Projects hit with students, teachers

Steamboat Springs High School to require program in future

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— Steamboat Springs High School senior Jessica Flores said broadcasting at two high school track meets for a senior experience project has reaffirmed her desire to pursue broadcast journalism in college.

"It's a good project. It helped you learn how it will be in the real world," she said.

Two classes of senior students completed a senior experience project that required finding a community mentor and developing a paper and presentation.

Flores said she thinks she is going to be more prepared to enter college since she learned a lot about her intended field of study. For the community presentation, Flores said she is going to have her audience listen to a small portion of her live broadcast.

The projects had to be completed outside of class, which required students to be diligent in how they spent their time. She said the extra workload of the project was worth every minute.

Senior Joe Liefer coached a Little League baseball team and will give a presentation on how participation in athletics has a positive influence on children.

He said he taught children the basics of throwing a ball but mostly wanted to instill the fun of the sport.

"I wanted to make a difference in our community and make a difference for kids," he said. Liefer said he thinks if children grow up with sports, they will more likely continue to be active throughout their life. Keeping with athletics is something Liefer wants people to do. Through his research he discovered that students who participated in sports were less likely to use drugs or alcohol.

"It puts us out there in the community," Liefer said.

He said he felt the senior experience projects gave seniors the opportunity to demonstrate to the community their talents and skills.

Gayle Dudley, vocational director at Steamboat Springs High School, said the project is meant to be the culmination of a student's 12 years of learning and is designed to give students independence in deciding their topic and preparing their presentation. The projects, she said, require a lot of responsibility and attention to time management.

Senior Katey Hale made it her project to learn how to read music. As a child she learned how to play the piano by listening to her grandma play and imitating the songs through sound.

Now that Hale lives far away from her grandmother, she decided it was time for her to learn to play using sheet music.

Hale brought her new developed talent out into the community by playing for the senior citizens at the Doak Walker Care Center.

"They were so happy," she said.

Hale said her grandmother was pleased she was pursuing her love of music.

Hale said she is going to keep visiting the senior citizens and is glad she had something motivating her to go and play for them.

Each project became meaningful from the relationships developed and the effect it had on the community.

The senior experience projects will become a requirement for all seniors starting with the graduating class of 2005.

Dudley said this year's senior projects were part of a pilot program that will lay the foundation for seniors in the upcoming years.

The students who participated in the senior projects will be present to discuss their projects with community members and staff from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Monday and Tuesday at the high school.

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