The Independent Senior Project

A cornerstone of our upper school curriculum and the culmination of a senior’s Academy experience as a student and a citizen of our community, the senior project gives students an opportunity to make sustained and rigorous inquiries into topics they find interesting over the course of their final high school year. The senior project takes on the weight and import of an academic class during the senior year and challenges students to:

  • Pursue a deeper understanding of a topic of choice
  • Stretch outside their comfort zone to engage with new topics, activities, and people
  • Develop and carry-out a project independently
  • Give back to their community in some way

Each Academy senior work closely with a faculty advisor and outside mentor on their senior project, keeps a learning journal to document progress and growth, presents their project proposal and final project to The Academy community throughout the year, and generates a “product” of some kind that encapsulates their project.

2021-2022 senior projects:

  • This Time Around” by Leo ’22: An EP/short album of original songs (written, performed and arranged by Leo Wurgaft, production and bass by Everett Moore).
  • In the Passing Zone” by Juliet ’22: “I wrote a chapbook (~30 pages) of poetry exploring the intersection between deafness, disability, and the physical body in my personal experience. Additionally I led a studio block called ‘Let’s Talk About It!’ designed to encourage openness and vulnerability in younger students at the Academy.”
  • To The Point [Assembly Cut]” by Emma ’22: “An unedited version of part of a movie that I wrote this year with the intentions of breaking away from typical horror tropes. The link to the full script is also on the website.”
  • Community Through Rolling” by Ruby ’22: “For my senior project, I filmed and edited a forty-minute documentary about an international fem, queer majority roller skating group called Community in Bowls (CIB). I interviewed several skaters to get to know what roller skating means to them.”
  • Building an 8″ Reflector Telescope” by Ander ’22: “Throughout this year I have been building a telescope and also making the main mirror for it.”
  • The Damned: Decadent Fiction in Film” by Seamus ’22: “A collection of ten essays on film centering around themes of decadence and excess.”
  • Ariadne: A Comedy” by Zoe ’22: “A (hopefully) comedic take on an ancient myth.”

2020-2021 senior projects:

2019-2020 senior projects:

  • David ’20: Do you think space is cool? Have you been hearing news about returning to the Moon and want to learn more? Watch this 4 part video series where I walk you through how rockets work, some basic history about the world’s largest space agencies, and a couple of other interesting things surrounding the aerospace industry.”
  • Ethan ’20: I planned out a mobile analog photography studio which could be brought to schools and organizations allowing them to run analog photography courses without the need for investing in all the necessary equipment and space.”
  • Solly ’20: “[My senior project involved] creating site-specific theater in Thornes Marketplace, then dealing with the cancellation of my performances, and eventually adapting my play into a virtual piece of work.”
  • Claire ’20: “[I interviewed] four family members/family friends about family stories and writing a collection of poetry based on the interviews! I focused on treating writing as process rather than product—as a way to transform raw, original interview transcripts into stories I feel I’ve internalized. [I also taught] a creative writing studio block . . .”
    Final Product (collection of the project-related writing I’ve done throughout the year)  
    Senior Project Document (documentation of my process!)
  • Nick ’20: “Attempting to design a basis for a video game that I have developed.”
  • Aislyn ’20: “Treehouse to trail food.” Website here.
  • Lane ’20: “An environmentally driven cookbook.
  • Reilly ’20: “[My project involved working for the Connecticut River Conservancy. I got to work on a really cool project studying the land usage and water quality of the Deerfield Watershed . . . I also planned a source to sea trip of the Deerfield . . . Here’s the link to my website!”
  • Talos ’20: “I made a short film with some animation and some live action. My project is called How to Get Rid of Headaches. It’s a mixture of short narratives I’ve come up spanning the past year or two along with videos I took that I thought would look cool paired with music, and the smallest pinch of an impulsive mock Eric Andre Show. While creating this I have been able to utilise and expand on my drawing, painting, and music creation to assist me in making digital 2d animations in a program called Blender, and also improve my cinematography and editing skills.”
  • Kathleen ’20: “Have you ever had a dog that wasn’t right for your home and had to move him/her to a place where he/she would be happier? If you haven’t, I bet you can guess that it is a very hard choice. I’ve written a children’s book that I hope will help kids (and adults) with this. I created the story and took photographs of small diorama scenes for the illustrations.”
  • Rory ’20: “Designing a language (website here)”
  • Katie ’20: “How can an identity be created solely through secondhand accounts? Find out in What Katie Did, where I explore identity and perspective in this humorous and insightful social-experiment-meets-documentary short. It is highly recommended you watch the film before this presentation, here is the link for that: What Katie Did”