Riverdale Country School

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Upper School News & Stories

Senior Projects Show Creativity, Span Disciplines
Posted 06/16/2016 01:50PM


In the closing weeks of senior year, Riverdale students have an opportunity to pose a challenging question or think deeply and creatively about a human experience. It's a chance to do something that they've always wanted to do.

There are a few requirements: they must submit a detailed proposal, commit to the work, check in with their advisor, and present the results of the project to an audience of teachers, students, and family. If the project is approved, students are relieved from their usual coursework for four to seven weeks.

This year, 31 students worked individually or with a partner on projects that encompassed a range of discplines. Visual arts projects included painting, photography, a multi-media art installation and a mural project exploring multisensory engagement. The works were inspired by childhood memories, poetry, philosophies of photography, interpretations of the Greek gods, and experiments with new media. Three projects incorporated design engineering and carpentry: a footbridge, a surfboard, and a tree-based device to harness wind power.

Several projects took interdisciplinary approaches: Connections were made between Latin poetry and contemporary pop music and 20th Century history and 20th Century fashion. Students studied NBA draft statistics, the physics of pitching, and trends in prime numbers. Two students combined science and technology; one creating a simple device to purify water and the other looking at factors that affect the flying capabilities of drone pilots.

Two students put on a production of Red, a play about Mark Rothko by John Logan; a student performed an original one-act satirical play; two students explored identity at Riverdale through an original interview theater production.

Mental health and social stigmas were examined in projects that produced a mental health curriculum for Riverdale, an encyclopedia of social identifiers, and a study of the age and acquisition of gender bias. Food insecurity and homelessness were explored by two students who volunteered extensively with organizations working directly with vulnerable populations in the city. 

To read more about the senior projects, go to the following links: 

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Riverdale Country School

Mind • Character • Community

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