Expanding our Graduation Projects


Foreign Language

  • Establish a weekly story hour for ESL children at one of the local library branches.
  • Coach a community team comprised of ESL students.
  • Write a children's book that focuses on a specific curricular topic/grade level. (Reference the North Carolina Standard Course of Study for each grade level.)
    • Ex. planets, food chain, animal life, plant life, American Civil War, the Constitution, N.C. history, etc.
  • Create language games for non-speaker of all ages and teach them to a test group.
  • Visit Hispanic residents at local nursing homes and read the newspaper or magazines to them.
  • Volunteer at the Davidson Medical Ministries and prepare handouts or other informational pieces as needed.
  • Volunteer at a local hospital and visit Hispanic patients.
  • Volunteer as an after school tutor for ESL students- elementary, middle or high.
  • Produce an annotated portfolio of local historic churches featuring architectural techniques related to the target language.
  • Create pottery representative of the Aztec style.
  • Plan a menu. Prepare and serve a traditional Mexican meal that is formally evaluated by adults. (student from non-Hispanic/Mexican culture)
  • Coordinate and create all props for the high school Latin classes to play some traditional Roman sports.
  • Create an educational website particularly designed for language learners and share the website with an elementary school.
  • Create blueprints and build a scale model of a home utilizing Frank Lloyd Wright techniques.
  • Create a business plan for a Chinese restaurant.
  • Provide a community service requiring the use of a target language.
  • Teach language for a purpose (elementary conversational use or use on a trip).
  • Investigate jobs requiring language use at a required proficiency level.
  • Examine the role of language.
  • Create a school or class newspaper in a language other than English.
  • Develop a service for students who speak a language other than English at school.
  • Research and report on the cultural impact of famous people, literature, and historical events on student's own culture.
  • Research the effects of traumatic events in the media, such as 9/11, from the point of view of people from other countries/speakers of a language other than English.
  • Research advertising, movies, and other media forms from countries of a language other than English and compare to student's own culture.

Sample Foreign Language Projects

A student researched cultural adjustment issues that impact speakers of a language other than English. The student then

facilitated a "town hall" meeting to inform the community and

resolve issues.


A student focused her project on the educational issue of when to

begin language study and why it is important to a student's

education. The student then prepared a presentation for the school

board to advocate for foreign language instruction in the

elementary grades.


A student researched the housing difficulties that new Spanish-speaking

immigrants face when coming to his community. The

student then developed a system by which renters, not fluent in

English, could talk to someone about their concerns and have those

concerns communicated to the landlord for action or resolution.


A student researched career opportunities for bilingual persons.

For the product, the student created a student-oriented bilingual

dictionary with artwork done by the student and then the student

made a class presentation on the career opportunities available to

bilinguals.


A student researched the psychological and sociological effects of

immigration to the United States on children. He then volunteered

time as a youth director at an organization established to assist

Hispanic immigrants' transition to life in the United States.  The student worked with the center to develop a program to help the

new immigrants learn about life as a teenager in their new country.


After researching instructional strategies for assisting adults to

learn English, one student worked as a teaching assistant for an evening English  class for adult learners.

Social Sciences

  • Lobby for a local initiative such as a park or teen center.
  • Explore similarities and differences in world religions.
  • Investigate crime prevention.
  • Work with Habitat for Humanity.
  • Investigate global warming.
  • Investigate controversy in presidential polices.
  • Research the Federal Drug Administration (FDA).
  • Investigate nursing home care.
  • Explore alternative fuels.
  • Serve as an intern at a television station.
  • Interview credible sources to record historical events or personal messages.
  • Volunteer at a museum.
  • Examine financial planning for the future.
  • Examine urban growth and its effect on the economy.
  • Investigate the rights of students who are arrested.
  • Explore youth voter campaigns.
  • Record oral histories of veterans.
  • Research a current problem facing society that has a direct impact on your community.
  • Establish an online homework help system.
  • Research and photograph local historical sites that are sometimes overlooked and compile your data into a book about little known historical facts of Davidson County.
  • "Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover"- Conduct a study to see how people respond to you when you enter a variety of stores and restaurants well-dressed versus when you enter dressed shabbily. Test areas for your research- jewelry stores, high-end dress shops and shoe stores vs department stores, sporting goods stores, restaurants [high end vs casual dining], book stores, electronic stores, etc.
  • Serve as a tutorial for teens at Alpha Pregnancy in Lexington
  • Volunteer at one of our homeless shelters.  Help serve food and collect food, supplies, and clothing for the residents.
  • Organize a volunteer program where teens assist the community senior citizens with minor chores- raking leaves, painting, mowing the lawn, weeding flower beds, etc.
  • Make "I Care" packages for homeless children and adults.
  • Teach a senior citizens group how to use a computer to keep in touch with their families. Prepare a step-by step guide to using email, using Google, book marking favorite sites like the Weather Channel, Medicare, etc.
  • Make "I Care" packages for residents of the Women's Shelter.
  • Organize an alcohol/drug awareness campaign at your school.


  • Organize a canned food drive in conjunction with a school event- publicize within the school and community beforehand, ask local radio stations for air time, post on local cable channels, post on Community Notes in the local newspapers and on local television stations, etc.
  • Volunteer with Special Olympics and take a leadership role.  Consult our Davidson County Special Olympics chairperson for opportunities.
  • Set up a Buddy System for at-risk students at your school.
  • Read to visually impaired patients at local hospitals and local nursing homes.
  • Assist during the November elections- work with a political party, volunteer during polling day, etc.
  • Establish a recycling program at your school. Educate the community how to recycle, how to separate recyclable goods, where they can take their recycled goods, etc.
  • Organize a pet food drive for a local animal shelter or humane society and create a community awareness of the importance of spaying and neutering pets.
  • Work with a local hospital to set up a toy room for the children's ward or the emergency room. (Adhere to safety guidelines, choose the space, decorate it, and collect the toys.  Involve the hospital auxiliary so that they will be willing to maintain the area in the future.)
  • Create activity kits for children who are hospitalized for extended periods, adhering to safety guidelines. Work with the hospital' auxiliary group.
  • Organize a stuffed animal drive for a local law enforcement agency or local emergency room to soothe traumatized children.
  • Work with a local women's shelter or homeless shelter to start a childcare program for children at the shelter so that the parents can seek employment or attend counseling sessions.
  • Research your community's history. Use this new knowledge to plot a self-guided historical walking tour of your community.  This can be done through a brochure and CD's.  Work with our local tourism agency or historical society to make the tour available to the public.
  • Organize a local crime watch awareness program and publicize at local civic meetings and school open houses.
  • Work with our local government to organize a clean up of a polluted area in our community- stream, park, etc.  Include community organizations as volunteers. 
  • Educate your community about the dangers of chemical pesticides and provide environmentally friendly substitutes.  Offer workshops and distribute fliers.
  • Hold a book drive for your school's literacy campaign.  Divide the collected books by interests/topics and distribute among teachers.
  • Begin a literacy program for residents of local homeless shelters.
  • The power of artists (ex. William Hogarth)/photographers ( Dorthea Lange/ Arthur Rothstein) of a time period 
  • Who and What Control What We Buy and Think? Economic impact of advertising
  • Freedom of Expression- The Political and Social Power of Songs (Highlight key songs throughout the 1900's to the present)
  • Stock Market- A Guide to Teen Investing (Work with a local stock broker and design a step-by-step guide to help students make wise decisions when considering investments)
  • Develop an investment portfolio and track the earnings
  • Public relations- Do we see the real person or is it all a façade?
  • Small business entrepreneurship- How to start your own business
  • Child labor in today's sweat shops across the world
  • Fashion trends and how they recycle themselves
  • Care of the elderly- Visit area nursing homes and design a brochure that highlights the strengths of each.  Work with our Davidson County Social Services to also include elderly daycares and senior citizen activities.
  • Rights of the Homeless- Where do they really belong?
  • Student rights when arrested- Working with a local law enforcement agency, develop a guide for students that outlines how they should respond when facing possible incarceration
  • Handicapped Rights- What we should all know
  • Preserving our Heritage- Interview a variety of citizens in our community about their experiences during a specific time period- Vietnam War, WWII, Korean War, Desert Storm(Oral History as a product)

From North Carolina City and County Management Association

•·   Why have the recent changes designed to simplify election procedures (One Stop Voting, etc.) not significantly improved voter turnout? Contact person: County elections director


•·   What issues would need to be addressed for cities to invest in alternative fuel vehicles for their fleets?  Contact person: City or town public works director


•·   What roles do neighborhood associations serve in the community? What can counties and cities do to support these groups?  Contact person: County or city planning director or public information officer


•·   How can public service agencies effectively communicate the importance of using child passenger safety seats to populations with low rates of usage?

Contact persons: City or town police department, county sheriff's office, city or county public information officers in larger communities


•·   How have State mandates affected the amount of solid waste (garbage and trash) generated by local communities over time? Contact persons: City or town public works director (data for all communities available from the State Department of Environment and Natural Resources)


•·   How can communities encourage recycling among those citizens who currently make little use of recycling programs?  Contact persons: City or town recycling coordinator or public works director


•·   What makes a recreation program for at-risk youth successful? How can these programs be replicated in other communities? Contact persons: City or town parks/recreation director


•·   What strategies for ending chronic homelessness work in North Carolina? How can these programs be replicated in other communities? Contact persons: Managers of local shelters (often recipients of county or city funding), the North Carolina Housing Coalition (www.nchousing.org)


•·   How effectively has the Public Health Department reached out to the Spanish-speaking population to make them aware of available health services (vaccinations, health and dental clinics, flu shots, etc.)? Contact person: County public health director


•·   What type of budget information is most meaningful to the average citizen? Contact persons: County or city budget officers, in larger communities; county or city managers, in smaller or less urban communities

Sample Social Studies Projects

Inspired by a family member who adopted a child from Africa, one student conducted research on international adoption and raised almost $1,300 for an organization that cares for orphans in Ethiopia. She also hand-crocheted two

baby afghans and her mother made a third. The student sent these to the orphanage, along with a box of yarn and crochet hooks (items from their wish list) she had collected.


A student established a "Just Pennies to Care" fundraising campaign for various issues, such as homelessness and the genocide in Darfur. After researching the causes, the student set up donations jars around the school to collect money for

the different causes. Random surveys were then conducted to determine why people supported certain causes over others. The student then made spreadsheets of the weekly contributions, created a digital documentary about the process, and wrote letters to government officials about the issues that the school community was most passionate about.


A student completed research on voter turnout nationwide, then conducted a class survey to determine the number of registered voters, the number who intended to register, and which students were planning to vote. The survey also included some questions to determine which issues young people cared the most about. The student then created posters, commercials, and news articles to raise awareness about the importance of voting and attempted to raise voter turnout among young adults. A final survey was conducted to determine the effectiveness of the campaign.


A student conducted research to explore the consequences of a prolonged rise in the earth's temperature. After conducting the research, the student identified factors around the school and the community that contributed to the effects of global warming. The student then completed an action plan to reduce or eliminate these factors and presented it to community leaders, the student council, school administrators, and the school board.



English

  • Political power of satire in printed material- cartoonists, writers, poets, etc.
  • Broadcasting
  • Power of the Media- Does the Media control how we think?
  • Silent films- How can they tell a story?
  • Develop a community webpage- How will you let the community know about your website?   Contact the area chamber of commerce, local businesses, schools, non-profit organizations, and churches and post their information.  The challenge is to keep it current and informative. 
  • Write and illustrate a children's book (Share with elementary classes, during story hours at local daycares, and at the public library.)
  • Create an animated children's book (casual reading or academic).  Share with elementary classes, during story hours at local daycares, and at the public library.) Make DVD's available for schools/daycares/library to add to their collections.
  • Work with a local news reporter.  Spend time in the newsroom and then create a newspaper for a local non-profit agency- daycare, church, etc.
  • Organize an art show- Feature your own art as well as other students work.  Publicize the show through the local cable, TV and radio stations.  Design posters for display on local businesses.

Communications

  • Assess the causes and effects of adult literacy in North Carolina.
  • Compare the plight of migrant workers past and present.
  • Explore the influence of the Internet on the print or music publishing industry.
  • Develop a guide for elementary students to use the Internet safely and responsibly.
  • Investigate the influence of print and/or electronic media on public opinion on a topic (e. g., isolationism, immigration, global warming, World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Cuba).
  • Explore careers by job-shadowing (e. g., journalist, writer, educator, and business/industry consultants).
  • Research the role of education and/or libraries in the American democratic process.
  • Conduct research on a current news story and job-shadow the reporter.
  • Research the effects of age discrimination in one of the following areas (white collar jobs, blue collar jobs, and broadcast media).
  • Investigate commercials movies, and/or video games marketed to preteens; develop a survey tool to collect and report findings.
  • Explore the use of online game development as a tool for learning.
  • Explore the influence of conservatism on American politics from 1990-2000.
  • Research how Russia has changed since the break-up of the Soviet Union.
  • Investigate the cause and effect of out-sourcing in manufacturing and information technology sectors.


Language Arts

  • Teach adults to read.
  • Teach young children to read.
  • Investigate the publishing industry and write a guide for potential writers.
  • Investigate the broadcasting industry and create a public service announcement-PSA.
  • Job-shadow a journalist/reporter and create a school or class newspaper.
  • Research the role of libraries in literacy and develop a reading center or some other project at a library.
  • Research a poet or other author and create a poetry or short story collection.
  • Research the effect of major tragic events on the media, such as 9/11.
  • Research a current news story and job-shadow the reporter.
  • Research sex or violence in the media and design a brochure or some other school publicity project that summarizes the results.
  • Research the impact of advertising, movies, and other media on children and create a survey on the effects of that medium.
  • Research information to develop brochures on child abuse, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, spina bifida, and eating disorders that can be distributed by local agencies.

Literature-Based

  • "Is Pap a typical alcoholic father?" After reading Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn,  compare Pap to the typical alcoholic parent.
  • "Can our dreams lead to our destruction?"  After reading John Steinbeck's The Pearl, compare how the pearl changed Kino's life - his relationship with his wife, his dreams for himself and family, and his personality and his reaction to others, and his ultimate price for fortune- with the way instant fame and/or fortune changed the lives of celebrities, athletes, lottery winners, inheritance, etc.
  • "Does our social environment affect how we perceive ourselves and ultimately influence our behavior?"  After reading Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, you will see how the initially gentle Monster becomes a monster after various encounters with cruel and judgmental people. Many mass murderers blame their actions on the harsh words and treatment by other children and adults during their childhood.  Compare the Monster's transformation to others who feel their evil lives are attributed to mistreatment.
  • "How safe is our meat?"  With the recent outbreaks of E coli, one wonders how safe is the meat we purchase at the grocery store?  Read Upton Sinclair's The Jungle which led to the establishment of the FDA and meat inspection. Compare the conditions in the Chicago meatpacking plants to our present meat-packing procedures and safety measures.
  • "You are so Vain!"  After reading Oscar Wilde's  The Picture of Dorian Gray, compare Dorian Gray to other narcissistic individuals who feel they are above the law and the rules are for everyone else but them. 


  • "You change a man, or can you?"  Professor Higgins sets his sight on an unsuspecting Eliza Doolittle as he begins his experiment of transforming a mere Cockney flower girl into a lady of society. Read George Bernard Shaw's Pymalion and compare Eliza to other young ladies that have emerged from meager beginnings and rose to stardom and prominence.
  • "It is only a hindrance, not a roadblock."  Helen Keller was born deaf and blind, but she did not let these obstacles stay in her way. Others have met physical blockades due to illness or accidents and have forged ahead overcoming their handicaps.  Compare Helen's drive to find her place in a normal world to the heroic struggles of others who are doing the same (dismembered veterans, accident victims, stroke, burn, and cancer patients, etc.)
  • "If I could just breathe and be myself."  Henrik Ibsen vividly depicts in his play A Doll's House a caged Nora who finally has the courage to break away from her charade of a marriage and become herself.  Compare the emotional struggles that Nora must face as she walks away from her husband and children to find her true self to the struggles of other women who have made the same choice.
  • "I gave up everything for you!" Medea betrays her own family to help her husband become successful.  From Greek times to today, this has occurred over and over.  Loving spouses place their lives on hold in order for their husbands/wives to move forward in their education and careers. After they achieve their goals, they abandon their devoted spouses and move on to someone who fulfills their new status. Compare the way Medea reacts to Jason's abandonment with the reaction of other shunned wives and husbands.
  • "I just want to belong." S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders tells of two totally different groups of socio-economic young men who have a common quest- to belong.  The greasers and the Socs provide the encouragement and support that they are lacking in their own lives.  Today, some young people seek a similar bond within college sororities and fraternities, social cliques, street gangs, etc. After reading the novel, compare either the greasers or the Socs with a present-day social group.
  • "When I look in the mirror, I do not recognize the person looking back at me."  Gregor in Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis faces isolation and alienation when he wakes up one morning as a giant beetle.  Much has been read into his symbolic/allegorical metamorphosis.  Is he revealing a secret life? Does he feel professionally inferior to others as a traveling salesman? Does he feel insignificant within his family except for his monthly paycheck? Is he stuck in one place as the world passes by him?  The door is open to speculations!  Compare Gregor's frustrations with other persons who have experienced similar inner frustrations as they try to make major changes in their lives and have only met rejection and criticism.
  • "Marked for life!"  Hester Prynne in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter committed a sin that placed a perpetual stigma upon her.  Others have made mistakes in their lives.  They have worked hard to overcome this disgrace and once again be accepted into society.  Compare Hester's struggle to gain acceptance to others who have faced similar ostracizing.
  • "Judge a man by what's inside, not by his appearance."  Atticus Finch in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird stands firm on his belief that all men deserve a fair trial. There are others who share this principle.  Compare Atticus to another lawyer who stepped forward to make sure his client had a fair trial even though it was against the public's wishes.
  • "Lost!" During WWII a plane filled with school boys goes down on a deserted island.  William Golding's Lord of the Flies tells how these young boys learn how to survive without adult guidance and establish their own survival rules.  There have been other instances where people have been stranded due to weather conditions, plane or car crashes, or simply lost in an unfamiliar setting.  Compare their perils to those of Ralph, Piggy, and the others- how they seek food and shelter, how they try to signal rescue teams, and how they cope socially in a "survival of the fittest" situation.
  • "We would like to order a baby that has . . ."  Aldous Huxley's Brave New World takes us into a hatchery where human embryos are "conditioned" to fulfill predetermined roles in society. In the early 1900's this seemed fantastical. Today, it is a reality. Embryo engineering has been criticized as a developing technique that could be used by others to create babies with genes modified to make them smarter, taller, more athletic or better looking. Compare the techniques used in the novel to modern day embryo manufacturing.
  • "Big Brother is Watching You!"  George Orwell's 1984, written in 1948, seems almost prophetic. Winston's life is monitored at almost every turn by the Party.  Are our lives monitored by such government agencies as the FBI and the CIA without us knowing?  Are we monitored as we enter department stores?  Can our transactions and movement on internet be monitored? Can our phone calls be heard? Our emails read?  Compare how we, like Winston, have Big Brother monitoring our lives today.
  • "Don't blame me.  He did it also!"  Arthur Miller's The Crucible shows how mass hysteria can begin as a ploy to deflect attention away from the culprit and destroy the lives of many innocent victims.  Abigail tries to divert the public attention away from herself and blames her action on witchcraft. (She encouraged her friends to dance unclothed in the forbidden forest with the slave Tituba which is definitely against the Puritan beliefs!)  Others have done the same when the public spotlight was on them.  Compare how Abigail's selfish actions ruins the lives of innocent people to a modern today incident where someone "threw others under the truck" to save his/her own reputation. We have had our share of political scapegoats to divert attention away from our most powerful. Presidential scandals have prompted intense TV coverage of new Middle East conflicts to turn the attention away from the scandal. Athletes found to be on steroids cry out their fellow players. Environmentalists cry about global warming as they hop into their private jets to return to their multi-million mansions and vacation homes.  Because of their actions, they make sure the spotlight is conveniently turned towards others!



  • 'The rich get richer and the poor get poorer." The Industrial Revolution initiated the pursuit of the American Dream- a time of unprecedented wealth and materialism. F. Scott's Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby reflects a decline of this ideal world as he shares the lives of Daisy, Nick, and Gatsby during the summer of 1922.  "Fitzgerald portrays the 1920's as an era of decayed social and moral values, evidenced in its overarching cynicism, greed, and empty pursuit of pleasure. A person from any social background could, potentially, make a fortune, but the American aristocracy-families with old wealth-scorned the newly rich industrialists and speculators."  Is there a parallel today?  Even though our stock market is presently struggling, many have made millions in stocks, internet, entrepreneurships, films, books, etc. in the past ten years.  Compare the lifestyles of Fitzgerald's characters to the lifestyles of today's rich and famous.


Sample English Projects


Communications

A student developed a Guide for Elementary Students for Using Web 2.0 Tools Safely and Responsibly. The student used knowledge and skills in the Information Skills Standard Course of Study in conducting research on safe and responsible use of online tools and conducted a survey of elementary students' use of online tools. The student then developed a multimedia presentation for an audience of parents and teachers.


A student focused on the societal issue of eating disorders and researched the signs, symptoms, and treatment options for people who suffer with the disorder. The student then created a podcast to be posted online as a public service announcement to parents who were interested in more information.


A student explored the use of online game development as a tool for learning. After conducting research to investigate uses of games in various disciplines, the student took lessons in using game design and developed an online game for students to use to prepare for summative assessments.


English Language Arts

A student conducted research on Nikki Giovanni and then composed his own collection of poems in Giovanni's style.


A student focused her research on censorship in literature and then developed interactive lesson plans for the teachers in her school to use when teaching the topic to future students.


A student wrote a fantasy/mystery novel and attempted to have his novel published. He researched fiction publications, began the long process of contacting agents, and fully documented his efforts. Although his novel is not being considered for publication as it is, he received several positive comments and valuable suggestions from top American publishers.












































Science

from http://www.all-science-fair-projects.com/category0.html

From DPI

  • Research the psychological and physiological effects of sleep deprivation and caffeine on teenagers.
  • Study the human biological and social need for laughter.
  • Investigate crocodilian conservation in coastal North Carolina.
  • Explore flight.
  • Study recycling and world impact for energy conservation and global warming.
  • Investigate wildlife management.

  • Look into the commercial uses of algae and methods of production.
  • Conduct a study of territoriality in mice.
  • Examine the effects of electrical fields on plants.
  • Observe and research conditioned responses in different animals.
  • Investigate stem cell research and DNA mapping.
  • Make various inquiries into the medical field's use of robotics.
  • Study the energy/fuel crisis. Look into the production of hybrid vehicles and the use of alternative fuels as more effective methods for mass transportation.
  • Study conservation methods for home fuel, solar energy, and wind energy.
  • Explore eco-building in the construction of environmentally friendly buildings and reusable buildings.
  • Examine the effectiveness of straw, bamboo floors, energy-star ratings for appliances in the construction of new structures.
  • Examine the use of hand tools versus mechanical tools.

Sample Science Projects


A student researched water quality standards and then conducted a study of baseline and after rain pollutants in the retention pond across the street from the school.


A student researched the affects of temperature on tone and pitch and then recorded the effects of temperature on musical instruments using a computer program.


A student checked water quality at intervals of 30 minutes, 24 hours, and 48 hours after a rainfall to assess how long pollutants remained in the water.

















Math

from http://www.all-science-fair-projects.com/category0.html

From DPI

  • Analyze the impact of tourism on the local economy.
  • Build a greenhouse.
  • Create an architectural design/plan for a structure.
  • Create and prepare a landscape design for a house.
  • Create a record-keeping program for a business.
  • Design and implement a math demonstration for a mathematics class.
  • Design and maintain a web page for your school or a mcommunity organization.
  • Draw blueprints and make a model.
  • Support and assist in the building of a house with Habitat for Humanity.
  • Construct a model of a roller coaster.
  • Create a quilt representative of a selected math-related theme or message.


  • Organize a dance team, choreograph dance routines, and prepare a program to present at a senior citizens' center or during half time at a sporting event.
  • Paint a mural representative of a selected math-related theme or message.
  • Plan, produce, and perform a musical concert.
  • Plant a new crop and measure yield results.
  • Prepare and market a cookbook with recipes for nutritious foods.
  • Remodel a room in a public building or family dwelling for a physically challenged child or adult.
  • Research fashion design of a specific era; then create a dress/suit representative of that particular period.
  • Research, restore, and test drive an antique car. Prepare a journal documenting the process.
  • Start a small business which markets or produces a product of service. Chronicle the process in a journal.
  • Start a tutorial group for students needing assistance in a math class. Define the selection process for identifying students.
  • Design an action plan for working with the students.


Sample  Math Projects

A student researched successful accounting practices of small businesses and developed a business plan for a new restaurant.


A student researched tax laws and became a temporary accountant for a local car auction, specializing in taxes.


A student researched construction policies related to architectural design and then designed and planned water connections for a local subdivision.


A student designed and built a deck according to a planned draft after researching local regulations and building techniques.
















Computer Science


CTE

  • Investigate the development and use of nanotechnologies.
  • Investigate the plight of migrant workers past and present.
  • Explore the influence of the Internet on the print or music  publishing industry.
  • Develop a guide for elementary students on how to use the
  • Internet and online tools safely and responsibly.
  • Investigate the role of the Internet and information access in destabilizing the Soviet Union.
  • Explore the use of robotics in a particular science or industry using a timeline and then develop a multimedia presentation (e.g., wiki, podcast, web page).
  • Investigate the influence of print and/or electronic media on public opinion related to a specific topic (e.g., isolationism,immigration, global warming, World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Cuba, Gulf War, War in Iraq).
  • Explore careers by job-shadowing (e.g., journalist, writer, educator, scientist, law enforcement, and business/industry).
  • Research the role of education and/or libraries in the American democratic process.
  • Trace significant events in the Civil Rights Movement in North Carolina and develop a podcast or wiki about one pivotal event.
  • Conduct research on a current news story and job-shadow a reporter.
  • Research the effects of age discrimination in one of the following areas: white-collar jobs, blue-collar jobs, and broadcast media.
  • Investigate commercials, movies, and/or video games marketed to preteens and develop a survey tool to collect and report findings.
  • Explore use of online game development as a tool for learning.
  • Explore the influence of conservatism on American politics from 1990-2000.
  • Trace events that show how Russia has changed since the break-up of the Soviet Union, focusing on a specific sector of Russian life. Use a timeline to present findings in a wiki, podcast, multimedia, or web page production.
  • Investigate the cause and effect of out-sourcing in manufacturing and information technology sectors and present findings.

Health

  • Research and analyze the dietary guidelines of a local healthcare facility and compare those guidelines to the diet of the general public.
  • Follow the rehab progress of an orthopedic surgery patient at a local rehab center.  With the patient's consent, you will follow this patient's progress at each session and chart the progress drawing a hypothesis as to the success of the surgery.
  • Develop an individualized diet and exercise program to help in the health classes
  • Create a video about physical fitness and health issues.
  • Create an exercise video and a dietary pamphlet for elementary students.
  • Design and build a fitness trail in your community.
  • Establish an online homework help system.
  • Study Healthy Active Children Policy in increasing physical activity among youth.
  • Analyze abstinence until marriage programs in improving health behaviors.
  • Write a monthly health article in school and/or district newsletter.
  • Create a social marketing campaign around tobacco awareness.
  • After training, become a peer educator on health topics at local middle schools.
  • Become a School Health Advisory Council member.
  • Shadow a clinical health professional and develop strategies for incorporating health promotion into the profession.
  • Work with central office risk managers to develop an employee wellness program.
  • Participate in a university-based health research project.
  • Develop bus placards, brochures, and screen savers to educate students about behaviors that result in suspensions and expulsions.
  • Research the effect of media messages on health behavior and create health-promotion messages for students.
  • Research local community health agencies and promote services on school campuses.
  • Study Healthy Active Children Policy in increasing physical activity among youth.
  • Conduct an analysis of quality physical education in improving lifetime health behaviors.
  • Write a monthly physical activity and nutrition or weight management article in the school and/or school district newsletter.
  • Create a social marketing campaign around tobacco awareness.
  • After training, become a peer educator on health topics at local middle schools.
  • Become a School Health Advisory Council member.
  • Shadow a health club professional and develop strategies for incorporating health promotion into a profession.
  • Work with the district's central office risk managers to develop an employee wellness program.
  • Participate in a university-based physical activity research project.
  • Develop flashcards, brochures, PowerPoint presentations, posters and screen savers to educate students about behaviors that result in physical fitness.
  • Research the effect of media messages on health behavior and create health-promotion messages for students.
  • Research the scope and practices of local and state fitness-related agencies and promote their fitness services on school campuses.
  • Research professions to investigate and rank jobs based on wellness opportunities for employees.

Sample Health and PE Projects


A student reported the role of public health agencies in reducing obesity rates to reduce the fiscal impact on insurance rates. The student then presented a plan to local leaders to fund a park with fitness trails.


A student researched the impact of the No Child Left Behind Act on health education as a non-tested area. The student wrote letters of support to US Representatives to support health education instruction nationwide. The student also met with some local leaders to increase their awareness about the issue.


A student conducted research on the correlation between school health education programs and workplace wellness programs with improved work productivity. The student then presented the City Council with an idea for instituting a citywide health promotion and wellness programs.


A student researched the addictive potential of tobacco, the role of public health agencies in reducing tobacco rates, and the fiscal impact of tobacco reduction rates on tobacco farmers. The student then identified alternative agricultural products for tobacco farmers and put together a multimedia presentation for

the county commissioners.














Arts

  • Investigate the Arts as the first language of children.
  • Teach young children literacy skills using an art form.
  • Job-shadow an arts therapist and explore the field of art therapy.
  • Research a performer, composer, artist, choreographer, playwright, etc.; then create an original work.
  • Conduct a study of art reflecting historical events (e.g., eras, politics, cultures, ceremonies, rituals, etc.).


Sample Projects


Dance:

A student analyzed the life and style of dancer and choreographer Martha Graham in relationship to women in the arts,her impact as a pioneer of modern dance, and how she expressed the American experience in her choreography. The student combined her interest of dance and anatomy/physiology and then specifically studied how Graham used tension and relaxation in her choreography. The product was an original student-choreographed work in Graham's style based on themes from contemporary American life.


Music:

A student explored how music records and reflects historical and political events and then created and arranged an original musical composition aligned with the current political event of the War in Iraq. The student's piece was used to help express a personal political statement about the student's experiences, feelings, and hopes for world peace. The composition was performed and recorded at the

spring concert by the school's chorus. The student also shared the recording with various social and political groups, including soldiers and their families.


Theatre Arts:

A student was interested in theatre production and did an internship with a local theatre company to explore the "behind the scenes" aspects of producing community children's theatre. The student created and, with the help of the director of the theatre company, produced an original children's play at the local theatre. The student was able to integrate various theatrical elements, conduct

auditions, cast actors, direct scenes, and conduct production meetings to accomplish her goals. The script and videotape of the production became part of her professional portfolio as she pursued a postsecondary career in theatre.

Visual Arts:

A student was interested in psychology and art with specific attention to how visual arts are used in a therapeutic manner to help people express emotions and human experiences. The student shadowed an art therapist in a childcare center, a mental hospital, and a retirement center. The student then assisted in the childcare center with helping children express their ideas, feelings, and life events through visual arts. The product included a portfolio of children's artwork, a transcription of what the children said their artwork portrayed, and an analysis of findings regarding art and therapy. The student then used this experience and knowledge as a precursor to his continued education in art therapy.








General Graduation Project Topics

  • Why have the recent changes designed to simplify election procedures (One Stop Voting, etc.) not significantly improved voter turnout?

  Contact person: County elections director


  • What issues would need to be addressed for cities to invest in alternative fuel vehicles for their fleets?

  Contact person: City or town public works director


  • What roles do neighborhood associations serve in the community?   What can counties and cities do to support these groups?

  Contact person: County or city planning director or public information officer


  • How can public service agencies effectively communicate the importance of using child passenger safety seats to populations with low rates of usage?

Contact persons: City or town police department, county sheriff's office, city or county public information officers in larger communities


  • How have State mandates affected the amount of solid waste (garbage and trash) generated by local communities over time?

Contact persons: City or town public works director (data for all communities available from the State Department of Environmental and Natural Resources)




  • How can communities encourage recycling among those citizens who currently make little use of recycling programs?

  Contact persons: City or town recycling coordinator or public works director


  • What makes a recreation program for at-risk youth successful? How can these programs be replicated in other communities?

Contact persons: City or town parks and recreation director


  • What strategies for ending chronic homelessness work in North Carolina? How can these programs be replicated in other communities?

Contact persons: Managers of local shelters (often recipients of county or city funding), the North Carolina Housing Coalition ( www.nchousing.org )


  • How effectively has the Public Health Department reached out to the Spanish-speaking population to make them aware of available health services (vaccinations, health and dental clinics, flu shots, etc.)?

  Contact person: County public health director


  • What type of budget information is most meaningful to the average citizen?

Contact persons: County or city budget officers, in larger communities; county or city managers, in smaller or less urban communities


Interdisciplinary

Building a house with Habitat for Humanity, which could have focused on math (measurements and angles), trade and industry (construction or drafting), or social studies (economic disparities); mentors might come from the fields of architecture, construction, mathematics, and public policy.


Conducting a demonstration about safety during physical activity at a preschool which might be focused on arts education (dance), physical education (fitness), family and consumer sciences (early childhood education), or science (anatomy and physiology); mentors might come from the fields of dance, physical therapy, fitness, early childhood education, and biomedical sciences.


Developing an interactive interest calculator and website for students about the pros and cons of using credit cards which might be focused on social studies (financial literacy), business (personal finance), computer skills/digital media (website design), or mathematics (compounding interest); mentors might come from the fields of banking, finance, or web design.


Creating a student handbook in a second language for incoming students at the school which might be focused on foreign language (second language proficiencies), brochure production (graphics and computer skills), or communication skills (language arts); mentors might come from the fields of sociology, public service, or graphic arts.