Past Students' Learning & Takeaways

We asked graduating seniors:
What did you learn from this project?
...about my topic

...about California’s gun control
"I learned the gun control can be very complicated and have many levels of interest and emotional backing for many people. Taking into account how anyone person may react to a new bill or act of gun violence is important moving forward."

...about the issue of drug pricing
"The high cost of prescription drugs have been a problematic issue in our country for decades. Many are simply being turned away, or unable to receive the proper treatment needed due to affordability. With regulation, many families will avoid significant debts and save the U.S. government immensely."

...about the popularity of solar
"In the United States, about 78% of the newest and upcoming generating electricity installments have been solely solar powered projects. This has been on an exponential rise over the years and will continue to skyrocket to make solar power one of the dominating industries in energy."

...about GMO Labeling
"Although many people support GMO labeling, consumers still do not clearly understand exactly what GMOs are. It is this lack of education on GMOs that spreads fear and causes worldwide consequence, such as a contribution to world hunger."

...about the Syrian Conflict
"The conflict has been going on for about 6 years and is considered a proxy war. Now, there are many sides and faction fighting each other directly. This includes, the Syrian government , the rebel opposition force, the Kurds, and ISIS. The U.S. and Russia are also involved and support opposing sides. The U.S. supports the rebels, while Russia supports the Syrian government. This topic is really confusing, but interesting at the same time. You’ll never get bored with this topic."

...about felon disenfranchisement
"It is drastically underrepresented in the media but is an interesting topic and deserves to be researched and studied."

...about space exploration
"Private space exploration companies like SpaceX, Sierra Nevada Corporation, and Boeing are capable of doing the exact same things as NASA with greater efficiency and less spending but lack direction and purpose without NASA."

...about online pornography restrictions
"Exaggerated facts surrounding pornography have led society to view it as something much worse than it actually is. Proper education on porn and sex in general would have better effects than regulations without having to censor the art that we have the right to view."

...about juveniles being tried as adult
"I learned about the huge racial gap in trying juvenile of color as adult versus white juveniles. In 2003, for every white juvenile there were 4.5 black youth and 2.5 latino youth. However, in 2014 for every white youth 11.3 black youth and 3.3 latino youth were directly filled."

… about SB277
"Changes in California’s school vaccination policies make it difficult for families to obtain religious and personal belief exemptions. But, the overall benefits of mandatory vaccination for children significantly reduce the spread of vaccine preventable diseases."

...about the cost of tuition in community colleges
"Not many students can afford to pay for tuition in the United States. What I also learned is that, with other expenses included it is completely expensive to attend a community college in the United States."

...about mandatory sentencing
"I learned that every serious/ violent crime has a mandatory sentence. There are guidelines that judges follow to give out a sentence. It varies from 25 years to life."

...about the pay gap in women’s soccer
"For ever $1 a male soccer a female soccer makes about 44 cents. The U.S. Soccer Federation needs to stop promoting the gender stereotype that men are just better than women. They need to do what’s right and pay the players equally."

...about concealed carry
"Asking if concealed carry weapons are good/bad in the United States is extremely broad because each state and its communities includes its own disadvantages and advantages to concealed carry. It can both be extremely beneficial or extremely dire to the community so finding the most acceptable answer is more based on how you view the situation."

...about the free community college
"Community college is becoming a more mainstream way for students to continue their education. However, the cost of community college has been rising exponentially. In fact, in the last 10 years, the cost has more than doubled."

...about the death penalty
"The United States is the only first-world nation that uses the death penalty. We execute more people than 95% of all the countries in the world. However, the true problem with the death penalty primarily lies with the questionable methods that the United States is using for executions."

...about price controls on prescription drugs
"Over 223.23 million people take prescription drugs in the United States, however, millions of people believe that it is too expensive for them to obtain. Pharmaceutical companies price their products freely, without restrictions, because of a free market. Due to this, price controls were brought to discussion to limit the prices on some prescription drugs."

… about the minimum wage
"There are over 7.5 million people in the United States who earn the minimum wage. The overall purpose of the minimum wage is to keep the workers of the United States out of poverty and to increase the purchasing power of the consumers in order to stimulate the economy."

...about regulating beef industry
"I learned that the beef industry contributes to the damaging of our nations environment, inflicts heinous and insensible acts of cruelty on its animals, and put American lives at risk to fatal foodborne illnesses. In addition, I learned that the U.S. needs to strengthen its regulations to decrease the industry’s effect on all three of those major issues."

...about reparations for African Americans
"I learned that it’s a very sensitive topic to talk about since it involves race. But sensitive topics should not go unheard, that’s why I chose this EQ. I believe institutional problems should be targeted with institutional solutions, and the problem of racism and the aftermath of slavery should be addressed once and for all by the U.S. government."

...about universal background checks
"Gun violence is rampant in the United States and only going up. Regulations and restrictions will not stop it the only way to stop it is to focus on and help people in poverty and suffer from mental illness."

...about self-driving cars
"Self-driving cars have features that prevent accidents from happening which decreases accident rates. Self-driving cars can be accessible to all including people with disabilities."

...about TSA security procedures:
"Though the federal government is making efforts to more effectively secure airline travel, the measures that have been taken to achieve that goal are tremendously flawed. National security and the wellbeing of the American people are at risk and the U.S. is in need of a more reliable security system."

...about community college
"It’s a very easy way for students to get a relatively decent paying job because of the certificate program that is in place. In addition, the transfer program open up a ton of opportunity for students who do not have enough money for a 4-year."

...about prescription narcotics
"Millions of people are abusing prescription narcotics, which has resulted in the Opioid Epidemic. Each state has their own regulations to combat the epidemic. To properly combat the epidemic, the United States needs to mandate and increase regulations on prescription narcotics, so that every state has the same regulations."

...about the incarceration of the mentally ill
"More than half of the prisoners in the United State’s prisons and jails have displayed at least one symptom of mental illness. Despite treatment and services provided by correctional facilities and prisons and jails, the needs of the mentally ill are inadequately met. In fact, because of the conditions of prisons and jails, the mental states of the mentally ill are becoming worse. This explains why more than half of mentally ill convicts fall victim to relapse. Thankfully, mental health courts are a thing and a lot of people know of this issue."

...about sexting laws
"Sexting, an incredibly common activity, actually has damaging penalties for those who happen to get caught. These penalties can affect parties whether they are consenting or not, and that is the problem."

...about the housing crisis
"This problem is much bigger than just expensive rents and evictions, and it impact can ultimately change the city. This is not just their issue, it is ours and we as people have to help, along with the state government which hasn't done enough."

...about mass incarceration
"It’s actually a huge problem. I had no idea what a mess our prison system is. It’s unnecessary, expensive, racially discriminatory, and unethical to have such long sentences be used so frequently and casually. Most people subject to mandatory minimums are non-violent drug criminals and deserve treatment, not a life sentence."
...about sustained projects

"During this time of researching and writing, I realized that I have improved a lot on my writing skills when comparing to my junior year. I have also improved on my work ethics because I was not able to procrastinate at all during this project, which taught me how to not push things back so far so that I am forced to do it last minute stressing myself out. With that being, I stressed myself out a lot because I am too independent and did not ask for help a lot because this is a sustained project. It was hard to ask other students because they did not know anything on my topic. I also did not communicate with my mentor when struggling because I thought I could do it on my own and figure it out when in reality I really could not. But that lead me to be more work so I can get my stuff done. It was very rewarding finishing my essay and my presentation. The most meaningful things that I experienced out of this whole project was the progression I made from August up until March 25, because I worked a lot harder than I have in my entire life on this project. It was meaningful to meet my interviewees because they were very powerful people who were very confident in their work and everything that they do, which I admired and looked up to. Those people invited me to volunteer with them to make a difference in California to end human trafficking." -DW, class of 2017

"I definitely improved on my ability to analyze evidence. I knew how to analyze before but I was missing the so what factor in most of my paper. I was analyzing the fact but I wasn’t tying it back to my EQ. By the end of my paper I actually was able to and managed to get my analysis from a RV to a 2 on the rubric." -KS, class of 2017

"Through the Senior Exhibition process, I was able to improve on my writing since I am a very mediocre writer. Using ethos, pathos, and logos increased the quality of my work by a lot." -LP, class of 2017

"I learned that this project takes a lot of hard work, and if you don’t put in any effort, it will show. It is easy to procrastinate, but overcoming it helped me stay on track and not feel like I was falling behind." -DL, class of 2017

"This project really tests your limits if you don’t do your work right away. Always manage your time wisely and never take that time you have for granted because it’s just a matter of time until you have to turn in a 15+ page paper and present for 20+ minutes." -JF, class of 2017

"I have terrible time management. To do well on this project, I had to prioritize what matters most and spend my time wisely throughout the year. Watching the next episode of a show later will not kill me. I also learned that if I set my mind to something. I can get things done on time." -ME, class of 2017

"The most notable change I saw in my own skills were my writing skills. With the constant feedback I was receiving from my Humanities teacher and motivation to continuously revise my paper, I saw significant improvements in my writing skills, and I am already noticing writing skill improvements across all forms of writing assignments I work on. Presenting is usually a struggle for me, and this project was no exception for that. However, I found myself more directed when organizing my presentation and able to easily organize my presentation so it made sense logically." -DA, class of 2017

"It takes a lot of time and effort for one to get good scores on these types of projects. A person must be dedicated and enthusiastic about wanting to complete every assignment in order to make a very good paper and presentation in the end." -class of 2016

"While the project is difficult, if you really push yourself you can do better than you may have expected. Its also not as bad as people claim." -class of 2016

"Doing things in a step-by-step process is a lot less stressful compared to a large unorganized clump." -class of 2016


...about myself

"I am a tough student. I was going through a lot with basketball season coming to an end and my pops being in the hospital at the time. It was tough going to school, but I still showed up every day and put in the work needed to pass. In the end I finished senior exhibition every step of the way." -AC, class of 2017

"I learned a lot about the economy, I mean like a lot. I used to not be interested in economics but after this project I developed a love for economics and it is something I would like to pursue in college." -JC, class of 2017

"If I want to succeed with a project or goal, I have to set a specific schedule and due date for myself. I found that I work better when I set personal deadlines and due dates for assignments than to cram it all together last minute (procrastination)." -SC, class of 2017


"As a person, I tend to have a bias towards the people who are struggling the most in all situations. Considering my past events, I understand what it is like to live with limitations due to race and economic background. Basically, I am more understanding of everyone’s position in the world, whether it is race, gender, economic background, all of it." -NA, class of 2017

"I have learned that I am a great public speaker. I have the confidence and am able to speak and interact to a crowd with minimal shyness. I love speaking to a crowd." -AA, class of 2017

"I learned that I love taking on hard topics." -RS, class of 2017

"I learned that I procrastinate way too much. To have a successful future I need to put in more work ahead of time." -RS, class of 2017
"I learned that it’s not hard for me to finish any work that I’m assigned as long as I stay focused and don’t procrastinate." -NM, class of 2017

"I am capable to do the work if I put effort into what I am doing. Another thing I’ve learned about myself is, I will get overwhelmed about how much work I have to do but I will complete it at the end of the day. I have improved on working hard and being able to do things I never wanted to do. For example is on Senior Exhibition Day, I was nervous but I knew that all the hard work I’ve done is coming to an end. With that being said I never thought I would be able to present in front of over 25 people in a classroom for 20 minutes, but I did. I am proud to say that I’ve learned a lot and proud of who I’ve become." -SL, class of 2017

"I learned that I am a hard worker and that I am dedicated to something that I want to achieve. I accomplished this big project that I was scared of since the start of Freshman year." -AH, class of 2017

"If I really put my mind into something and don’t procrastinate I can save myself from having a lot of extra stress. Also I learned I actually love presenting." -JG, class of 2017

"I learned that if I put my mind into something I will do my best to get it. I won't stop until I succeed." -BH, class of 2017

"Through this project, I improved my writing organization, as well as my ability to create simple visual aids. Additionally, this project helped me learn that effective time-management is key to success. This project also made me realize that I often stress out for nothing." -ME, class of 2017

"I learned that everyone faces challenges and setbacks when trying to achieve a goal, but you just have to persevere and and keep working with persistence and diligence." -AD, class of 2017 

"I learned that I can overcome senioritis and produce quality work. Also, I learned that if I put my mind towards something I can complete it and be successful. Lastly, probably the most important thing I found out about myself is that I often doubt my capabilities, but I really shouldn’t because I’m capable of doing anything if I set my mind towards it." -JD, class of 2017

"I’m a very nice person when it comes to arguing. I learned that I’m really passive aggressive and it took a toll on me when it came to writing my claim essays and conclusion essay, where it’s supposed to be all argumentative writing. Don’t be nice!" -DC, class of 2017

"If I want to do well I can I just need to believe in myself and put in the work." -MC, class of 2017

"To always be on time with deadlines. Managing time is so crucial to this project, most especially when you have work and sports to deal with." -AC, class of 2017

"I need to put in more effort in to be successful. The less I procrastinate the easier the work became. If I educate myself about current problems within my family or friends, I judge less because I have a better understanding." -SC, class of 2017

"When I initially started this project, I was constantly worrying about not making deadlines and not reaching certain requirements that were required of me throughout the duration of this project. However, I found myself doing extremely well making all the deadlines and exceeding in the paper itself. What I learned about myself is that if I actually put my focus and effort towards my work, the payout is extremely satisfying and that I can be really diligent when I have to be. I found myself managing my time way more and found that I can also be really organized, I guess it just took a project like this to really bring out that side of me." -DA, class of 2017

"I need to work on my time management. This entire project is all about managing your own time and procrastinating makes everything so much harder, which I learned the hard way." -DA, class of 2017

"I tend to procrastinate a lot, but by making time for only working on the specific project, I am able to maintain a steady schedule that will keep me on task towards the final paper and presentation."

"I need to get over my fears about emailing people I don’t know. Interviews were the hardest part of this project for me, because writing to strangers is terrifying. But effective communication is a skill I will need all my life, so I should start working on it now." -class of 2016


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