SEATTLE, Washington — Finding the perfect senior project topic is certainly a challenge for high school seniors who must complete a project to graduate. Yet, equally as difficult as determining what to focus on is how to put the idea to action. Read below for eight senior project ideas that incorporate giving back to the world and alleviating global poverty in fun and innovative ways the entire school will never forget.
1. Run a Marathon
For students passionate about athletics, running in a marathon or any other type of biking or swimming event is a great option to raise funds for a worthwhile cause. Firstly, the student should find and register for an event in the local area, and then find sponsors who will support their efforts. They can achieve this by sending out letters to friends and family, working with local businesses, or hosting smaller fundraising events as they try to reach their goal.
By race day, they will have a solid support system while running for a good cause. After the experience, students can present on why they chose the particular organization to support and the overall experience of fundraising and racing to classmates.
2. Take the $1,378 Challenge
The $1,378 Challenge is an exciting project for students interested in completing a long-term project that will certainly see tangible results throughout the duration of the experience. To complete the challenge, students must start at $1 for week one, and gradually give one dollar more each week ($3 by week two).
After a year, or 52 weeks, the student will have raised $1,378 for the cause! While students must start early for this project, and may not fully complete it by the end of the school year, it is a fun and easy way to raise a substantial amount of money for a deserving cause.
3. Teach at a Local Elementary School
Education truly has the ability to change the world, by teaching the next generation about pressing issues and encouraging people to support initiatives for positive change. For a senior project, students can teach about global poverty issues and advocacy at the local elementary school or in another group setting.
The student should create a lesson plan about what is happening in other parts of the world and how civil engagement can help to alleviate poverty. The lesson plan can introduce the class to the basic issues of global poverty, the inner workings of the government, and simple and effective ways for solving the problem.
The student can even have the children call Congress to say thank you for supporting a strong international affairs budget! This is an extremely effective way for spreading the message while giving back to the community by educating about global poverty and extreme hunger.
4. Lobby Congressional Leaders
Setting up a meeting with Congressional leaders and lobbying them to support poverty-reducing bills is an easy and effective way to create change while using the perks of a democratic system to the fullest. The student should request a meeting with members of Congress or their staffers and educate them about the importance of reducing poverty for improving U.S. jobs, national security and the economy.
The student should bring supporting documents to the meeting, become educated about the bill they plan to advocate for and dress in business attire. After the meeting, email the Congressional staff and thank them for their time and listening about the importance of the legislation for reducing poverty. After the lobbying experience, the student can create a report outlining the experience to classmates and highlight how easy it is to lobby congressional leaders.
5. Develop an Invention to Tackle Global Poverty
This is the perfect project for future STEM majors that combines a prowess for science and technology with the opportunity to create something that can radically change a person’s life. Inventions help to improve conditions for people living in the poorest regions of the world, and students can try to create their own device to tackle global poverty.
For example, the Kite Patch is a small patch that was created to protect humans from mosquitoes for up to 48 hours. Or, HotPot Solar Ovens use the sun to provide families an inexpensive way to cook meals. While a challenging senior project idea, creating an invention will certainly be a gratifying experience with the potential to make a huge difference in the world.
6. Sponsor a Child
A project that can make a major difference is to sponsor a child from a poor community to better their life. By donating a small sum of money each week, the student will allow the child they sponsor to access clean water, food, healthcare, education, and other vital resources. In return, the child will send a letter to their sponsor and the student will also receive updates about how their sponsored child is doing with the aid.
For the senior project, the student can create a presentation that shows classmates the pictures and letters from the child and how the sponsorship is helping to improve their life. Further, the student can educate classmates about poverty in the country their sponsor child is from, and explain the importance of providing aid to lift children out of extreme poverty and hunger.
7. Volunteer for a Worthwhile Cause
A more hands-on project for students is to volunteer with a local nonprofit organization or homeless shelter. Students can find a cause that particularly resonates with them, and volunteer for the organization for a few hours each week. The student will firsthand witness the inner workings of a nonprofit organization while fighting for a cause that they believe in.
Another option is to volunteer each week at a local homeless shelter. Work will include providing food to the hungry, helping to clean, and interacting with the people who live in the shelter. These are both rewarding options where students can get their hands dirty and work directly with a worthwhile cause. At the end of the volunteer experience, the student can write up a report or presentation highlighting what the experience meant for them and why volunteering is an essential role for helping those in need.
8. Organize a Class Discussion About Foreign Aid
For students who want to do a project at their school that directly impacts their classmates, a great option is to organize a class discussion or some type of forum to discuss the importance of foreign aid for lifting people out of poverty. The discussion can be set up as a debate, speaker-style, or the student can arrange desks in a circle so every student will have a chance to voice their opinions.
Topics to discuss will include the benefits of increasing foreign aid, food aid reform, the International Affairs Budget, and other pieces of poverty-reducing legislation. The student should highlight the importance of ending poverty for U.S. national security and the economy, while also engaging classmates by having them think of easy and effective ways for ending poverty. At the end of the discussion, have each student call their Congressional leader to encourage them to support a strong International Affairs Budget.
These eight ideas will not only ensure that students ace their senior project, but it will also teach them important skills while creating a fresh set of advocates who can use their voice to fight global poverty. These students are the leaders of tomorrow, and by becoming educated about international affairs and global issues, they can become critical components of U.S. efforts to eradicate poverty.
– Nicole Einbinder