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senior-projects“Going on project,” is a familiar Milton term; it refers to Class I students beginning their long-awaited “Senior Project” at the start of May. Senior Projects are a Milton tradition dating back to the 1960s, and they’ve evolved over the decades. The projects that seniors undertake today fit within four categories: scholarly or academic; community service; internships; and the arts. The procedural hoops to set up a project begin during early winter when students who are interested submit their ideas and plans. They must recruit a member of the faculty or staff as a project advisor, and a committee of faculty decides whether the project meets certain criteria and can be approved, or needs amendment. The faculty committee looks at the size of the group, how the students plan to divide the work, how many hours each week they’re likely to spend on their plan, and why they’re interested in this particular project.

Students in the Class of 2016 chose topics that range from immigration to the environment, from stem cell research and business start-ups through working on presidential campaigns. Students will paint, garden, sew, prepare concerts and recitals, shadow doctors, write and direct plays, learn instruments and languages, and volunteer at a range of sites. Some students complete one full project and others split their time between two half projects. Lauren Stikeleather is planning to write an environmental story for children. Drew Leffler will track international affairs and write a Middle East policy blog. Isabella Miller has prepared and trained to work with the Samaritans answering their hotline. Underclassmen look forward as enthusiastically as seniors do to the final days before graduation, when students present their project to the faculty and the full school. Sharing in this celebration of completed, highly personal work is a favorite Milton Academy tradition.

View this sample senior project, FlikBook. This website of recipes—using ingredients from Flik Dining Services’s cold menu options—was created by seniors Grace Stanfield, Jessica Xu and Rika Ichinose.

Read this feature article by seniors Aeshna Chandra, Juliet Pesner and Eliza Scharfstein about sexual health awareness, education and resources in Massachusetts.