The 2014 Ross School Senior Projects are a source of pride and education for the school community. Each senior presents a project that embodies his or her passions in a process and product that integrate multiple intelligences, cultural history, personal reflection, application of technology, and pursuit of excellence.
“This is a special time with a unique energy, because our students are expressing the knowledge, talent, and self-awareness they have learned during their journey through Ross,” said Dale Scott, Senior Project coordinator.
This year’s 58 projects, which are described in the 2014 Senior Project Catalog, include investigations into psychology and music, water purification, bone marrow donation, feminism, gaming, natural cosmetics, global politics and governments, oral histories, neurology, music production, filmmaking, fashion, and rock operas. A sampling of a few of the projects undertaken by Ross seniors shows the diversity in subject matter and mode of presentation shown by the class of 2014.
For his project “Accessing Clean Water,” senior Joe Ando-Hirsh built a wind-powered UV LED water purification system to clean water of sediment and kill off harmful bacteria and protozoa. Joe hopes to deliver his system to a self-sustaining farming commune he visited in South America that produces its own food sources, but is still reliant on bottled water from the main village to avoid contamination. Joe’s project can produce about three gallons of clean water per minute, and his prototype is on display in the lobby of the Senior Building on campus.
Other seniors focused on the visual arts. Yawen Jiang shaped glass vases and candle covers as part of her exploration into minimalism, contemporary design, and the beauty in a simple curve. Lily Kamata built intricate chandeliers designed to enhance a person’s experience of their surroundings for her project, titles “Power of Light.”
Seniors who focused on performing arts included Jekaterina (Kate) Mandrukevia, who composed three songs with lyrics, and Adin Doyle, who created a rock opera called “Special Eddie” and the Naming Game. “Music expresses feelings and emotions, which can sometimes tell more than a book,” Kate said, comparing singing a song to storytelling.
Senior Caitlin Cummings found inspiration for her project “Long Island Myths and Legends” on our own East End. She investigated local Long Island folklore, including tales of Captain Kidd, to capture the history in a book and photo essay.
Ross seniors Jiahe Liu, Julian Alvarez, and Caleb Ryan turned to filmmaking to create powerful, moving, and sometimes humorous videos. Jiahe produced 2027—Emptiness, based on a Buddhist scripture; Julian presented Cobalt, a tale of a 17-year-old who wants to become a superhero; and Caleb documented his personal journey in Achieving Perfection: Mind, Body and Soul.
“It’s truly wonderful to experience the creativity, knowledge, and passion that our students have demonstrated in their Senior Projects,” Dale says.