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Senior projects accomplish much

Senior Dominic Hartman reading up on neural networks. Photo by Monica Meszaros

With May swiftly approaching, senior Bruins have had to dial in their efforts on their senior projects in order to graduate.

The senior project is designed to help seniors get a taste of what their future career is going to be like, possible gaining some experience from a mentor and doing some sort of practical application of it. The main requirement for the project is that it must take at least 15 hours to complete.

Senior Project coordinator, Sara Noah, was new to the role this year since the departure of the school’s prior coordinator.

“We had to face a lot of challenges this year. Especially since this was my first year and the coordinator at Nevada Union changed twice already. Setting up cohort meetings with mentors, one of whom is my son, was super awesome as it allowed students to get some guidance for their fields,” Noah said.

While the Senior project is a valuable learning opportunity, some students found it burdensome in a variety of ways. 

Senior Jake Vogt, who is studying emergency responders, noted the effort the project requires.

“The hardest part about the senior project, for me at least, has been getting up to the required amount of hours,” Vogt said. “Fifteen hours does not sound like much until you are actually striving to get there. Otherwise, getting over the anxiety that comes with starting the project itself is also a high contender.”

Senior Dominic Hartman, who is studying neural networks and A.I., agreed with Vogt.

“Finding the time to make a sizable dent in my progress of the senior project is hard,” Hartman said. “The reason for this is having to fill out all the required forums for college and juggling high school homework.”

Focusing his project on teaching, Senior Aden Mattson was concerned about how some of the project rules and rubric could be up for interpretation.

“Miscommunication and confusion at what the specific details of the project were at the very beginning caused a lot of difficulty, but that luckily was fixed really quickly. The hardest overall part has actually mostly been that there doesn’t seem to be a good difficulty scale if that makes sense,” Mattson said. “One student could be doing a project that takes a ton of effort, such as interviews with really busy people, driving long distances, and the like, while someone else can choose to simply stand on the sidelines of a few football practices shadowing the football coaches, and in the end they receive the same grade. The students who strive to do more in school struggle the most with the senior project as well, as they have a lot more school work typically, or have other things going on such as work or volunteering outside of the senior project.”

Despite some criticism, students were able to come up with amazing final products that are absolutely stunning. 

Computer Science cohort member, Senior Rowan Knox, was proud of her creation.

“I made a sick and cool space-game demo,” Knox said.

Vogt was able to really understand the psyche of the first responders that were job shadowed.

“My project surrounds the stress that emergency responders go through, and I found a really interesting theme among all of them. No matter whether I interviewed EMTs/paramedics, firefighters, ER Nurses or CHP officers, they all had one thing in common: They all agreed that their work life shapes every part of them,” Vogt said. “Even when they clock off from work, they are stuck in an alert mindset, unable to relax. The mental stress of helping the public gets to them, even if they do their best to repress it. It was really interesting, yet hard, to hear this from them.”

To add to the list of all these incredible accomplishments, Hartman made an A.I. that could predict the future temperature given a date.

In the face of adversity, Bruins really deliver excellence in everything they do.

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Senior projects accomplish much