Annual Independent Studies showcase scheduled for April 24


Shae Daugherty

The Independent Studies students study a variety of subjects sporadically, but continue to work on their projects over the course of the year.

Students in Independent Studies will showcase their projects on April 24 from 5:30–7 p.m. in the library. The students have been working on these projects for the entire school year until this point. They also studied different subjects sporadically.

Junior Emmy Straeck studied marine conservation. While she said at the start of the year she hoped to create educational tools for use in a classroom, such as a children’s book, she was unable to do so, and instead focused on the research aspect.

“It’s kind of the same study the whole year even as you do different things,” Straeck said. “This is my second year in the class, but marine conservation is something I’ve been interested in and studying since I was in elementary school.”

The material will be presented by the high school and middle school Independent Studies students in tri-fold posters simultaneously, and interested parties can view whichever projects they wish. The projects will be diverse in their focuses, as each one represents an individual student’s interests.

The Independent Studies curriculum is based on the exit-level Texas Performance Standards Project (TPSP) for Gifted and Talented students. Students taking the course will develop a product proposal, construct a portfolio, conduct in-depth research, be matched with a mentor from the professional community, and prepare presentations about their research, product or performance. The application for the Independent Studies course for the 2019-20 school year is available on the high school website.

According to Pam Simmons-Brooks, Independent Studies teacher, interested students submit proposals that are reviewed for acceptance via the Independent Studies Review Committee.

“Independent Studies allows students to study a passion or area of interest that isn’t offered through typical high school courses,” principal Chris Mayfield said. “Many times the things students study are connected to a career they will pursue after high school.”