13th annual senior presentations take place at NC

Senior+Clay+Wright+presents+his+motivation+behind+a+unique+project+comparing+an+MLB+player%E2%80%99s+BMI+and+that+player%27s+quality+as+a+batter.

Michael Smith

Senior Clay Wright presents his motivation behind a unique project comparing an MLB player’s BMI and that player's quality as a batter.

Kat Shambaugh, Copy editor

Magnet seniors completed a final benchmark at NC on Saturday, January 28 by presenting full-fledged research projects to community members and judges after a year and a half of exploration through the Advanced Scientific Research (ASR) class.

As a requirement for earning the Magnet seal, juniors in the program take ASR for a year and carry out a research project on a topic of interest. Topics range yearly from health and education to genetics and biology. Each project must tie in with NC’s International Studies theme by providing relevance outside of the United States.

“The biggest thing about doing a research project is that it sets them apart when they are applying to college,” ASR teacher and mentor Nena Tippens said. “It really shows that you have the ability to do critical thinking and to go and do a project that interests you. When you have two students with the same GPA and the same types of classes, it really sets you apart.”

For many students, presenting in front of peers, teachers, and judges brought anxiety. Still, as the culmination of a year and a half of work, students relished in the chance to present their findings and finish the project officially.

“I was incredibly nervous for my presentation because I do not like talking in front of others or being judged,” senior Jessica Campbell said. “But once I began speaking I remembered that I was the expert and that I was teaching others about my project, I began to feel really calm. Overall I feel like I did well and it was actually a fun experience.”

NC opened presentations to the public, building the audience for each student. Presenters also catered to two or three volunteer judges, knowledgeable about the general subject area, and two Magnet juniors who moderated by announcing names and timing the presentations.

“It was great to see everyone’s project and see the final version of something they’ve been working on for a year and a half. I enjoyed that there was such a diversity in projects too because it showed the diversity in people’s interest and the presentations themselves gave me idea for my own presentation next year,” junior Sarah Punch said.

Overall, the presentations allowed NC to set itself apart from other Magnet programs.

“It was an exceptional day,” Tippens said. “We had no hiccups, and we had some amazing research and great judges. We had judges who come each year to watch the presentations and each year they say they get better. They’re so impressed with the caliber of work that comes out of this program.”