12th Grade Students Present Extended Essays
In December, 12th grade students completed the process of drafting their extended essays and prepared the finished products to be sent to representatives of the International Baccalaureate program for external grading. The extended essay is a 4,000 word writing project developed over the second half of the junior year and the first half of the senior year that applies analytical and argumentative skills to original research on topics chosen by each student. Journeys has long held the expectation that students produce an extensive thesis as part of its graduation requirements, and the International Baccalaureate focus on the extended essay provided a natural fit for this curriculum requirement. In January, the 12th grade students formally defended their research projects through a series of public presentations held recently on the Jackson campus. Engaged audience members who asked perceptive and challenging questions greatly aided the success of these presentations.
A brief summary of the student research project titles suggests a great deal about the range, scope, and academic intensity of the extended essay topics completed this year at Journeys:
Timmy Waters - “Corn’s Transformation”
Megom Wangchuk - “The History of Bhutan: The Interwoven Past of Reality and Myth through Treasure Revealing”
Tessa Landale - “The Influence of Music on Athletic Performance”
Andrew Kruger - “Fox News and the Political Landscape of America”
Hannah Wells - “A Study of the Emergence and Development of Jazz Music in New Orleans and Chicago”
Cassie Morales - “Psychological and Cultural Changes within Latino Immigrant Populations in Jackson, Wyoming”
Marilyn Garcia - “The Change in Native American Education Practices”
Francesca Weikert - “Westernization of Tanzania through Education”
In both the essays and in the public presentations, students effectively demonstrated the extent of their knowledge within their selected research topics. After a nearly year of focusing on these topics in the off hours from their regular academic schedules and their extremely busy extracurricular and community service regimens, the students expressed relief that the process was complete and satisfaction in the knowledge that they had learned so much and produced scholarship they found fulfilling and meaningful.
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