APEX seniors stunt on finals


Photo courtesy of Stacey Albert

Senior Sydney Albert delivers presentation of “Diversity in Children’s Literature. Each APEX student gave a presentation on a topic of their choice.

Julia Eisen

As we come to an end of the first semester, seniors are inching closer and closer to their full senioritis mode. Unfortunately this new feeling does not turn out well for APEX students at WJ.

APEX is a program offered at WJ for those students who are gifted in intelligence and want to take specialized classes that will challenge them more than the regular or honors classes.

Their final project is an extension of knowledge pertaining to something about which the student is individually passionate about. Each student can research whatever they choose.

The project can take shape in any medium; some choose to write a book or create a board game or even work in a lab.

Senior Christian Ackerman researched Bolivian politics for his APEX project. Politics has always been one of his passions and loved researching the trends in South America in the 20th and 21st centuries.

“APEX requires you to have a mentor, so I reached out and met with the ex president of Bolivia who helped me focus my project into four countries and their governments since 1950 by ideology and found a few trends,” Ackerman said.

The ability to work on something that the student is passionate about is a nice change from previous assignments that might not have been as interesting.

Videos were a popular format for APEX students to display their project.

Senior Mary Rose Yockel chose to create a video explaining the H2A Visa guest worker program which is an immigration policy in the United States.

She learned how to use a special video making program as part of the criteria of learning how to do something new for this project.

Yockel has dreamed of becoming an immigration lawyer, so being able to do this project helped her learn a lot about the field.

“I was really enlightened by the way that the United States immigration system operates by the lifestyles of migrant workers and in the need for reform of the policy,” Yockel said.

Senior Amir Kalantary’s project dealt with the serious local issue of underage drinking laws and how the police deal with those who partake in it in the state of Maryland.

“This is especially resonant with the recent student from Wootton who passed away while running from a party,” Kalantary remarked.

He will focus on the “glorification” of the police coming in during a party and how the laws apply to people who don’t even engage in the underage drinking. He will also advocate for high schoolers to learn the basic education on what to do in the situation if they are at a party and the police comes to the door.

“Although it can be annoying having an extra class I really liked the seminar classes. I enjoyed spending time with my friends in APEX and I really feel like I’m making a difference with my project,” Kalantary said.

The students have all worked hard on making these projects and getting to finally share them has been a difficult, but informing experience.