Skip Navigation

Senior Project

Mission Statement

“The Mission of Simpson Academy’s Senior Project is to be a rigorous and relevant demonstration of student proficiency in research, writing, organizing, long-term project completion, process portfolio completion, and presentation skills in an environment driven by individual student choice.”

Senior Project

The Simpson Academy Senior Project is a high school capstone experience, a required one-semester process, with the following characteristics:

  • Engages students in a challenging and relevant educational process
  • Provides the context for authentic learning―pursuit of knowledge and skills
  • Enables transition to post-secondary studies or employment
  • Interweaves the student with the community and school staff


Elements of the Senior Project

Clear and aligned purpose with a vigorous criteria; student-directed “service” learning; clear scaffolding of skills; required learning stretch; authentic projects which benefit the community; authentic review panel audience.


Major Senior Project Requirements

Research Paper – in conjunction with his senior English class, each senior completes a Research Paper in which he pursues knowledge of his chosen Project topic.

Portfolio – an extensive record of all aspects of each senior’s overall Project and Product activities.  Portfolio is examined by the Review Panel.

Mentor – 15 or more hours must be spent shadowing a chosen Mentor, who cannot be related to the senior and who must be a professional in the chosen Topic area.

Presentation – the final culminating aspect of the Senior Project, a synthesis of the Project/Product, the Research Paper, and the self-growth journey. The skills involved in the Presentation include Academic Skills (communication skills related to fluency, flow, knowledge depth, explaining, defending, and comprehending), as well as work-related skills (self-discipline, self-direction, competency, responsibility, enthusiasm, risk-taking, pride, holistic application, and overall presentation.) The Presentation lasts from 12 to 15 minutes. Interwoven into the Presentation is a
power-point presentation, tri-fold board exhibit, and Portfolio discussion. The Review Panel questions the senior to explore his depth of research and understanding.  Grading of the Presentation by the panel of judges follows a rubric.

Review Panel/ Steering Committee – The Simpson Academy Review Panel is composed of high school headmaster, elementary headmaster, athletic director, high school counselor, and three faculty members, one of whom is the Senior Project class coordinator/teacher. The Panel is active in approval of all Senior Projects and correlating Products. The seniors present their Status Speeches to the Steering Committee at the beginning of their senior year. Community leaders are asked to become a part of the Review Panel for the Presentations in December.

Please contact Scott Hathorn with any questions concerning the Senior Project program. You may email him at