High School – Senior Projects

January 28, 2013

This month, the high school is devoting its share of the newsletter to the extraordinary projects our seniors are now embarked on:

Adam Berndt
As you read this, Adam is in New York filming a documentary that will attempt to explain stock markets in a way that anyone can understand. To do this he is visiting the NYSE, the NASDAQ and conducting interviews with members of the financial community – including investment bankers, economists, traders and workers at the Federal Reserve Bank. He will use this goal as a focusing lens to answer the question: “What are the societal risks associated with major stock markets and how could reforms or alternatives replace or reduce those risks? Are stock markets essential to the economic health of a country, or are there viable alternatives that might increase the stability of the financial system?”

Amy McShane Land
Amy is exploring and contrasting two forms of art: comics and painting, for her project. She will be creating a comic under the guidance of an established comic book artist: Nate Powell; taking classes at the Waldron Arts Center; and working on painting with artist, Mark Blaney. The classes she will be taking at the Waldron are: Watercolors: Paint to Paper and Object and Life Drawing. One of the comics that she will be making is a children’s comic and the other will be focused on the artwork. Her essential question is “What techniques are used in both comic-making and painting, and does knowledge of the techniques of one affect the way you make the other?”

Aaron Palmer
For his senior project, Aaron is attending the Cosmetology Academy as a full-time student, with a view to earning his cosmetology license. His essential question is: “given the state of today’s economy, what is the value of a career path like cosmetology? Do I want to do a job like this that is stable and fairly straightforward, or will I want to pursue something different?”

Christian (Jake) Sanders
When Jake graduates, he plans to go to culinary school, so it came as little surprise that his senior project would revolve around cooking and catering. Jake is currently in Urbana, Illinois, interning at the Piato café for the next three months. He will be exposed to all aspects of the restaurant business, which will help him answer his essential question “What skills do you need to go into the restaurant business and what can you learn on the job?”

Eleanor Baude-Phillips
Aspiring writer Eleanor Baude-Phillips, is traveling to Paris, France, for her project, where she will spend two-and-a-half months following in the footsteps of American authors like Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Stein, as she works on her own novel, while answering her essential question: “what effect does physical environment have on the quality of a writer’s work?
Dominic Mangus
For his senior project, Dominic has gone to Lafayette, Indiana, where he is participating in a three-month glass blowing internship at a local studio called Inspired Fire. He’ll be learning the skills that are needed to work in and run a studio, such as cutting glass and making products for sale. After his project is over, he hopes to continue working there for an additional three months to continue learning. His essential question is, “What types of techniques are commonly used in glass blowing? What challenges are associated with each technique?”

Emma Hammock
For her senior project, Emma will be traveling to the Ukraine and Russia to study the Russian language, as well as the Russian and Ukrainian Cultures. She will be spending one month in Ukraine, where she will be taking a two-week Russian class at Nova Mova language school. She will be then be spending one month in Russia, where she will be volunteering at the Hermitage museum in Saint Petersburg, translating texts and working with one of their children’s programs. After high school, Emma will be working towards obtaining a degree in Slavic language and linguistics. Her two essential questions are: “How do the cultures of Ukraine, Russia and The United States differ and how are they similar?” And “How do the language of these countries reflect their cultures?”

Isabel Osmundsen
Izzy will spend her project studying heritage archaeology, both here in Indiana and in Rome, Italy. She is currently interning at the Glenn A. Black Lab at the Mathers Museum to start learning about archaeology. In February, she will travel to Rome, Italy, for a month to study heritage archaeology at sites throughout the city. She will also be shadowing at the Department of Natural Resources with the Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology. Through these 3 very different experiences, she hopes to answer her essential question: “Archaeology is the study of ancient peoples and cultures, through what we find at historical sites. These sites often depend, at least partially, on tourists for funding. But at what point do visitors to these archaeological sites do more harm than good?”

Jordan Bradley
Jordan is exploring different dog training techniques for her project, with a strong focus on positive reinforcement methods. She is shadowing Kelli Stropes, and Vicki Palmore of Bright Hope Dog Training, as they instruct classes and hold private training sessions. She will also be working with dogs at the Brown County Humane Society, where her goal is to make each dog she works with more adoptable by ridding them of unwanted behaviors and training them to follow basic obedience commands. Her essential question is: “What are the pros and cons of positive reinforcement training for dogs, and how does it compare to other methods?”

Preston Ventrano
For his senior project, Preston will be working with both the police department in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the police department in Brown County Indiana. He will also be working with a variety of martial artists who will be helping him study Taekwondo, Judo and Aikido. Tony Ventrano and Raphael Salzano will be supplementing his training with Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. His essential question is: “what level of defensive training is required to work in law enforcement and what types of martial arts can be applicable for an officer?”

Sarah (Lilly) Hite
Lilly is planning to become a veterinarian someday. For her senior project, she will be volunteering at several animal-focused organizations to get a better idea about which branch of veterinarian studies she would like to base her future career on. She plans to volunteer with two vet clinics (Combs and College Mall) as well as WildCare and a local animal farm. Her essential question is: “How different is working with domesticated as opposed to undomesticated animals?”

Sasha Wiesenhahn
For his senior project, Sasha will be taking a seven-credit hour class at Ivy Tech in order to obtain an EMT certification. Also he will be volunteering as a wellness coach through the YMCA. Through this, he hopes to learn more about the medical and health profession in order to pursue a career in nursing school. He will also be shadowing surgeons and doctors at a variety of clinics. His essential question is, “How will training as an EMT and working as a volunteer wellness coach help him learn about the medical profession and influence his future decisions?”

Simone Allen
Simone’s senior project takes her to South Africa to study wild meerkat social behavior. She’s had a life-long fascination with animals and how they live and interact. To prepare for the project, she has been collecting and analyzing data on cow bird behavior at one of IU’s professor’s research labs. In South Africa, Simone will be staying at the meerkat research site in the Kalahari where Animal Planet’s “Meerkat Manor” was filmed, for two and a half months. Her essential question is “how is the study of animal behavior different when not in a controlled environment?”

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