacher advisor, who helps give the student feedback and advice for their personal project.
Credit is awarded based on the number of hours completed. One credit is given for every other day for a whole year and every day for one semester. Half a credit is given for every other day for one semester.
Most AHS students have never heard of Senior Ex before but some seem interested in learning more about it, such as freshman Carolyn Holden. “I would do it,” says Holden. “It would be fun, but would depend on the project. Some projects are good and others shouldn’t be done. It gives you the opportunity to do something you want to do in high school.” Another freshman, Bryce Corbitt, expressed a lot of enthusiasm for the project: “I [would] have the freedom to choose anything I want. I’ve never had that freedom to make my own decision.”
Mrs. Michaud, the program advisor and art teacher, believes Senior Ex “gives kids an opportunity to explore things that are not part of the curriculum.” Students should impact the community with their investigation or final project.
Several AHS students have sought Senior Ex as an excellent learning opportunity. “I met with my guidance counselor every other day,” said AHS senior Conor Meehan. “I wanted to try something new.” Senior Maddie Brouillard added, “I thought it would be a good learning experience.”
This year, thirty-one students are working on their investigations for Senior Exhibition. Each individual completed a written proposal of their idea before beginning to pursue their project. Projects vary from developing a business plan or learning a new language, to creating a blog, and much more.
One Senior Ex student, Maddie Brouillard, is directing and arranging music for a middle school show choir. “I’m in show choir now so that was really my inspiration to do it,” she says. “I’m learning a lot more about music in general and the technical aspects of it that I didn’t learn beforehand.”
Jeremy Partyka is directing and producing a full length feature film. He has gotten forty students involved with both the acting and production of the film this fall. According to Partyka, the goal of the movie is to “remind us all of the importance of love and appreciation in our lives, and that every person is special, no matter who they are.”
Another student, Madeline Hunt, is shadowing the different workers at Shawsheen Elementary School. The centered occupations include the teachers, the physical therapist, and the occupational therapist. She has pursued this as her Senior Ex project, “in hopes of gaining real-world work experience and potentially finding a suitable career.”
There are not many other programs at AHS that offer the kind of intellectual freedom that Senior Exhibition does. Students can do something they’ve always been passionate about sharing with the rest of the school or they can try something they haven’t tried before.
Several seniors have gladly described their senior ex projects:
“For my project I’m making a cookbook with Charlee O’Neil. We’ve been cooking breakfasts, lunches and dinners. We decided to do the project so we will learn how to cook/make food once we leave home/go to college and know how to make something other than a bowl of cereal or peanut butter and jelly.”
“I’m creating a startup company which focuses on a revolutionary software product that students can use to take notes. The final product of my Senior Exhibition will be a 30-page business plan modeling what I intend on doing to get the business running.”
“For my senior ex I am designing a website for Beachside Bakers (a cupcake business that my sister and I started in July 2010). I will be designing a new logo, as well as fully putting together the website to hopefully make it so people can order cupcakes online. People can like our page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/beachsidebaker and follow us on Instagram and Twitter; that would be awesome! Our instagram name is beachsidebakers and twitter is @beachsidebakers.”
“For my Senior Ex I am shadowing my mom, who is a teacher at Shawsheen Elementary School. I will shadow her, a pre-school teacher, the physical therapist and the occupational therapist in hopes of gaining real-world work experience and potentially finding a career suitable for me. At the end of the year, I am planning on making a tri-fold poster, one section for each job, and adding all of the information that I have learned on each section of the poster.”
“For my senior exhibition, I am directing and producing a full length feature film. I’ve been advertising with posters around the school for the past several weeks and have since gotten over 40 students involved; they will help with production and acting. The screenplay is set to be roughly 35-45 minutes long and be filmed this fall.”
“My project is a study of the experience of acquiring a second language. I am interviewing students of all different languages and I will write two papers, one in English and one in Spanish, to summarize my findings.”