Independent Study Projects

Students interested in working independently have the option of developing their own projects during the spring term of their senior year.

The Independent Study Program (ISP) offers seniors the opportunity to pursue an area of interest independently, under the direction of a faculty mentor. Students may drop up to two full-credit courses and physical education in the spring term to free up the time necessary to examine, in depth, a topic of their own choice. Students have weekly meetings with their in-school faculty mentor and also attend a weekly seminar at which they present a brief report on each week’s progress. All projects involve research, as well as a written paper. At the end of the term, students present their completed projects in public, and their work is evaluated by a committee of ISP mentors.

Some examples of recent ISP topics include:

  • Hydroponic Gardening in Schools: The Future of Urban Agriculture
  • Write Here, Write Now: A Journey through the Literary Magazine Submission Process
  • My Life with a Little Less Trash: Why Zero-Waste is Impossible
  • Healing through Stories: How Narrative Medicine Can Aid in Recovery from Chronic Illness and Trauma
  • Interpreting The Great Gatsby through Composition
  • $2.75: A Photographic Exploration of the New York Subway
  • Unheard and Unknown: Stories about the Adoption Experience
  • Reflections on Madness and Mythology
  • Larger than Life: A Study of Five Influential Choreographers and Me
  • Introspection and Self-Expression: My Music
  • The Other Alternative: An Argument for More Authentic Teacher-Student Relationships at Nightingale
  • I Can Go Alone Any Time I Want: An Honest Portrayal of Female Youth
  • Angeles: The Story of My Becoming
  • Lights Out: Use and Effect of Cliché in Horror Movies
  • The Social Implications of the Negro Spiritual and Early Gospel Music
  • Beyond the Veil: Feminism in the Persian Gulf
  • Without Reservation: The Legacy of Colonialism and its Lasting Effects on the Lakota
  • Commercial Sexual Exploitation: A Local Perspective on a Global Problem
  • The Inflammasome and its Role in the Adaptive Immune System
  • Museum Explorers: Connecting Public and Private Schools Through Art
  • Art as Destruction: Changing Perception Through Sculpture
  • What if you Can’t Decide?: Using Mathematics to Understand Decision-Making in Autism Spectrum Disorders