Senior Projects Empower Seniors To Explore New Interests


Senior projects provide a chance for seniors to serve the community. Photo: Helen Primis ’23.

Another year of senior projects will commence on May 1 after academic classes have concluded for senior students. Senior projects are a yearly tradition for Sidwell’s oldest students, who take five weeks off of classes to dedicate time toward a project of their choosing. Over the years, students have taken on hundreds of projects spanning a diverse range of topics and issues from mapping the paddling routes of Rock Creek to archiving all Horizon issues since the 1970s. Their work culminates in an end-of-year presentation where they showcase the process of their projects alongside their final products to the Sidwell student body.

These next five weeks present seniors with a unique opportunity for experiential learning through connecting with the surrounding community, their cultural background or a hobby to which they want to dedicate more time. 

Senior Zoe Verma said the seniors are “excited” for their projects and the platform they provide for students “to pursue activities they would otherwise never pursue.” 

The format of the senior projects allows students to delve into a variety of topics, empowering seniors to pursue passions and interests outside of the school curriculum or typical extracurricular opportunities. 

Verma highlighted the importance of looking deeper at one’s own passions, “especially in the time before going off to college.” 

The project Verma plans to propose is to visit Washington’s immigrant-run restaurants and document her experience traveling to each location and tasting their foods. Her goal is to create a short documentary showcasing her experience.

Senior Marley Sowah, who hopes to acquire a real estate license during May, also aims to use her senior project to learn more about the Washington area, while simultaneously developing a life skill. 

“I plan to work part time as an agent and do real estate investing in college, so getting my license and joining a brokerage is the first step,” explained Sowah. “I’ll  also do a brief overview about the history of the D.C. real estate market and the impacts of gentrification.”

Senior Delia Waugh plans to propose her community service-based sewing project. She said she is most excited to “[learn] something new and [spend] a lot of time with friends.” 

The flexibility of the senior project schedule allows seniors to spend time with one another during their final weeks together as classmates.

Seniors Morganne Willard and Raina Sachdev are collaborating to construct furniture from scratch. While honing a skill that is not commonly taught at colleges, they hope to give back to the community. 

“For our project, I plan on building a table out of wood and metal while Morganne builds chairs,” explained Sachdev. “Our end goal is to donate them and learn practical building skills.”