Flint Hill School’s 54th commencement exercises, held on June 13, was filled with many moments of joy and achievement, which included the naming of 19 graduates who received honors for their Senior Projects—a program that gives students an avenue to explore interests and career possibilities. The Senior Project presentation is the last requirement that students fulfill before graduating from Flint Hill School.
Throughout the month of May, students did at least 80 hours of independent work off campus, and returned in June to give final presentations of their learning experiences. From the beginning of the year, each student worked one-on-one with a faculty mentor to create a proposal for a committee’s approval; set goals and create a calendar with milestones and deadlines; and establish a workplace and job supervisor. At the end of the project, students submitted a daily journal describing accomplishments, challenges, and rewards and gave a 15-20 minute, business-style presentation to a panel of six faculty and staff members.
“Students routinely describe the experience as transformational and a wonderful culminating activity to their Flint Hill education,” said Upper School Director Brian Lamont. The variety of places where this year’s students worked includes: NASA and Blue Marble Space Institute of Science; Hilton Marketing; Georgetown Neuroscience; Chesapeake Investments; The Smithsonian; INOVA Children's Hospital; General Dynamics; Politico; Engineering for Kids; Washington Project for the Arts; Seneca Hill Animal Hospital; Octagon global sports marketing and talent agency; and more.
Senior projects have opened many doors to future opportunities. Alumnus Vikram Setlur ’13, a sophomore at Queen's University majoring in Computer Science, did his Senior Project at George Mason University’s Computational and Data Sciences department. The project involved ranking all 50 states based on "livability," and the results impressed his mentor, who encouraged Setlur to continue his research and data science studies. In his findings, Setlur discovered that Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Minnesota topped the list as most livable states based on 10 variables: life expectancy, health care, Medicaid, divorces, motor vehicle accidents, educational attainment, crime rates, unemployment, annual wage, and poverty rate. "My Senior Project has helped me in ways I didn't suspect. It helped me see what I could do after college, because the project has a lot of real world applications. I hope to integrate my project experience into my future career."
Flint Hill School is an independent school in Fairfax County, with 1,100 students, transitional kindergarten through Grade 12. Both East and West Campus are closely located to the intersection of Jermantown and Chain Bridge Roads in Oakton.