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Self-Designed Senior Projects Innovate and Inspire

With topics ranging from robotics and florescent microscopy to film-making, digital animation, and unique music-related subjects, 22 seniors presented their Senior Projects to the school community on May 21 and 22 in venues across campus.

An Island tradition for more than 20 years, the Senior Projects program engages a selected group of seniors in self-designed, independent learning exercises during the final two weeks of school, with a goal of inspiring in them creativity, innovation, and self-discovery. Each year, seniors in good academic standing may propose topics they wish to explore in-depth as senior projects with some 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.

This year, 13 projects — some conducted by single seniors, some by small groups of students — gained approval, and after completing the work, the 22 participants shared their work and what they learned from the process.

Rosie Park researched how to operate a little-used florescent microscope that was part of the school's lab inventory and prepared training materials for its future use.

Carolyn Riley's project, "Domus Parva In Silva Magna," was a study of using modern literature in Latin as a teaching tool.

Max Mossberg created a robotic forearm and hand that he programmed to play "Rock, Paper, Scissors."

Paris Cipollone explored animation techniques and applied her storytelling talents to create an original short film.

Robert Lotrek recorded an album devoted to jazz drummer Kenny "Klook" Clarke, who, according to Robert, "changed music forever."

Izzy Lachcik and Sarah Olender wrote and produced a keepsake book about the lessons they learned as four-year seniors at Loomis Chaffee.

Logan Katz, Alexa Kim, Cameron Purdy, Josh Ryu, and Noah Yoon, who combined their talents this year as the Take Five a cappella singing group, practiced, arranged, performed, and recorded some of their a cappella repertoire.

Cara Keogh and Yuyang Zhang explored the convergence of music in Chinese and English and created a "mixtape" combining the two genres.

Sage Sutton-Hall created an animated short film examining the self-identity of a Russian immigrant.

Callista DeGraw, Jet Elbualy, and Macon Jeffreys produced the one-act play Pandora's Revenge by Pat Cook, and presented it in front of a live audience in the Norris Ely Orchard Theater.

Claire Collins performed and engineered original music, incorporating modern and traditional elements of folk music, and shared her recordings across several digital music streaming platforms.

Zeno Schewebel learned about the wide variety of bird species that live on and around the Loomis Chaffee campus. He catalogued and photographed the birds he spotted, and connected with other bird enthusiasts through citizen science websites.

Jacy Case and Abby Forrester produced the film "Loomis Chaffee Detective Agency," an entertaining spy-comedy about a top secret society that solves crimes on campus.