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A Look at Junior Workshops at Calhoun

At Calhoun, all eleventh grade students embark on a capstone project known as Junior Workshop. It’s an independent project that challenges students to create something new or innovative. This experience gives students the autonomy to choose their own topics and learn more about their passions. This year, we interviewed seven current seniors about their Junior Workshop projects; the subjects of their projects range from music and community service to software coding and food writing. Each student exemplified dedication, passion and commitment to their topics, which resulted in impressive outcomes Here are a few student reflections about working on their projects last year.

Palmer P. ‘23 centered a project around community service and traffic safety. 

“Before Junior Workshop, I had never taken on such a lengthy project. It gave me a chance to reflect on what I’m passionate about, and take steps to create something that I thought was worth creating. I learned new research skills about effective childhood and adolescent pedagogy, urban planning in New York City and around the world, and a lot about myself. Taking on a passion project that has no clear definition besides ‘create something new and truly you,’ can be extremely difficult, but also rewarding. A passion project forces creativity and genuine engagement.” - Palmer P. ‘23

Jason L. ‘23 created a unique food blog to stand out in the blogosphere. 

“I was already aware and familiar with the countless food blogs out there that I used and loved. My first goal was to create a blog that was different from the rest of them. [My blog] Feeling Hungry does this by categorizing recipes by one’s mood. For example, I created sections named: feeling cozy, feeling light, and feeling vegan, among others.” - Jason L. 23

Samia K. ‘23 wanted to bring different people and foods together in a celebration. 

“It was the first time I had done something like this, so it took some time to perfect each step. I wanted to make sure the project was thorough so everyone walked away with a good understanding of food from various cultures while embracing and strengthening the strong Calhoun community. Junior Workshop was an intense, but extremely rewarding project. With the support of my advisor, I learned to take time to adjust each detail accordingly. I was able to take something I truly love and turn it into an engaging and interactive activity for others to share a similar passion as me. It became an event full of joy, laughter and pure excitement.”  - Samia K. ‘23

Katrina L. ‘23 leaned into a love of music to create a score. 

“My project started with music. I started writing songs before I filmed anything. I’m primarily a pianist, but for my score, I used a keyboard, drums and bass guitar–all synthesized through an electric keyboard. When I started shooting, I decided to film everything on my iPhone 10. A lot of my shots were of NYC’s landscape—the buildings, the water, the ambiance. I filmed content to match the mood and cadence of my songs, and edited my clips together so they matched the tempo and switching of songs. At the end, I had Broken Lines, Lost Memories in front of me.” - Katrina L. ‘23

Seth C. ‘23 coded AIs to play Tic-Tac-Toe. 

“Junior Workshop was a great experience in which I reinforced my understanding of both conceptual and practical coding elements, as well as learned about web design. Through Junior Workshop, I cut time out from my usual schedule to focus on bringing my creative vision to life.” - Seth C. ‘23

Read more about our students’ process and see other Junior Workshop projects here