About 105 students will create projects focused on something to benefit self, school, or community as part of their Marshfield High School Senior Projects.
The program, now on its fifth year, recently received a $1,250 innovation award from the Missouri Association of School Administrators (MASA) and the McKinstry company.
"This award is a result of the students and what they've made possible through senior project," said Nicki Roy, MHS English teacher and senior project coordinator. "They bought in and saw what it could be. The money from this award will be put back into the senior project funds in order to help with supplies and materials for students to execute their projects to the full extent."
According to Roy, they begin the senior projects in September each year and have monthly checkpoints and goals through the year. Students are asked to write an 8-10 page research paper, design a display board showing their results and create a 15-20-minute multimedia presentation, which they deliver in front of the judges during the Senior Project Showcase.
"Students benefit from senior project in ways that are very specific to each student," said Roy. "They learn communication skills, organization, responsibility and how to complete academic tasks, such as managing a long term, completing a large scale project, producing a scholarly research paper, organizing a multimedia presentation to give to an authentic audience of community volunteers and developing a product as a result of their research."
Some students organize community events for their projects, such as fundraisers, tutorials and workshops. In keeping with COVID protocols, senior projects will look different this year as far as attendance in community-related events.
"We've had to be a bit more selective about the types of events we are holding, making sure we are being intentional about COVID protocols," said Roy. "We are limiting attendance and requiring masks and social distancing at all events. Students are working hard to ensure safety and fun for all participants and attendees."
With the MASA and McKinstry award, the purpose is to support worthwhile innovative programs, processes and/or projects. One award will be selected for smaller school districts and one award will go to a mid to large district annually. Winners will be announced at the Spring MASA Conference.
"I feel grateful to have earned the award, as it is a great opportunity to showcase the amazing work our students have done over the past five years," said Roy. "The students have all left the community and school a better place because of the work and passion they've demonstrated through their projects."