One of the options for Seniors at Dublin School is to engage in a year-ong Senior Project. Senior Project offers students the opportunity to engage in rigorous study centered around a question or topic that is of special interest to them. The course has both a scholarly and a creative, or applied, component and students are given college-level expectations of independence, time management, and advanced analytical and creative problem solving.
Every student writes a research paper exploring the field or fields at the intersection of their project, documents their process with regular unit plans and reflections, works both with their Senior Project teacher and on- or off-campus mentors, and (when applicable) applies for funding for special workshops, internships, lessons or materials necessary for the enhancement of their learning. Ultimately each student channels his/her knowledge, skills and passion into creating an original work that is shared with the community on Mayfair Weekend.
Emil Hristache's Senior Project: Fashion Design
By Quinn Thomson
Emil Hristache is senior here at Dublin and a fashion aficionado. He is currently working on learning to sew and making a prom dress as his senior project. I interviewed him this week, and asked him some questions about the dress, as well as fashion in general.
He got into fashion at a pretty young age, but it didn't become an important part of his life until his sophomore year. He told me that the most important part of good fashion is individuality, and creating something that stands out and is entirely unique. He took an online course called Fashion 101, focusing on everything from the basics of fashion to the current big fashion brands. He also studied some fashion history in this course, and learned how the early big brands like Coco Chanel have influenced fashion. This spring, he has launched a blog called Style Den, about men’s style tips and such.
As for the dress, he used a few different pre-made Vogue patterns, and combined different aspects of them to create something one of a kind. The dress should be ready by next week or so and will debut on May 12 during prom! He says that fashion will always be a great hobby for him, but he's not sure if it will turn into a career or not. I guess we'll have to wait and see!
Warren Umbach’s Senior Project - Electric Bicycle
by Lucy Martin
Warren Umbach was born and raised in Birmingham, AL and has always had a fascination with bikes, woodworking, electronics, programming, and computers. He came to Dublin his sophomore year and is now a senior. Warren has spent a lot of time here at Dublin working on and building electronic machines such as the devices made on the robotics team, which he partakes in as an after school sport during the winter. Warren also was a part of the mountain biking team in the fall due to his love of riding and athletic abilities. So when he had the option to take senior project, he put two of his favorite things together in order to pick a topic that would best suit him, building an electric bike (ebike for short).
Warren has spent his time for senior project building an electric bike with the end goal being a functional ebike he can ride around campus. In addition to building a new bike, he has been doing research on the benefits of hands-on learning, which directly correlates to the process of building his bike. Warren feels that there are many benefits to hands-on learning, specifically a student's ability to retain material as well as getting a better grasp on the process.
Warren is going to college to become a mechanical engineer, so having the ability in high school to start learning more about what he wants to pursue has been extremely helpful to Warren’s education and a great first step in his professional career.
Cam Harrington's Senior Project: Training Dogs
By Noelia Calcano
Cam has been interested in dog training after having owned two dogs and admiring the significance of trained dogs for sheep herders and our soldiers who utilize dogs to sniff out bombs along roadsides. Cam has focused his project on the study of the differences and similarities in different fields of dog training. He has researched herding dogs, seeing eye dogs, and obedience training. His objective is to have a better understanding on training dogs and how to help other people train, love, and respect their own animals.
Cam studied the psychology of dogs with the comprehensive study Reward Training vs. Discipline-Based Dog Training, that showed the advantages of reward based training over disciplined based training. This study and his research on the award system for military dogs debunked the “Alpha male” theory that supports disciplined based training which encouraged him to utilize positive reinforcement as his preferred training method. This idea culminated itself in Cam’s own field training, tracking progress logs on the dogs that he works with.
During the course of senior project, Cam has studied dog training through a hands on approach. Having trained his dog Zeus as a puppy, Cam works on advanced commands with him such as puppy push ups, commands without treats and avoiding distractions. The Golden Retriever puppy Max is a younger and less focused dog; therefore, Cam has focused on simple commands like sit, stay and he has begun to work on come. Cam’s project also includes a research component and paper of comparative dog-training techniques, which has further built his knowledge of dog training and its real world applications.