The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

An Overview of the Tenth Grade Projects


If you’re in the high school at WIS, you’ve probably completed or are producing the 10th grade project. If you’re in middle school, you have it to look forward to.

The 10th grade project is a personal project designed for students to explore their passion on a global scale. The rising 10th graders are now preparing themselves mentally and physically to take on the challenge, not quite knowing what’s ahead. Here are some project ideas from 9th graders, advice from upperclassmen, and an overall view of WIS’s 10th grade project.

The 10th grade projects cover a variety of topics from arts to science to politics. Some are combining two. Emily Schnurr, a 9th grader at WIS, is going to integrate photography and social science to generate more awareness of stereotypes and labels.

“I’m going to be working on a photographic comparison of the education of females in India compared to the education of females in D.C.,” Schnurr explained. She will be traveling to Delhi, India this summer and capturing the lifestyle of Indian girls through photos.

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“I am going to India for three weeks during the summer and I am really interested in access to education on a worldwide scale,” Schnurr said. As well as focusing on India, Schnurr will also take a closer look at the education in her own life, and observe the different aspects of it. She hopes to encapsulate the  difference in cultures, social and economic status, and society as a whole across the globe.

Schnurr has high hopes for the project. “I want to broaden my horizons and persuade myself and other people that there is more to a country or culture that meets the eye. A lot of people (including myself) have a constricted view of the way they see things they’re not used to,” she said.

As well as understanding different cultures, Schnurr wants to raise awareness to problems outside of America. “In this current political climate, especially in Washington D.C., we are all focusing on the problems that directly affect us, it is important to realize that there is a whole world out there, and not everybody has access to the same utilities you do,” she said.

Exploring and comparing different cultures is a popular theme among the class of 2020. Lara Traphagen, also a 9th grader at WIS, is centering her project around clothes, and how the style of clothes differs around the world.

“My 10th grade project is focusing on how the culture affects the clothes people wear,” Lara said. “I want to make clothes and sew and learn about new cultures.” Traphagen is going to learn new skills while broadening her views on different cultures. She has some concerns on how to make the clothes, “This is going to be my first time using a sewing machine, and I’ve never made something from scratch before.” Although worried about the logistics of her project, Traphagen is looking forward to exploring the cultural and social aspects of her project.

Some students are taking a different direction and exploring math and science. Alejandro Gonzalez will be building a 3D printer.

I’m building a 3D printer from a kit and studying the present and future applications of this new technology around the world.” Gonzalez is going to be studying the impact that new technology has on industries such as medicine, design, architecture. Although the 9th grader is looking forward to the building process of the project a lot, he’s not very interested in the research and reflection part of it.

“I’m nervous about my sponsor.” Gonzalez explained before finding out who his sponsor is. Once he found out it was the high school design technology teacher, Gonzalez felt relieved and is looking forward to working with him. The process of receiving your sponsor ads to the stress of many students because they’ve heard from certain older high schoolers that the sponsor you get is crucial to the outcome of the tenth grade project.

In a recent poll sent out, one 10th grader said, “all that matters is the sponsor you get.” According to him, the hardest part of creating your 10th grade project is “working around your sponsor and making sure you’re doing what they want.” When asked how much they enjoyed the project, the student put a one out of five.

Although it seems the tenth grade projects have crushed the spirit and enthusiasm of certain 10th graders, most 9th graders don’t have that attitude going into their sophomore year. “I think the school does it to let us explore our own interests, tenth grade is the year before the IB program and the classes we choose impact our future,” Annika Suri, a 9th grader explained of the 10th grade projects. “It’s a great way to explore our interests and see what we really like.”


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