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    Exhibition Night Concludes This Year's ISIPs

     

    An evening of presentations and exhibitions celebrated the conclusion of the Independent Study and Internship Program projects undertaken by juniors and seniors at George Stevens Academy on March 20.

         This year, more than 130 juniors and seniors spent two weeks after February break on academic and experiential projects they designed themselves. Most undertook these projects close to home; others traveled to other states or countries.

         The range of this year’s ISIP subjects, which included filmmaking, learning music, building an instrument, producing music, 2D art and design, fashion, performing arts, 3D arts/crafts, architecture, language and culture, history, writing, literature, politics, law, law enforcement, engines, engineering, fabrication, teaching, education, business, economics, industry, medicine, behavioral health, wellness, fitness, computers and electronics, science and research, culinary arts, outdoors careers, animals and animal care, was as broad as ever and reflected students’ diverse interests.

         Every project had a mentor, and with two-thirds of those projects and internships set in the local area, scores of area experts helped GSA students with their projects. Of those local experts, nearly one in five was a GSA alum.

         Though many students use ISIP to explore a topic of personal interest, many go on to careers in the fields they study during ISIP. A good example of that is Nikki Jaffray ’04, who did her second ISIP at Blue Hill Memorial Hospital.

         “ISIP was eye opening,” Jaffray said. “I walked in and had never done or seen anything that the nurses, doctors, x-ray techs, or any of them were doing, and I was kind of blown away. People actually do this?” she remembered thinking at the time.

         “I mean, you go to the hospital, but you never really think about working there because” you’re sick and scared and worried about getting better, she said. “So to go there and see what the nurses are doing is a job, and what the doctors are doing is a job … was really neat.” It was a pivotal moment for Jaffray, who knew then that she had found her career. Now she’s the school nurse at George Stevens Academy, a strong example of how the program gives back to the community.

         The year in which the first ISIP was offered at GSA is unknown, but in a recent social media post, Bernice (Bartlett) DeBlois said that she did her ISIP her senior year, 1969, making the program more than 50 years old.

         Hundreds of family, friends, project mentors, and community members attended the exhibition.

         For more information on ISIP, visit www.georgestevensacademy.org/ISIP.

         If you know more about the origins of ISIP, please email the details to Mark Messer at m.messer@georgestevens.org.