AP Seminar students put brains together for research presentations


After days of working on their AP Seminar research presentation, Emma Lang 10), Ally Thompson 10), Elizabeth Kobs 10) and Bradyn Suber 10) present their findings in the lecture hall. Students were graded by Mrs. Howell (faculty) on their presentation as part one of three for their nine weeks final exam. "Our team did an amazing job presenting. We were really able to work together and do the best we could do," Kobs said.

With the end of the nine weeks approaching, classes are in the process of preparing for upcoming exams. Exams are a part of school that students are all too familiar with. Final exams are different though for students in Mrs. Howell (faculty)’s AP Seminar class, who recently completed part one of their three part research project for final exams.

To get students started on their projects, Howell sorted students into groups of four based off of who she thought would work the best together. Once student groups were established, students were given a lot of freedom on what topic they could choose to research for their presentation. Each group was tasked with deciding on a research question to explore in their project, specifically a controversial present topic. Once a solid research question was established, students split up from their groups for individual research.

The Seminar students were tasked with choosing a group research question based off of a controversial topic in today’s society, so for students to fully explore the many different viewpoints surrounding their chosen topics, they were assigned different “lenses” as points of views to research from: scientific, ethical, economic, political, and futuristic.

“For my group, I was assigned to research through the futuristic lenses,” Olivia Wentzell (10) said. “Our presentation was over homework and its effects on education, so I had to see how my topic impacts the future of students and how it impacts students academics for the future.”

During individual research, Seminar students were tasked with using reliable sources to create their own individual research reports, logs where they recorded any findings and helpful details from their research. 

After each group member had a fully realized report, students re-grouped and came back together to discuss their findings from their individual research. Now that the groups knew more about the viewpoints surrounding their research question, students created an argument based on what they agreed with from their research.

“My experience with the team multimedia presentation was an interesting journey because as time progressed, we learned about new topics and what the benefits and detriments could be in different perspectives,” Arya Patel (10) said. “Our cooperation with our team formed a strong bond in which we could handle difficult situations together.”

After finalizing a single idea each student felt answered their research question properly, the students organized all of their research supporting their claim in a slide presentation. Each group worked on putting together, writing, and editing a presentation. Students presented their completed slides to Howell and other teachers in the lecture hall, where they were scored.

“I was so proud of our group,” Campbell Bass (10) said. “We talked about how racial profiling affects immigrants seeking asylum. My group was able to look into what racial profiling actually is. And we were able to see how this affects many immigrants across the world.”

Now that AP Seminar students have finished their research presentations with Howell, the students await the next part of their final exam. The AP Seminar final exam process will continue until the end of the nine weeks, where their final grade will be calculated.