Newtown High School students in this semester’s Junior/Senior Project Program rehearsed on Monday, May 19, for their upcoming presentations before an evaluation panel.
The Junior/Senior Project Program, according to a release from the high school, is designed to enable students to build on existing strengths and to provide an opportunity for further study not available in the traditional classroom. The program provides motivated and responsible high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to explore a subject/career that they are passionate about and develop a career-oriented relationship with a community professional (mentor) in the student’s area of chosen interest.
This semester five students completed the Junior/Senior Project course, and will present their completed projects on Monday, June 2.
Nick Rubino completed a project called “Unified Sports,” under the mentorship of NHS teacher Kathy Davey; Haley Cobb completed “Going through Life: Our Achievements of Past and Future,” a visual performance, under the mentorship of Andrea Stratford of Connecticut Dance!; Hannah Fitzgerald completed “Strengthening the Relations and Spreading Understanding between NHS and ECA (A Video)” under the mentorship of the Educational Center for the Arts’ Jason Hiruo and Ihrie Means; Baxter Hankin completed “Art Inspiring Architecture” under the mentorship of Claris Construction’s Phil Clark and NHS teacher Carol Skolas; and Nancy Michaud completed “Comic Book” under the mentorship of Cave Comics’ Pat Callanan.
For his “Unified Sports” project, Nick, a junior at the high school, started a program for regular education and special education students to play on a basketball team.
“It’s like a new wing of sports in the high school,” said Nick. “We had to get funding and jerseys and everything.”
Nick said a track and field team is under way now, and next year he has plans for a volleyball and soccer team to be started along with the basketball and track and field teams.
“And it should stay in the high school for many years,” said Nick.
Baxter, another junior at NHS, said his “Art Inspiring Architecture” project was a study of abstract art that then led him to design an office building.
“If built it would be situated in the financial district of Manhattan,” said Baxter. He explained, “I first researched some abstract art and architecture and I used that to create some art pieces. I took elements of design from those different art pieces and incorporated that into my final building design.”
Baxter said the building ended up being unique.
Nancy, a senior, said her project turned a short story she wrote a few years back into a comic book.
“I wanted to challenge myself,” Nancy said. “I do some artwork. I do some writing work. I wanted to see if I could combine them. This whole project was basically me daring myself to do it.”
Hannah, a junior and a student a the Educational Center for the Arts (ECA) in New Haven, said her documentary was made out of her wanting to spread an understanding of the challenges that students face when attending both NHS and ECA. She interviewed ten students who attend both schools for the documentary.
Haley, a senior, said her “Going Through Life: Our Achievements of Past and Future” project will culminate with a student assembly on June 2. During the assembly Haley will show people ways to motivate toward and celebrate goals.
Haley said she has been dancing since she was young.
“I was going to teach people as an example, people who have no experience with dance at all, to do a performance, almost like a flash mob for the assembly,” said Haley. “It’s an example of motivation and what people can achieve.”