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Scary or Exciting News? Senior Projects are Back!

On the first of February, the peace of the juniors was ruined. The information spread around like wildfire: the tradition of the Senior Projects is coming back and the class of 2024 is going to be the first to experience it.

The primary reaction of all of the students was fear, fear of the unknown. However, thanks to a quite thorough presentation about this long-lasting tradition, which was presented by Mr. Simon Janashia the same morning, the students were introduced to the essence of the Senior Projects. Some of us regained our peace, and some of us didn’t…

Mr. Simon Janashia not only talked about the aim of the project and its purposes but also about the process that makes up the Senior Project. To shortly sum up the learned information, the aim of the project is to enable every student to create a major academic work that will serve as a guide to help us later in colleges and universities. It will enable us to gain the specific skills and experience that are needed to conduct and present serious research. Other than that, it serves as a creative project in any field that is of our interest.

As for the process, we were told that we had the freedom to choose any of the three types of projects: research, community development, or a creative project. After this decision, there are 5 stages to complete the process. The first is to decide upon the topic of the project and propose it to the advisor (each has an individual one that they can choose on their own). After that, the project proposal, which needs to be in written form, is reviewed by the committee. And only when the committee accepts the proposal, we start the fieldwork: the main research. During this time, students should spend a lot of time with their advisors to consult about their progress. After the project is done, students will get to present it in front of the GZAAT community. The presenters will get their feedback, which must be taken into consideration since the next step is the submission of the project paper, which will be evaluated by the committee. The final stage is self-evaluation of every step of the process.

Mrs. Kato Tsuladze, who is a graduate student of the GZAAT (as we all know) and who actually got to experience the preparation and the submission of the Senior Project, told the meeting that a lot of universities actually ask for some type of serious research conducted in high school. This makes the Senior Projects the perfect opportunity to use as a research project to send to the colleges and gain some credits.

However, the most important is what the class of 2024 thinks about this news. As the conducted questionnaire shows, most of the students have a positive outlook on this project. A lot of them think that it will help us gain some skills that go beyond in-class research presentations. Some also say that they are looking forward to the Senior Projects because they will get to work on the topic that they are personally interested in and will get to work on this big thing all by themselves, which would feel like a great achievement. Of course, there were some complaints as well. The main problem for the students is that it will take too much time and effort. Considering the fact that the following year is the year of stress from our college applications, the Senior Project is another huge stress factor added. However, students acknowledge that the skills gained from this project are what our dream colleges are looking for. Mr. Simon Janashia also talked about distributing some of the workload over our summer holidays, which caused a little bit of negative comments around the class, as well.

I finally asked the students whether they feel confident about understanding what the project is about, or were they had some still unanswered questions. Most students felt that the information was pretty clear and sufficient. However, the main problem is the themes: some students don’t know what kind of topic they should choose for their project. Another common question is the criteria to choose an advisor. Some students also wanted consultation about their sources and format. Fortunately, we were told that we will hold another meeting about the topic of Senior Projects, which will hopefully clear up all of our questions and make this process seem less intimidating. But for now, wish us luck!

Edited By: Natashka Nakaidze

Illustrated By: Irinka Iashvili

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