2015 Senior Capstone Projects Impress Local Community

This week marks an important milestone for several seniors at Houston High School (HHS). Students enrolled in the HHS Honors Academy are challenged to pursue excellence both in academic coursework and leadership. Members, after going through a rigorous selection process, must distinguish themselves academically and participate actively in service to the school and local community.



Through the Honors Academy experience, these students cultivate life skills such as leadership, cooperation, organization, and responsibility. During their senior year, members complete a capstone project as a culminating experience that is meant to carry them beyond their high school years.

This week our seniors will be presenting their capstone projects to the community. With topics ranging from optometry to the educational value of art—the projects are truly something to be celebrated. The community is invited to attend student led presentations that sum up their work.

The Capstone Presentations, going on all this week, will begin daily at 2:15 in the Houston High School Circulation Library. For an overview of the week’s schedule, see below:

MONDAY October 5, 2015

Fedex Flight Simulator Engineering
Timothy Liang
I spent 20 hours shadowing a senior project engineer at FedEx. We developed, implemented, and inspected multiple aspects of projects, including hardware, software, and documentation.

How Volunteering Saves the Economy
Keita Inaba
I will describe why volunteering is important. Also, I will share how the world might be in the event that volunteers ceased to be.

Engineers in Memphis
Rahul Ajmera
I shadowed FedEx electrical engineers and programmers as they prepared to launch a new product.

STEM ‘Stangs
Ben Leonard
I helped plan, organize, and execute a week long STEM camp for seventy-five middle school students under the theme "Watch Out Mars, Here We Come." The students learned about the supplies for a voyage to Mars, rocketry, robotics, and 3-D printing.

Starting at the Roots
Aamir Rahman
This project was done to understand the process of securing the future of the next generation in regards to global society. Furthermore, it was completed to empower the youth to stand up for themselves in a society in which they are a minority, most specifically, the Muslim youth. The main aspects of the project are positive youth development and Muslim youth identity.

Career Investigation: Lawyer/Attorney
Victoria Heavey
I shadowed the Assistant District Attorney of the Memphis Court House. In doing so, I saw a glimpse of what it might be like working in the field of law.

Vet to the Rescue
Jeramya Christophe
I shadowed veterinarians and technicians. I learned how imperative it is to keep pets healthy. I attended surgeries and standard check ups.

TUESDAY October 6, 2015

The Gift of Dyslexia
Julia Harris
I spent the summer working one-on-one with dyslexic children as a tutor for the Dyslexia Foundation of Memphis. I will be presenting what I have learned about Dyslexia and what I have observed through the four week summer session they held this past summer.

A Week in the Park and the Word
Max Jarrells
For four days during one week over the summer, I led a two hour Bible study in a low income area in Collierville for elementary school students. With the help of Highpoint Church, I organized the week and recruited volunteers and supplies to teach the kids about the love of God, using crafts, stories, music, games, etc.

Notable Nursing
Kayla Johnson
Nurses play an important role in society. They work with the sick and injured, and often sacrifice their time for their profession. But what does it really take to be a nurse?

Making Medicine Better
Taabish Kathawala
I spent the summer shadowing and scribing for several doctors from different fields of study; neurology, cardiology, emergency, and general medicine. Each has flaws that can be improved today.

The Effects of Dementia and Alzheimers
Krysta Medearis
This project demonstrates the understanding of the difference between dementia and Alzheimers. It will also examine the effects of the disease.

Creativity in Small Hands
Jessica Tran
Over the summer, I worked with young children at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art in an arts and crafts studio session. At these sessions I aided and instructed children in certain art skills and creative projects that changed weekly.

RBI: Sliding Into A Home
Brandon Wolfkill
I assisted in RBI, a baseball program for inner-city children, during the summer. I observed how the children communicated and acted with adult figures and with myself.

WEDNESDAY, October 7, 2015

Power of the Purse
Erika Christiansen
I dealt with a local nonprofit called Women's Foundation for a Greater Memphis. We held an informational session and connected potential donors with opportunities to make donations.

Pediatrics: Getting a doctorate simply to speak baby babble
Kelvin Li
This presentation describes my overall impression of shadowing a pediatrician. It covers the daily life of a pediatrician, how they interact with patients, and why I would like to be one.

The Doctor's Office
Janet Tran
I shadowed my local pediatrician to observe how the procedures work in the office, and how to cater to the needs of each patient. You never know who's going to come in for a check up or other ailments, and many times, you have to figure out what to do with them right on the spot.

Real Leadership: The story of Germantown's Success
Conner Lind
Ever wonder what it is like to be the Mayor of Germantown or the Superintendent of GMSD?
For my project, I shadowed two of the most influential people in Germantown.

Kids in STEM: Innovators of the Future
William Wolf
Over the summer, I helped participate in a week long summer camp at my elementary school to help kids further their knowledge about science and innovation. STEM classes are growing in school curriculum around the country and are being taught at earlier ages. I worked to help encourage kids to continue their interests and passions in these fields.

So, You Want to Be an Engineer?
Brandon Clausen
During the summer I spent about twenty-seven hours at Smith & Nephew with many different engineers. They taught me about the field which I am interested in, I was able to see what they do on a daily basis. I toured many of their facilities including their manufacturing plant and testing labs. During my presentation, I will share information from my experiences.

Different but Similar Fields of Kinesiology
Sam Druelinger
Exploring the fields of physical therapy, athletic training, and physician’s assistants, I have compared and contrasted these three fields which branch from kinesiology—or exercise science.

Manna House: The Backyard of Memphis
Jessica Jaggar
I volunteered at Manna House, which is a hospitality house that provides showers, clothing, shoes, coffee, and sanctuary for poor and homeless persons in Memphis, Tennessee.

THURSDAY, October 8, 2015

Do You See What I See?
Brittany Spencer
Optometry offers a versatile career path and is one of the fastest growing businesses in modern times. In this presentation, I will discuss my experience shadowing a local optometrist as well as the equipment, common disorders, and other basics that accompany a job in the field.

Volunteering at a Clinic
Ali Elahi
I volunteered at a free medical clinic in an underprivileged part of the city. I saw issues regarding a lack of healthcare and practitioners often adapting to different types of patients.

Adapting to Disabilities
Mary Haddow
For my senior project I shadowed a teacher who teaches children with special needs in order to learn how it is best to interact with them. I applied this learning as I volunteered at TOPs soccer, which is a soccer camp for children with special needs.

Footsteps to My Future
Laura Phelps
For my Senior Project I shadowed an orthopedic doctor in order to learn more about the profession and see what a normal day entails. Also, I learned about the growing demand for these doctors as the Baby Boomer population ages.

Ballin' on a Budget
Katjana Gries
As an athlete, I enjoy sharing my sport and its experiences with other people. I know that starting at a young age helps when learning a sport, so I decided to reach out to the youth community and teach the basics of volleyball to those who may not be able to afford other resources.

In the Footsteps of a Dentist
Jasmine Nguyen
My project is based on the experiences I had while shadowing multiple workers at a dental office. My presentation will include daily procedures, the duties of each employee, what happens ‘behind the patient chair’, and what it takes to become a dentist.

More Than Meets The Eye
Brandy Jones
Optometry is way more than what the naked eye can see! Let's dig deeper into the eye and learn about the whole body in the process.

Radiology Shadow
Colin Rains
I shadowed a local interventional radiologist.

What I Learned About Physical Therapy
Justin Sturdevant
My project details my experience learning about the job of a physical therapist. I shadowed a physical therapist.
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