The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders

Just around the corner: Sophomores begin semester long project

in ARS News/News by

Prisila Samaniego (10), and Claudia Luong (10) work on their Biomedical Cornerstone project. Photo by Leslie Morales.


Cornerstone projects are a big part of the tenth grade year. The project is a Distinguished Diploma plan requirement, a plan that all Ann Richards high schoolers are on, where students work to apply their pathway classes knowledge to create an end product they will then present to a panel of professionals. The purpose of the Cornerstone project is to use all the skills that has been learned throughout the years of taking the pathways and make something bigger out of that. If students get an 80 or above on this project, they will receive a letterman jacket.


“I think [the Cornerstone project] it’s important because it really gives our school the opportunity to show how we can impact the world in a way,” Ms. Ella Miesner, middle school science teacher said. “It makes it just not be something you’re doing in class, and then putting it on a wall, it makes it be something that is actually going back to benefit someone else.”


In the Media Technology pathway, students have to create a three minute animation with a partner with a storyline of their choice.


“The purpose is to make a three [minute] animation,” Emelyn Macias (10) said. “You will be assigned to create characters, animate, and insert effects into your project, [and] you will use your skills to complete this.”


The Engineering pathway students will build a playground for the organization Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), an association that supports children who experience abuse and neglect. The finished playground will be auctioned off and the money earned from it will be donated to that organization.


Lastly, Biomedical students will help several organizations. With that, they plan to help women with pregnancies due to Texas’ high maternal mortality rate, which is the highest in the world with 35.8 deaths to every 100,000 births.


“The bio-med cornerstone is a project where you work with a partner organization and help them with whatever they need,” Andrea Hernandez (10) said. “Mine is working with a yoga instructor to help get a more diverse group of pregnant women from rural areas to participate.”


This project, though appreciated by teachers such as Miesner, tends to stress out students because of it’s challenging time constraints and requirements.


“I’ve heard [media technology] is a very hard DAP,” Macias said.  “Because if you procrastinate you’ll stress out, and it really does take a lot of time.”


Although the project may be challenging, students will maintain their goal of receiving above an 80 for the lettermen jacket.


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