Senior Projects Delight and Intrigue

Four seniors presented their Senior Projects to the school community on Thursday, May 21, via Zoom videoconference.

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, two groups, both comprised of two students, gained approval to pursue Senior Projects, and at the conclusion of the two-week project period, the participants shared their work and what they had learned from the process, and answered audience questions.

Ambrozine Daring and Ben Lawrence presented “Senior Fall: A Graphic Novel Exploring and Reflecting on the College Process.” Their graphic novel told the story of nine seniors at Loomis Chaffee and their college application process. Ambrozine did most of the illustrations while Ben worked on the writing.

“We wanted to show that even though most students have to follow the same format when it comes to applying to college (SATs or ACTs, essays, interviews, and applications), the process for each student is unique,” the pair explained in their presentation. They said they hoped that the graphic novel would provide some closure for the senior class as well as some wisdom for the juniors and sophomores who might be going through the process.

You can view the “Senior Fall” on Issuu.

Seniors Steele Citrone and Grace Kulas presented of "Homesick: A Narrative-Based Computer Game Created in the Unreal Engine." Steele and Grace designed their own “walking simulator” video game, which allows the player to take part in an original story that allows you to walk through a haunted house, picking up clues, solving puzzles, and eventually figuring out what happened at the haunted house.

“We had originally wanted to create an escape room type of game on campus here at Loomis, but when COVID-19 hit, we were forced to move in a different direction and decided that we should combine our love for video games with our original idea,” said Grace.

The game is built on Unreal Engine, a platform for building video games. Grace and Steele designed every part of the game themselves, including what the furniture looks like as well as how light would look when it shines through a window.

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.

You can watch both presentations on the Zoom cloud.