The senior project can be one of the most rewarding assignments of your students high school career, and it is required for graduation. Since your student will be spending a great deal of time working on their project, choose a topic that is genuinely interesting to them that they feel will prepare them for their future endeavors and interests.
To begin your students project, they will need to actively engage in themselves and their interests. What are their future goals or career plans? Where do they see themselves in five years? In ten years? The first step of this project is called inquiry because it is an investigation into your student and their interests to create their project. Inquiry is a process of asking questions, discovering new ideas or methods, and creating a deeper understanding of a topic or project. They are in charge of this process and only limited by the questions they don’t ask! Inquiry will drive their entire project as they continue to answer their own questions and realize they have new ones.
Because the process of inquiry for your students senior project is so personal to them and their interests, there are several different methods they can follow to complete this step. They can create research notes, draw mind maps, write journal entries, or anything else that helps them think about the questions they are developing.
Your student will be required to turn in these working notes as a product of the work they do during this portion of their project. Their Inquiry Step has three pieces to complete. First, they will brainstorm their project. Second, once they have narrowed it down to a single focus, they will complete some initial research on their focus. Third, they will provide several questions that they hope to answer over the course of their project.
Think about all of the things your student is interested in—things they would like to fix, do, learn, understand, see, improve, create, experience or own. Your students should brainstorm ideas as they come to them; don’t let them edit themselves at this point. If they want to become an aerospace engineer in the future and build space shuttles… how could they turn that into a project? They can always eliminate ideas later if they turn out to be impractical or too expensive. Narrow ideas down to three or four ideas which are “do-able” and prioritize them. Determine which of the remaining ideas suits them best through research, discussion with others, or personal reflection. In deciding whether or not a particular project idea will work, take into consideration whether or not research information is available and whether the project is one they can complete within the time given. Also, remember that in order to qualify as a senior project, their plan needs to be one that will stretch their abilities and challenge their limitations. To get project ideas, consider your students hobbies, interests, activities and then ask them, how could those ideas become a positive impact on your students future?