Each May, senior students present the independent projects they have been working on for the spring semester during the Senior Spring Term Symposium. Last week, these seniors presented their work to the Governor’s community in the Cobb and Perry Rooms.
SSTP offers an opportunity for seniors to pursue a passion in the spring of their final year at the Academy. Projects are wide ranging in their subject but all enable students to take on an independent project that further develops skills such as time management, accountability, and creativity. The culmination of the process is the SSTP Symposium where the seniors have the opportunity to share their experiences and projects with the Govs community. The excitement of participants, along with peers and faculty, is palpable and is a one of many great events that marks the final days of the school year.
Faculty coordinator Andrew DeSalvo says, “The SSTP complements the Govs curriculum by allowing students to take on a more independent project in an area of their choosing. It is rewarding to see a group of seniors take their ideas from inception in the winter to a tangible final product by the end of May. All face varying levels of adversity with their projects but the lessons learned throughout the process will serve them well as they venture off beyond Byfield. Many seniors choose a project that enables them to give back in some way, either to the Govs community or to the larger global community which is truly inspirational.”
Projects ranged from designing a virtual reality space combat video game (Ryan Begin '18 and Nathan Bargman '18) to learning how to string lacrosse sticks to send to children in Costa Rica (Sarah Moore '18 and Quinn Greer '18).
Other projects included increasing local diversity outreach with Admissions (Sorieba Fofanah ’18), thrifting clothing from local stores and up-cycling the pieces to create sustainable and current fashion (Alex Sterchele '18 and Maeve Corbett '18), crocheting blankets for nursing homes (Rose Bailey '18), creating a podcast and article series "Athletes of the Week" which highlighted a player and their team’s performance this spring season (Brendan Jordan ’18 and Will Murtagh '18), and taking images that he had drawn and printing them on clothing (Justin Reed ’18).
Of their project, Sterchele and Corbett said, "We learned the importance of reusing textiles to help our environment stay clean. We chose to do this because we both enjoy fashion and wanted to learn more about the process of making clothes. We both hope to continue doing this in the future."
Reed said he has always been creative: "This gave me the opportunity to use fashion design in a creative and thoughtful way that allows me to share my art with others. As a child I was always very creative, I would draw, write my own songs, bang on stuff to create a beat. Anything that had to do with turning an idea into something tangible. I took robotics classes, art and drawing classes, ceramics classes- all of which gave me a sense of pride in what I could create.”
For Fofanah, diversity and equity work has been one of his passions during his time at the Academy. He said, "This video highlighted the resources for students of color, international students and LGBTQ+ students and how the school supports the education of social awareness and addresses the growth the community has made. Student perspectives in the video represent the Govs community while acknowledging some of the issues on campus, but then offer insight on how we can combat them. This will be helpful for admissions to use for perspective students so they know how they will be supported on their transition to the Academy."