For determined and passionate Class 12 students who are interested in taking a particular area of their scholarship to a new level, the Individual Study program offers a flexible framework for in-depth exploration and sophisticated analysis.
Since 1977, this dynamic component to the Upper School curriculum, which is overseen by Director of Academic Program Ilana Pergam, promotes independent thinking and intellectual curiosity, while giving students the freedom to pursue virtually any academic discipline or combination of disciplines. After their proposals are approved, students thoughtfully delve into their topics under the guidance of one or two faculty advisors.
Last winter, in addition to their regular academic classes, 13 seniors devoted untold hours to their extraordinary pursuits. They conducted research, analyzed books and articles, wrote papers and even taught classes as they deepened their skills and broadened their perspectives.
These accomplished scholars shared their studies with their classmates and teachers during illuminating sessions on May 6 and 14. Using a new format that worked efficiently for remote learning, the students’ pre-recorded presentations were played during a series of Upper School Homerooms. After viewing, the audience then had the chance to ask questions or make observations.
Here are snapshots of their amazing Individual Study projects:
Emma Balber, “Rehabilitating Mass Incarceration: Reforming the United States Criminal Justice System and Reshaping the Nation’s Perception of Incarcerated Individuals,” a History Department project advised by History teacher James Ginty
Caroline Baynard, “A Study of Exercise and Its Effect on Cognitive Function,” a Science Department project advised by Head of Counseling Services Dr. Rona Shalev
Chloe Christopher, “The Upheaval of Identity and Relationships in the Modern Middle East,” an English Department project advised by English teacher Carlynn Houghton
Olivia Cranshaw, “Prevention Through Preparation: Security, Obstruction, and Intelligence Recommendations Based Upon An Analysis of Islamic Terrorist Attacks,” a History Department project advised by History Department Head Ellen Baylor
Lucy de Lande Long, “Re-Choreographing Math Education: Calculus & Dance,” a Math and Arts Departments project advised by Math teacher Patrick Aquino and Head of Upper School Arts and Integration and Dance teacher Sarah Rutledge
Alexis Hedvat and Noa Levine, “Painguin: Technology for Pediatric Postoperative Pain Management,” a Computer Science Department project advised by Head of Upper School Academic Technology Dr. Vivienne Forrester
Cindy Hernandez, “Circle WebApp,” a Computer Science Department project advised by Head of Upper School Academic Technology Dr. Vivienne Forrester
Maya Khesin, “The Evolution of Quantum Theory: From Thomas Young to John Stewart Bell,” a Science Department project advised by Science teacher Dr. Prasad Akavoor
Isobel Porteous, “Building the PortEau: Engineering and Design of a UV-C Enabled Water Sterilization Bottle,” a Science Department project advised by Science Department Head David Arnstein
Jasmine Singh, “Financial Literacy and the Racial Wealth Gap,” a Math Department project advised by Math teacher Stephen Bonnett
Astrid Weinberg, “Children on the Front Lines: An Examination of the Causes, Experiences, and Treatment of Child Soldiers in the 20th and 21st Centuries,” a History Department project advised by History teacher Lauren Tartaglia
Cindy Xu, “Designing the World of the Aeneid,” a World Languages and Arts Departments project advised by Classics teacher Dr. Christopher Barnes and Art teacher Duane Neil
In addition, the students below conducted their Individual Studies during the fall term and gave presentations at Chapin prior to the closure.
Andrea Fernandez, “Indianismo: Recovering and Reconstructing A Lost Identity in Bolivia,” a History Department project advised by History teacher Esther Krell
Elena Hull, “Diagnosis and Treatment of Autism: A Comparative Study of Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine (a Study in English and Mandarin),” a World Languages Department project advised by Chinese teacher Lin Wang