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Class of 2019 Student Projects Innovate and Inspire

Ten seniors presented their Senior Projects to the school community on Tuesday, May 21, on topics ranging from worm biology to teenage relationships.

The Senior Projects program each year engages a selected group of seniors in self-designed, independent learning exercises during the final two weeks of classes, with a goal of inspiring their creativity, innovation, passion, and self-discovery.

This year, five groups, ranging from one to three students, gained approval to pursue Senior Projects, and at the conclusion of the two-week project period, the participants shared their work, what they learned from the process, and answered audience questions.

Katie Begley and Jake Glezen presented "Precious Plastics," a guide and informational display about recycling plastics in the Pearse Hub for Innovation (PHI). They researched the state of plastics use at Loomis Chaffee and created a handbook for using the plastic shredding machine in the PHI.

Abby Huang and Stacy Park introduced Snatch, an online platform for students to buy and sell used products within their school communities. They pitched the website to several schools in the area, and ended up with 334 new users by the end of the two-week project period.

Molly Henderson and Melissa Scanlon explored C. elegansin their presentation, "A World of Worms." They conducted six experiments on the worms, including investigating the impact of changing environments, attractants and repellents, toxicity of chemotherapy, alcohol, and cross breeding on the tiny worms.

Liam Scott presented the new course he designed, Genocide: Media, Remembrance, and the International Community, and he shared oral histories from individuals affected by genocide, either personally or in their family histories.

Dzanghir Bayandarov, Becca Mucheru, and Ryan Natcharian presented "Present Tense," a one-act play about teenage relationships, in the Norris Ely Orchard Theater. The production and rehearsal period included learning about the technical side of theater, in which none of the three had previously been involved.

Senior Projects have been an Island tradition for more than 20 years. Seniors in good academic standing may propose topics they wish to explore in-depth as Senior Projects with basic guidance from a faculty mentor. Students submit their proposals in the winter term, and a committee of faculty and students reviews and approves the projects. Upon approval, seniors are excused from classes while they immerse themselves in their projects.