Senior Project Showdown

Amanda Farmer

Covid-19 has had a major impact on the required senior projects in the Tracy High AG/Sci Academy’s community. Numerous senior projects were shut down because of the coronavirus and it has impacted those projects that were able to continue.

The senior project is a four-year-long research-based assignment that benefits the student from completing the project. The students help to promote knowledge on a subject all while they grow themselves.

Because of the restrictions related to topping the spread of Covid-19 many seniors have been stumped with what to do since many of their plans regarding community service or projects with donations were stopped.   The closings impacted a lot of people as well as places not accepting anything for safety reasons.

Some seniors did get lucky.  For instance, senior Brianna Herren had no issues with her project.

“The coronavirus did not impact my project a lot. Before packing orders, I would wear my mask and sanitize. I then would clean the pots and package them. I also did some contactless delivery as well. I tried to accommodate the situation for every customer.” Brianna Herren said.

However, other seniors did take a brutal change of course due to the coronavirus.

” I was supposed to do a teddy bear drive and donate them to a hospital, so I had to change my project due to them not taking outside donations. It became a better plan and I was able to change it to being through Amazon so people could go onto the hospital’s wish list with what the kids wanted or needed and it would be directly sent to the hospital so that they were able to accept it. This is good to help hospitals take some stuff off of their wish lists and the cautions set in place because of the virus was able to morph the project into something even better.” said Sophia Flores.

Things have been all over the place lately and Michael Woodward, the head of the AG/Sci Program, has heard all about the struggles with the senior projects.

“A better question would be on how has COVID not impacted Senior Projects. In “normal” years many seniors will host o participate in events. In the past students have gone to middle school classrooms, held events in D210, or participated in things like half marathons or walkathons. Since the usual options were not available seniors were challenged to develop news, mostly virtual alternatives. They rose to the challenge virtually presenting to classrooms, conducting surveys on social media, or fundraising online by selling handmade jewelry items and custom painted planter pots.” said Woodward.

Although Covid-19 is here the senior projects must still go on. Before Covid a lot of students were hard at work with the planning allowing a lot of students to grow because of what they researched and did. It took a lot of time management and balancing to be able to complete all of the requirements for the senior project.

“I have grown a lot throughout the senior project preparation because halfway through due to Covid-19. This forced me to think even more outside of the box because I knew from the start, I wanted my senior project to be meaningful and helpful to others. It took a lot of research and brainstorming, but I found a replacement project that is just as special.” Flores said.

The growth happened inevitably since the process is so long and needs so much work to complete it.

“Ironically, I think COVID actually created opportunities for more and deeper growth. The Senior Project process is often bumpy and requires flexibility, just like life. I think students who complete the process experience tremendous pride in having created, managed, and completed a long term project. Along the way they learn lifelong skills like time management, organization, and public speaking. Additionally they often to work with a variety of people ranging from students to adults which develops confidence in interpersonal communication. I think the best way to put it is that students who complete the Senior Project learn to trust the process and believe in themselves.” said Woodward.

A lot of students have had the chance to gain the skills and growth that comes with being a part of the AG/Sci Academy.

“I have grown as a student through this project as I gained more confidence and time management skills. I had to learn how to balance school and work along with making time for painting pots.” Herren said.

The program has numerous people putting effort into it and the result of the program all has to do with the growth of the student partaking in it.

Sophia Flores link for Amazon wish list.
Senior Brianna Herren painting a pot for her Senior Project.
The bags for Brianna’s senior project prior to drop-off.