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Friday, July 10, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Senior projects


University High School senior Noel Connolly presents her culminating project to fellow students and teachers Thursday morning. Connolly talked about her learning experiences teaching ballet to children at Ballet Arts Academy. 
 (Holly Pickett / The Spokesman-Review)
University High School senior Noel Connolly presents her culminating project to fellow students and teachers Thursday morning. Connolly talked about her learning experiences teaching ballet to children at Ballet Arts Academy. (Holly Pickett / The Spokesman-Review)

If University High School senior Danielle Guimond learned one thing about her future this year, it’s that she doesn’t want to be a nurse.

“I passed out,” while visiting a hospital, Guimond, 17, told a classroom full of her peers.

“That’s when I learned it probably wasn’t the career for me,” Guimond said.

She went on to talk about what she learned from her experience spending 20 hours observing nurses in the field.

Guimond was one of 18 students presenting senior culminating projects Thursday at U-Hi, designed as a way for students to show what they’ve learned over four years.

It’s also designed to help graduates decide what to do after graduation.

Guimond’s project was a simple challenge to answer one question: does she want to be a nurse when she grows up?

Obviously the answer is no. Instead she’ll go to the University of Washington to study business.

Senior students at U-Hi like Guimond spent all year researching a topic of their choice, including spending 15 hours volunteering or observing in the field.

The culminating project has been a requirement for graduation at U-Hi for the past three years. It’s also a requirement at neighboring Central Valley High School.

To complete the project students have to write a paper, and create a presentation for students, teachers, and a panel of two judges. Students are judged on the delivery of the presentation and on the content. The presentation can’t go over eight minutes, but can’t be under six.

By the end of next week, hopefully, 420 seniors will have presented on their topics at U-Hi, and passed. You can’t get a diploma if you don’t pass.

With the class of 2008, the culminating project will be a state requirement, and every school district must implement the program.

“I think it was harder to prepare for the presentation because if you don’t pass you have to do it again,” said Kayla Haas, 17. “It’s hard enough to do it once.”

Haas’ project was on the study of photography. She plans to be a photojournalist someday, and dreams of her work appearing in National Geographic.

Haas eased through her presentation Thursday, talking about the elements of a good photography, darkroom techniques, and her plans for the future.

“I picked photography (for the project) because I was trying to think of something fun,” Haas said. “If you do something fun, it’s doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. It makes 15 hours worth of work seem like 15 hours worth of fun instead.”

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