MASON — The seniors of Wahama Junior/Senior High School are now one step closer to graduation.
Over the course of three days this week, 66 students will present their senior project to a panel of local judges in order to fulfill one of the last requirements for graduation. The project is on a career field of their choice; a career field the student wants to enter once they’re out of school.
During the project, Teacher Sarah Allinder stated the student must complete a research paper on their career field, job shadow an employee currently in that career, and prepare and give a presentation to a panel of judges including what they researched and what they learned during the whole experience. Allinder also stated the students must have some kind of product from their project, such as something the student made, or an event they put on. For example, students interested in some type of a medical field career recently held a blood drive to complete this aspect of the project.
Judges for the projects include various citizens from the community including people like hospital employees, a banker, and a policeman. The students are judged on four different aspects, including purpose, findings, reflections, and communications. Under purpose, the students must state why they chose their particular career field, and discuss how they became interested and what it personally means to them. Under findings, the student discusses what they found during their research, how they can connect to other people in the career field, and consider any other questions and new information that may have come up during the project.
In the reflections aspect, the student must discuss what they learned during the project, concerning both their own strength and weaknesses and how they handled project like this, which required them to work independently. In the last judging criteria of communications, the student is evaluated on how well the project was presented and how well the student was organized. If the student also used supporting materials, such as a PowerPoint or other visual aid, it is also considered how it enhanced the project and how well it was put together.
Allinder also discussed how this project can help the students with the direction they take their lives following graduation. She went on to say that for some students, this project simply reaffirms their decision to enter a particular career field, and for others, it can be a deciding factor to pursue a different one.
“It’s nice,” Allinder said. “The can get a feel for what it’s really like.”