Senior Project

State Standards

  • 1.0 Writing Strategies: Students write coherent and focused texts that convey a well-defined perspective and tightly reasoned argument. The writing demonstrates studentsí awareness of the audience and purpose and progression through the stages of the writing process.
  • 1.1 Demonstrate an understanding of the elements of discourse (e.g., purpose, speaker,audience, form) when completing narrative, expository, persuasive, or descriptivewriting assignments.
  • 1.2 Use point of view, characterization, style (e.g., use of irony), and related elements for specific rhetorical and aesthetic purposes.
  • 1.3 Structure ideas and arguments in a sustained, persuasive, and sophisticated way and support them with precise and relevant examples.
  • 1.4 Enhance meaning by employing rhetorical devices, including the extended use of parallelism,repetition, and analogy; the incorporation of visual aids (e.g., graphs, tables,pictures); and the issuance of a call for action.
  • 1.5 Use language in natural, fresh, and vivid ways to establish a specific tone.

Project Summary

In the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, graduating seniors are required to complete an exit project. At Early College High School, this project is a comprehensive project with elements in several of my classes. We picked a topic/career that held a strong interest for us and conducted an extensive amount of research into the topic. We also engaged in an on-the-job experience, accumulating a minimum of 15 hours of hands-on work. For my part, I chose to look into the craft of the bowyer, that is the craft of building bows. I focused on simple longbows, for their simplicity and elegance. Over the course of my apprenticeship to the bowyer I worked with, I crafted two longbows, a 66" longbow that drew 50# at 28" of draw and a 60" longbow that drew 35# at 27" of draw. Each bow required a thorough amount of labor, and great care was necessary to properly tiller (shape the bow to bend appropriately) the bows.

What I Learned

The senior project was an amazing educational opportunity for me because I learned a great deal about the craft of the boywer. When I began the project in March of 2010, I knew next to nothing about how to build a bow, short of it should have a tapered shape and that I needed woodworking skills. Over the next six months, I conducted extensive research of the accounts of other amatuer and professional bowyers. I learned the specialized skills necessary to build flemish bowstrings, tiller longbows, and glue laminate bows, in addition to refining my existing woodworking skills.

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