The senior project has almost become a rite of passage many students have anticipated for several years. The long-awaited experience can make many seniors nervous because they may suddenly realize that they aren’t sure what to do for their project!
It’s easy to get so caught up in finding the best senior project ideas that time flies, and seniors get into a time crunch. However, many incredible ideas for the best senior projects are just waiting to be chosen.
What Is a Senior Project, Exactly?
Senior projects are meant to be long-term projects that allow high school students to step outside of what their high school classes teach. They can express themselves by exploring something that ignites their passion. These projects can help students develop several types of skills, including:
- Presentation and speaking
- Time management
While these projects can take endless versions and forms, they generally involve some combination of research and presentations.
Hundreds of different types of projects can qualify as senior projects. They can include months of research, the students’ special talents, passionate service to their home communities, or hands-on activities.
They could be hefty science projects or light-hearted illustration collections. They can be novels written by the senior over a long period of time or in-depth presentations after months of research on something near and dear to the senior.
The Benefits of Completing Senior Projects
The best senior projects are culminating experiences for students. They are opportunities for seniors to take the knowledge and skills they have honed throughout their academic careers and apply them to real-world issues, interests, problems, or passions. Completing senior projects offers several benefits.
They can help students explore their interests as they prepare to enter college or begin their careers after high school.
How Are Senior Projects Good for College Application Resumes?
Are senior projects good for college application resumes? Yes! When you work on your senior project, you can use the project to practice skills you’ll use in college or your career.
Some of those skills are meeting deadlines, managing your time, working independently, and practicing diligence and self-discipline. Your senior project can also be an excellent way to pad your college applications.
You Can Learn New Skills
In addition to allowing you to hone your current skills, your senior project can encourage you to learn new skills. Senior projects are awesome opportunities for learning skills that will be valuable in college and beyond, especially with researching, writing, presenting your project, or learning to use new software.
You Can Explore Interests
You may have known for years what your senior project will entail, or maybe it’s now down to the wire, and you still have no clue where to begin narrowing down your options.
Either way, now is the time to explore your interests and learn more about what you’re curious about, what’s relative to your future career, or what you have never heard of before!
It’s a Chance to Learn from Experts
Whether you research at the library or conduct interviews with historical figures (or anything in between), you’ll have the opportunity to learn from experts in your project’s subject.
Give Back and Get Involved
The best senior projects are often excellent vehicles for students to engage with their communities. Many seniors choose projects that address an issue that is important to them and that are local, directly impacting their hometowns. For that reason, a senior project can allow you to make a difference in your community.
Types of Senior Projects
There are four basic types of senior projects, including:
- Presentation projects
- Creative writing projects
- Professional career projects
- Service-related projects
While each category has some unique features, they all offer the same general benefits to seniors.
These projects are very popular with seniors because the category is quite broad. Presentation projects include creating something visual to teach the audience the subject of the project. This can include science project results on a poster board, a musical performance, showcasing artwork, singing, or acting in a play.
Creative Writing Projects
Creative writing senior projects involve material and information communicated through the written word. They can incorporate play scripts, essays, short tales, poems, or something similar.
Students can study, research, and write either fiction or non-fiction pieces, making creative writing senior projects almost limitless in scope. You might consider a creative writing project if you are passionate about language.
Professional Career Projects
Some students choose to do a senior project that incorporates job shadowing or working as an assistant in a field they enjoy as part of experiential learning. Whether they choose a medical career, law enforcement, or anything else, they craft a report or presentation on what they learned.
Students who are involved or want to get involved in their communities might choose service-related senior projects. These involve planning or participating in anything from setting up a clothing drive for the homeless or a toy drive at Christmas to volunteering at the local rehabilitation center or nursing home.
The Best Senior Project Ideas
Some of the best senior projects are unique, personal, and in-depth. Yours should be worked on over several weeks or months.
Consider the list below if you’re looking for a unique senior project idea that hasn’t been done every year for the last 30 years. Some excellent unique senior project ideas include:
- Developing a new software application
- Working with a reporter or photographer to learn about journalism
- Writing a paper on a technological topic
- Tutoring students
- Volunteering at a veterinarian’s office or animal shelter
- Organizing a fundraising event for a cause you’re passionate about
- Starting a social enterprise or business
- Writing a biography or autobiography
- Designing and building a machine or robot
- Creating a painting, piece of music, or other work of art
- Creating a blog or website about a passion of yours
- Leading a workshop
- Teaching a class
- Participating in an internship
- Conducting market research on a service or project
- Organizing a community cleanup
- Researching a historical event or person
- Organizing a debate
- Organizing a party for autistic children who find other parties too overwhelming
- Working with a paramedic and learning about lifesaving procedures
- Volunteering for a social service organization
- Organizing a STEM event, such as a science fair
- Volunteering at a local museum
- Writing op-eds for your local newspaper
- Starting a painting class for kids
- Making a documentary about local history
- Putting on a play you wrote
- Building a go-kart
- Working with a real estate agent
- Doing a mock courtroom project
- Simulating the experience of the U.S. House or Senate
- Teaching a foreign language to residents in a senior home
- Developing a solution for a community-wide health problem
- Teaching English as a second language
- Building a little free library box in your neighborhood
- Working to change a school policy that needs changing
- Organizing volunteers to tutor students
- Helping a local business with their record-keeping or accounting
- Creating a community garden
- Working in a professor’s lab
- Working as a chef and improving your culinary skills
- Working with the cafeteria to reduce food waste and make other changes
- Devising a plan to build community bike trails
- Working to create a space as a dog park
- Volunteering to coach a kid’s athletic team
- Organizing a group to pick up groceries and medications for those who can’t
- Setting up a community ride service
- Volunteering at a homeless shelter, soup kitchen, or non-profit organization
- Volunteering to take an older adult to church
- Gathering a group to make or collect toys for children at Christmas time
Any of the above ideas should be documented and then shaped into a presentation. While the first part of a senior project is doing the activity, the second part is sharing your experience with others via a presentation.
How to Choose Your Senior Project
Your senior project should take considerable time and effort to complete, so above all else, you want to ensure that it relates to something you’re passionate about. This will make the entire experience more enjoyable and meaningful.
Remember to ask how are senior projects good for college application resumes and choose a project that will enhance your application.
Choose a feasible topic; it should be something you can complete with the skills, time, and resources available. The topic should be challenging but attainable. The goal is to push you out of the “same old same old,” but you don’t want something so complex that you can’t finish it.
Get started early in the year by brainstorming senior project ideas, researching, and planning. Ensure you understand what you’re required to do as part of your project, and don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you need it.
It can be helpful to break your project into smaller sections and tasks throughout the year, and setting deadlines for yourself can help you stay on track and avoid having too much to do later in the year.
Deciding on a senior project should be an exciting task! It’s a time to hone your skills, learn new ones, and explore your interests. By following the above tips and considering your interests and passions, you will surely find a rewarding senior project.