Sandy Spring Friends School

 

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Senior Passion Projects Virtual Presentations

Wednesday, June 3, 2020 • 6:30pm-8:45pm EST

SSFS Senior Passion Project

Join us for an exciting evening event as  twelve SSFS Seniors present their Senior Passion Projects!

OVERVIEW: Senior Projects Virtual Presentations
 Grounded in experiential and project-based learning, and with inquiry, reflection, and action at the core of its mission, the Senior Projects Pilot Program for 2019-2020 is a selective, elective, independent, learner-centered and self-directed passion project that affords qualified and approved participants the opportunity to let their lives speak beyond the traditional high school environment by sampling a potential career, serving the community, or exploring a deep personal interest that culminates in a formal and reflective presentation to a panel of faculty, staff, alumni and Trustees on the expectations, challenges, lessons and rewards of said experience.

The Selfless and Free: A Commemorative Compendium

From descriptive writing, spanning storytelling to poetry, to portraiture, I hope to capture the selfless nature of volunteers, and help others understand why we serve freely. The best people I know have always put others before themselves, and these people deserve to have their stories seen and heard. I want to create something that will inspire people to action, as community service is so critical to our Sandy Spring Friends experience and as stewards wherever we may find ourselves.

Read More about The Selfless and Free: A Commemorative Compendium
Paying It Forward: Breaking Language Barriers

Because we know firsthand that studying another language fosters respect and heightens socio-cultural awareness, our end-goal is to empower kids with the expansive opportunities that come from knowing how to communicate with others in another language. By breaking language barriers, we hope to inspire future global citizens throughout the Greater Metropolitan Washington, DC area. Ultimately, and in the spirit of George Fox, a 17th Century founder of the Religious Society of Friends, we aspire for children to learn how to let their lives speak.

Find the podcast on Spotify | Curriculum Guide PDF

Read More about Paying It Forward: Breaking Language Barriers
Bengali A.I. Handwritten Grapheme Classification Research Project

 Bengali is now the 5th most spoken language in the world. However, the complexity of its handwritten characters makes it hard for computers to recognize. I will start my own research project on Bengali AI Handwritten Grapheme Classification. After investigating the dataset by writing exploratory data analysis (EDA), I will train multiple machine learning algorithms, and try different variations of Convolutional Neural Network. I will then evaluate my algorithms based on “a hierarchical macro-averaged recall” and improve my model based on classification results. Through two months of iterative improvement of my model, I will develop an algorithm that can classify the graphemes with >95% Weighted Categorization Accuracy (a mathematical evaluation metrics provided by Kaggle.com; the current baseline is 95%, and my realistic goal is to reach 96.80%).

Read More about Bengali A.I. Handwritten Grapheme Classification Research Project
Headspace: A Deep Dive Into Mental Health

In an attempt to make mental illnesses more accessible, understandable, and visible to those who do not have them, I will be using various artistic mediums, like paint, pastels, charcoal, pencil, marker, and digital art, to express visually my personal experiences with mental illnesses. Among these will be Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Misophonia, Hyperacusis, Tinnitus, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Functional Neurological Disorder (FND). Over the course of four months, I will illustrate how mental illness appears in my day-to-day life, with the goal of making my invisible struggles more transparent to others.

Read More about Headspace: A Deep Dive Into Mental Health
Exploring the Questions and Theories Behind Consciousness and Existence

What we aim to do in this project is present some of the major questions around consciousness and the philosophy of mind, discuss examples in nature that challenge our understanding of the experience of life, and show categories and specifics of theories that attempt to answer these questions, along with their strengths, weaknesses, and existential meaning for us all.

Read More about Exploring the Questions and Theories Behind Consciousness and Existence
Stronger Together, Bonded Forever: A Commemorative Digital Gift for, by and from the Class of 2020

Social distancing may have prohibited us from working alongside one another, but that does not mean we cannot work with one another remotely towards a common goal and good, together while apart.

Using readily accessible and collaborative technology tools, from any smartphone’s video feature to Google Docs, we aspire to make 1) an affirming video montage and 2) a collective memoir each of which invites participation from all members of the Class of 2020 to document and encapsulate our time together, from loss and struggle to hope, healing and concord.

Read More about Stronger Together, Bonded Forever: A Commemorative Digital Gift for, by and from the Class of 2020

Agenda

6:35 PM Opening Remarks
6:40 PM The Selfless and Free: A Commemorative Compendium
By Charlie Deichman-Caswell
7:00 PM

Paying It Forward: Breaking Language Barriers
By Michel Ruiz & Mecca McCain

Find the podcast on Spotify | Curriculum Guide PDF

7:20 PM Bengali A.I. Handwritten Grapheme Classification Research Project
By Hanke Chen
7:40 PM Headspace: A Deep Dive Into Mental Health
By Zoe Phillips
8:00 PM Exploring the Questions and Theories Behind Consciousness and Existence
By Ben Gruodis-Gimbel & Siraj Faruqee
8:20 PM Stronger Together, Bonded Forever: A Commemorative Gift for, by and from the Class of 2020
By Fernanda Velázquez Córdova, Stephen Randall, Jack Thompson, Frank Sheffield & Brandon Riley
8:40 PM Acknowledgements & Closing Remarks