The students became the teachers for a few exciting days.
On April 19-21, Thacher’s seniors impressed family members, friends, teachers, and classmates with thoughtful, insightful, and engaging presentations of their Senior Exhibition capstone projects. The culminating event of months of self-directed research, project development, and presentation design, these 30-minute presentations, followed by a Q&A with the audience, mark one of the final major milestones in a Thacher academic career.
“The seniors really stepped up to the challenge of Senior Exhibitions this year,” said Alice Meyer, director of studies, a psychology teacher, and the co-coordinator of the Senior Exhibition program. “They responded to our checkpoints and worked diligently on research, becoming experts on their topics in the process. By mid-March, every senior had completed the research phase of their projects and were hard at work on their presentations. With coaching from the Stand and Deliver instructors and lots of late-night practice sessions, all of our seniors were ready to share their topics with the Thacher community by Senior Exhibition weekend.”
The topics on display were wide ranging, reflecting the diverse interests and passions of the senior class. At the outset of the school year, students choose their own project topics and drive the direction of their research, propelled along by genuine curiosity and personal inspiration. A sampling of this year’s topics included:
Cybersecurity: Protecting Ourselves Online, by Jeffrey Ding
Russia, Putin, and the Narrative of Power, by Rico López
Who Belongs in a City? A Study of Gentrification in America, by Kibibi Davis
Sounds of the Black Power Movement: Expression Through Music, by Michael Ratsimbazafy
Colts and Convicts: Training Mustangs in Prison Systems, by Béa Pierrepont
Transactive Memory: Two Heads Are Better Than One, by Lexie Silverman
Crossing the Gender Binary at Thacher and Beyond, by Griffin Somaratne
Fashion Forward: Women, Cloth, and Sociocultural Expression, by Willa Hancock
Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies, and the Future of Money, by May Walton
Inside the Great Firewall: Internet Censorship in China, by Mary Yan
“I love the variety—of both topics and presentation styles—that makes their work personal and individual,” says Molly Perry, chair of the language department and co-coordinator of the Senior Exhibition Program. “At the same time, the program provides a uniformity of experience that we all recognize as the hallmark of a Thacher Senior Exhibition."
All in all, it was an impressive showing of true scholarship and intellectual rigor, and the community came away energized and inspired.
“Given the consistent hard work we saw all year with the seniors, none of us were surprised that the weekend was so fabulous,” concluded Ms. Meyer. “Every single senior gave a presentation that educated, entertained, and engaged their audience. We are so proud of their efforts and delighted with their strong results.”