Patriot Expo, also known as the "senior project," is a requirement for all Owen Valley graduates.  It is a five-phase program for which students are required to submit a proposal, write a research paper on a topic of their interest, create a product with the help of a mentor, create a portfolio of the entire process, and present the object to a board of teachers and community members for judging. More than a class project, it is an experience for high school students to be ready for what's coming next after high school.

Patriot Expo engages students in self-directed learning, which promotes the transition from the school climate to the work world and college. The project allows each student to search beyond the high school walls in a quest that synthesizes prior learning, magnifies the realities and responsibilities of the community, fosters creativity, and leads to a deeper understanding of self, as well as recognition of individual talents and abilities. The goals and objectives of the project are closely aligned with our school objectives and expectations of our students: emphasis on critical thinking, independent and cooperative learning, research skills, improved written and oral communication and presentation skills, and a life-long commitment to learning.

Developed to reinforce the written, oral, problem-solving and public-speaking skills graduates need soon after graduation, Patriot Expo also provides an opportunity for community members’ involvement as a mentor to a student or a member on the panel of evaluators. 

The paper consists of 1,500 words on a topic related to the students’ career academy.  Students are expected to use six sources, formal manuscript form and up-to-date documentation styles.

The product (which may also be an experience) must be related to the topic.  Students are responsible for finding a mentor to monitor the work on the paper and product.  Thirty hours of time on task must be logged, and a photographic record of the product’s progress must be maintained.

The portfolio is completed in a 9-week course, Senior Seminar.  It must include the student’s proposal, a letter to his or her judges, a resume, logs, documentation and self-evaluation of the product,  and a presentation review.

presentation before a panel of evaluators is culminating activity of the senior project.  In this 8-10 minute presentation, seniors express the knowledge gained from researching, writing, and completing the paper and product.  They are judged on the content and delivery of the presentation in addition to the appropriateness of their attire, and the effectiveness of their visuals. 

Essentially, through their Patriot Expo, seniors exhibit knowledge, skills, and ability necessary for their post-high school future:  problem solving, communicating, critical and creative thinking, courtesy, ethics, a quest for quality, goal setting and reaching, networking, life-long learning, time management, community contributions, basic skills, independent work ethic, self- evaluation,  decision making, self-confidence, sense of humor, responsibility, reliability, accountability, and follow-through.    

Download the Patriot Expo handbook here.                             

Coordinator of the Patriot Expo is Renny Mauder.