Bird's Eye View News

Reflecting on Senior Projects

Senior Projects are an important capstone experience in which the knowledge and skills acquired at Head-Royce are applied to a real world context. 

Guided by one or more mentors, seniors design a project that explores a curiosity or deepens an existing passion and share their learnings in a culminating presentation with the Head-Royce community at the end of the year. 

This is an opportunity to focus exclusively on a topic that inspires them—a rare moment in life to pursue a singular idea. The project must fall into one of three categories: new skill, creative or community engagement

Students spend at least 80 hours towards the experience and many put in much more. Here’s what some of our most recent (and not so recent) graduates shared:


Bilal A. ’23 and Joaquin G. ’23
Bike from Fort Bragg to Oakland

Bilal A. ’23 and Joaquin G. ’23

The hardest part of this ride wasn’t the physical aspect, it was the mental component. Knowing that we still had hours of riding ahead of us was draining, more so than pedaling, because I could only think about the next destination. I had to break the entire ride down in chunks. Instead of thinking about the end goal, I made smaller steps to look at…daunting tasks are easier to accomplish when you break them down into bite-sized pieces! - Bilal A. ’23

Rachel B. ’23 and Alice Z. ’23
Write, Mix and Produce One Good Song

Rachel B. ’23 and Alice Z. ’23

Setting the goal of writing and producing an entire song was definitely a daunting task. Although we created a timeline for ourselves, we continuously strayed from it. There were times when we didn't know if we would be able to even write the song. Mr. Walters was a great mentor, and encouraged us throughout the entire process. With his help, we worked through the challenges and created something we were proud of. It was a team effort, and we learned to communicate better with one another.

- Rachel B. ’23

Hayden T. ’23 
Launch a Microfinance Venture

Hayden T. '23 with a representative from a local NGO in Trinidad.

 

Despite all of the hurdles, I was driven by my passion for economic development and having a sustained impact on others. Through this work, I have gained a greater understanding of the importance of resilience, as I had to work for two years to reach the launch stage. I also learned that while I may have to pivot along the way, it is important to have a guiding mission to help me stay true to my original vision. This venture has increased my confidence in setting up new businesses, and I know that I am capable of taking on any challenge that comes my way, even if I am working on a project across the world. (Hayden T. '23 pictured with a representative from a local NGO in Trinidad.)

Gabby M. ’23
Capture Family History in a Virtual Cookbook

Gabby M. '23

Throughout my senior project process, I made traditional Korean dishes with my grandmothers, while also interviewing them and creating cooking tutorials/documentaries for the rest of my family. This experience allowed me to reconnect with my heritage, learn new culinary and technical skills—like proper knife-handling and video editing—and develop a deep appreciation for the way food helps pass down family history. I was also grateful for the quality time I spent with my grandmas.I’ll be sure to cherish the memories we made during this project, especially as I begin the transition to college.

Miles Burton ’17
Create the Big Build 

Miles Burton '17

We set out several goals, one of which was “build something bigger than yourself.” This is something I think about a lot, and for me, it’s kind of the unofficial motto of The Big Build (Editor’s note: which Miles and a team of collaborators started and which continues to take place every May, run by current seniors). On one level it means creating something physically larger than you are. But it also has a broader meaning, which has to do with working as a team to create something you could not have as individuals. That applies as much to Lower School students building a bridge as it does to my collaborators and me, without whom The Big Build could not have happened. 

Meena Hart Duerson ’02
Product Photography Internship

I learned so much during my senior project. Most tangibly, it gave me a suite of skills I was immediately able to use when I went to college and began to pursue internships in television production. I had a major leg up having already worked on sets and being familiar with the logistics and the vocabulary. Two decades later, I still work in production and now have my dream job—as a correspondent at VICE News—and it's in no small part thanks to experiences like my I-Search and Senior Project, which exposed me to and connected me with professionals working in these fields. My Senior Project made it possible for me to understand how to break into production and introduced me to people who taught me how to succeed there. I'm so grateful for the push in this direction and the support from Head-Royce to explore these opportunities!

Niccolo L. '23 and Kabir M. '23

A Sampling of Other 2023 Senior Projects: As Diverse as our Student Body
Creating and deploying an open source full-stack application. Farhan H.
Learning to play piano. Maya C.

Converting a motorcycle into a go kart. Niccolo L. and Kabir M.
Learning the Ẹdo language. Iyọbosa E.

Interning in a Family Law practice. Anay S.
Expanding a sneaker resale business and restoring a pair of Air Jordans. Noah R.
Advocating for a dedicated wellness center space at the school. Louisa L.

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