by Erin Fitzpatrick and Lauren Koenigsberg
Springtime is senior project time for the Class of 2012. These seniors took on interesting and creative projects.
Kelley Biglin- Kelley Biglin’s idea for her senior project came to her because her grandparents moved to the US from Germany and opened a bakery. Biglin decided to learn one of the many skills that they needed to know in their bakery: decorating cupcakes.
Said Biglin: “I used my newfound skills and taught my English class how to decorate a cupcake with a small graduation hat on top. Getting the class involved [allowed me to] share something new that I learned.”
Biglin made cupcakes with designs such as the Vineyard Vines Whale, a ballerina tutu and many more. Said Biglin: “Learning that patience and practice can help you perfect anything were skills I had to use a lot during the process of my senior project.”
Rich Fletcher- Using a paintball gun, paint and a paint brush, Rich Fletcher created a few paintings and drawings related to his career at WHS. Fletcher studied both abstract and modern day artists to learn about their artistic styles, and then incorporated their styles into his personal art.
Said Fletcher: “Each painting I [did] relates to something personal in my life. [For example,] the color scheme on one painting correlates to my future college’s colors and Westfield colors.”
Fletcher chose to explore art because it has always held his interest. Said Fletcher: “My project allows me to explore an area of education that I have not had a lot of exposure to.”
Annie Oldakowski- Because the arts have been a major part of her high school experience, Annie Oldakowski learned to sew for her senior project. To integrate her love for theater into her project, Oldakowski made a quilt out of all of the t-shirts she received from being in productions at WHS. This allowed Oldakowski to use her new sewing skill, while it also portrayed her love for theater.
Throughout the project, Oldakowski said she faced challenges, such as problems with her sewing machine, but she worked through it all to create a beautiful quilt. Said Oldakowski: “The project really captures my high school experience in one item. The shows...shaped me in more ways than any other activity or class had during my four years. It’s a vital part of me.”
Hannah Margolin- Having always been a part of theater productions, Hannah Margolin decided to get involved in the backstage aspect of productions. For her senior project, Margolin made a movie documentary of senior Jessica Sipe teaching others to sing songs. Having never had experience with camera work, filming or editing, Margolin’s project forced her out of her comfort zone as a performer. Margolin said that one of the biggest challenges and frustrations that she faced was “turning off [her] camera just before something hilarious or really exciting happens.”
Said Margolin, “I've only ever been a part of the on-stage aspect of things, so seeing all the work that goes on behind-the-scenes is really fascinating.”
Kayla Seigelstein- For her senior project, Kayla Seigelstein trained for and ran a 5K. Said Seigelstein, “I wanted my senior project to be something that took me out of my comfort zone so I decided that this was the perfect opportunity, and there was no backing out.” She said that although the race has been a challenging experience, it has changed her life and she now loves to run. She said that this project has “inspired [her] to keep challenging [herself] by participating in more races.”
Stephanie Tepper- Stephanie Tepper’s senior project included conducting two sessions which explored the science of happiness. Tepper said that these sessions enabled her to obtain her own data and investigate the topic at WHS. In these sessions, Tepper studied what made people happy, and the activity of “laughter yoga.” Said Tepper: “I really enjoyed analyzing the results from the first session and seeing the similarities between people's happy lists, which gave some insight into the things that have the power to bring us all together… Overall the project process was really cool.” Tepper said she plans to continue to study the science of happiness in college, and that this research led her in the right direction.
Danielle Lipschutz- For her senior project, Danielle Lipschutz created a short video that included creative chemistry experiments and shared it with Girl Scout troops to teach them about chemistry and other fields of science. “I wanted to find a way to encourage and inspire younger girls to go into the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics),” said Lipschutz.
She was able to explore her passion for science, which she is to study in college, while showing young girls the benefits and fun involved. Said Lipschutz: “At a young age, girls are dissuaded from pursuing such careers because they think that others will see them as ‘nerds’ or ‘losers.’ Part of my goal for the project was to show these young girls that studying math and science in no way makes you weird but in fact puts you ahead of the curve and can lead to really cool careers.”