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News

Volume 65 Number 3

Seniors are reaching for an Apex in new final English projects

by David Ding - 2014-12-18


This 2014/15 school year, Chadwick seniors are introduced to an independent research project for all english classes called the Apex project.

By definition, Apex means at the top or at the highest point of something. The Apex project requires seniors to first choose a national or global issue to research during their second semester. Their choices will be finalized by the end of the first semester.

What makes the Apex project unique to Chadwick is the school’s mission statement, which states that “students prepare to contribute meaningfully to their local, national, and global communities.” Seniors have to not only research a global problem, but also perform an action to follow Chadwick’s mission statement.

“What differentiates apex from any other project is the action component. The mission statement said we want the kids to contribute positively to national and global to find solutions to problems. We’re not going to be satisfied with them imaging a solution; we want them to do something,” George Ramos, english teacher, said.

At the beginning, Ramos was the one who really pushed to have some sort of final senior project. Ramos attended many conferences to learn more about senior projects and wrote the prompt himself.

“Many schools use some sort of senior project at the end of spring, a lot of colleges do so too. For instance, I went to a college to write a senior thesis of 80-pages. It gives kids a chance to do something to finish off their senior careers,” Ramos said.

The projects are for the english classes, however they include some history components. The history teachers at Chadwick are encouraging students to use what they learned in their respective history classes to apply to their Apex projects.

“One down and upside is that it’s really challenging and daunting. I think there is the potential that students will undershoot because of its challenge, but also some students might overshoot,” History Department Chair and teacher Natalie Johnson said.

The apex project has so far received positive reactions from both the faculty and students. Jane Terry, the upper-school librarian, looks forward to working with seniors one last time.

“I love it especially for senior year. Although I’m not an english or history teacher, as a librarian, it is my chance to really work with seniors before they go off to college. I always tell classes that come one of my main goals is for students who leave Chadwick to realize that the library has so many resources.” Terry said.

As second semester approaches, current seniors prepare to move forward on their Apex projects.

“I think it is an incredible opportunity to be able work on a project like this while still in high school because this kind of freedom in choosing a topic is usually restricted to college level curriculum. I can understand that some of my peers don’t want to take the entire second semester to work on it, but I have a project that I am very interested in studying both in the context of the APEX and in the long-run. Perhaps the project is more suited to those who have a solid idea of the specific fields and topics they want to pursue, but stressful for those who are interested in a broad range of topics,” Senior Lydia Krauss said.


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Article Keywords:

school, chadwick, project, english, classes, apex, global, semester, want, ramos, teacher, senior, college, history, students


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