Academic Magnet High students learn skills to master thesis projects

Academic Magnet High students learn skills to master thesis projects (Image 1)

Students at Academic Magnet are mastering a unique skill in high school. It's a signature program that is helping to produce outstanding scholars. We're in North Charleston for our Cool School of the week.

Engineering, literary works, medical, the arts, Academic Magnet High School's Thesis program allows students to explore areas of interest. Junior Sean Rafferty says, “My thesis project is a film related thesis exploring the non-visual conventions used by directors in film.” Junior Maxx Bradley says, “I'm writing the soundtrack for that.” Senior David Dubois says,”I made a computer game.” Junior Prachi Varma says, “I will be testing a drug on a disease. This is a disease that mostly effects males because it's genetic and slowly progresses until it leaves a patient in a vegetative state.” Senior Sara Stanatiades says, “It's a pretty long process, but you get to basically explore a fields you want to explore. I love English, so I studied how psychological illnesses effect coming of age protagonists. My paper was 75 pages, so I don't how many high schoolers would write that big of a paper going into college.”

Principal Judith Peterson says, “The senior thesis is probably our signature piece. They begin in their junior year with a course called theory of knowledge, where they learn about research and different kinds of research biosis, quantitative versus qualitative. They choose an area they would like to explore with at professional member of our community a mentor.”

Students work with mentors at MUSC, College of Charleston and local businesses. Senior David Dubois says, “We had to write a 15 page review of literature about it and a couple pages of methodology, write up a data collection all sorts of fun stuff like that.” Students work on their thesis for a year, write a five chapter paper, and defend that paper before a board. English teacher Mary Catherine Lankford says, “We've had students come back and tell us the papers they're assigned in college seem very doable because they know they've produced long research work here, and they have to defend those in front of adults and they just felt confident.” Junior Maxx Bradley says, “We're just so immersive. We have a lot of different topics for classes, we learn so much through out the year.” “It's really preparing us to look for something that we really enjoy doing, something we're passionate about and pursuing it. It's beyond college. It's really looking for a path we want to take and taking it,” says junior Sean Rafferty.

Academic Magnet has a senior class of 143 students, with 89 board scholars, that's students with a 4.25 and higher GPA. They have 46 Palmetto Fellows, students with a GPA of 4.0 and higher, plus a SAT of 14-hundred or higher, or an ACT of 32 and higher.

Academic Magnet High students attend the college or university of their choosing. Many go on to ivy league schools.

Coming up Friday on News 2 Today, we'll present Academic Magnet with our Cool School award.

We want to hear about the good things going on at your school. Send an email to Octavia at Maybe your school will be the next Cool School of the week.

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