Seniors Choose Their Own Subject

The Drive Project is a new independent study as of last year started by English Teacher, Vicki Cary. “The Drive project is an independent study in which students get to choose something that they are interested in and further explore and learn about it,” explained Cary. “My goal for it is to learn individually as well as collaboratively.”  There are three blocks that do it, consisting of only seniors. First block consists of: Brianna Porter, Erica Bordak, and Benjamin Lepinski. The students in the third block class are: Savannah Fonkert, Cassandra Bunkers, Kailee Steen, and Jessica McMullen. And then Michael Capps, Erica Hoops, Marah Moy, Katelyn Miller, Emma Hage, and Joseph Reed are in the fourth block class. All three classes spend their block time in one of the small conference rooms

 1st block-

Porter is learning the Hindi language and about the culture. Bordak is learning the Russian language and culture. And Lepinski started learning banjo then switched to dog training. Their group project is about how to improve education.

 3rd block-

We sat in on the third block class to see what it was like.  It seems like a very fun laid-back environment. The first block class even decorated the room with ribbons and streamers and brought in bean bags as one of their ideas to improve education. During class time they mainly just work on their own in silence but they also have many short random conversations or randomly comment about what they are learning about or doing. They all get along really well and seem to have a good time being around each other.

Bunkers started off with drawing and has recently switched to American Sign Language. She has had thoughts of maybe going back to drawing again. “[My favorite one is] drawing,” decided Bunkers. “I didn’t have to have to learn much it was more just practicing.”

Fonkert has changed topics four times and is considering switching again. “I started with interior design, then did drawing for a little bit, and then I tried to learn different study techniques,” said Fonkert, “now I am customizing my own pair of shoes, which is my favorite one so far.”

Fonkert may try forensics also. “I called myself flighty and then Cary said I was just terminally curious,” said Fonkert.

Steen started to learn Spanish on her own and then switched to Medical Company/Organization research. Some of the organizations that she is researching are: Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, Medical Teams International, World Relief, and some more. Right now she is getting CPR certified online. “I like learning about the medical organizations because it inspired me to want to do something involving one of the organizations,” said Steen, “ I’m trying to do everything career related, but I might also try meteorology for fun.”

McMullen is doing reading. She reads books and watches the movie and compares them. She also sits in Squads room and talks to him.

 4th Block-

Capps has been looking at different scholarship opportunities and is now writing a clown gag.

Miller started out researching theater and memorizing lines. She has also been looking at scholarships. Now Miller is researching Les Miserable

Hage has been splitting her time doing College Algebra and the Drive Project. “I have been switching back and forth with math and things doing with linguistics and neuroscience,” said Hage.

Reed researched and made some knives with a homemade forge.

Moy has been doing different devotionals. It is a way of studying/meditating on the Bible.

The Final-

“Our purpose of doing this is to give back,” explained Steen. The Drive Project students have to come up with a final project that involves giving back in their own way and must present it at the end of the quarter to Pam Miller, the Buffalo Director of Teaching and Learning, and Ed Cox, the High Potential Services Coordinator. The students can choose to do a formal presentation or a “round table” presentation, where the students sit around a circular table with Miller and Cox and discuss what they did for the final project.

“We have seven days to do our own stuff and then three days for collaborative discussions,” explained Steen. On the collaborative discussion day the four of them talk about different topics. Cary will put stuff on her website with ideas to talk about. “She posts a lot of TedTalks for us to watch,” said Steen, “one time it was all about love and that was really interesting.

For the final project, McMullen is going to help her mother’s first grade class build birdhouses and the other third block students may join her. The first block class is focusing on coming up with ways to improve school and education as their final project.

The Drive Project is available for seniors in their fourth quarter who have an open block. The Drive Project is a great way to end the year exploring new topics and learning about what interests you.

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Megan Metz

Dat senior life doe. #senioritis

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