The Senior Project, the pinnacle of the BASIS Curriculum, is a selective program that involves an off-campus research project or internship of the student's choice and design for the last trimester of their senior year.

Seniors select a BASIS Independent Schools faculty member as their advisor and work with a mentor at their research site. These students create detailed project plans, bibliographies of resources, and a personal syllabus for their projects, all of which are approved by a committee of teachers and administrators. 

At the end of the trimester, students return to campus and present an analysis of their findings to peers, staff, and parents. To remain connected to their school community while in the field, students are required to blog throughout their experience. 

To view a sample of this year's Senior Projects, keep reading below. 

Screenshot 2023-05-31 134604Student: Anavi C.

Project Title: The Conundrum of the Morally Ambiguous Female Character

Internship Location: Paramount

Abstract: This research explores the portrayal of morally ambiguous female characters within media, and more specifically cinema. While there is nothing inherently novel about this topic, through further research, thereScreenshot 2023-05-31 135339 remains a gap in the presence of moral ambiguity and female likability. Through analysis of various television shows and movies, this study aims to examine the ways in which these characters are developed and portrayed, and the implications of their complexity for societal understandings of femininity and morality. This study will also consider the cultural and societal context in which these texts were created, and how that may have influenced the portrayal of these characters. This study will also investigate the potential for these characters to challenge traditional gender roles and stereotypes. Ultimately, this research seeks to shed light on the importance of well-developed, multi-faceted female characters in shaping cultural narratives and perceptions of women. By reviewing several female-led shows and movies, ranging from Gone Girl to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to Handmaid’s Tale to Fleabag, this study will aim to create an archetypal character that exhibits these attributes. By analyzing these morally ambiguous female characters, this study will strive to provide insight into the ongoing conversations surrounding representation and representation within media.

To view Anavi's project, click here. 


Screenshot 2023-05-31 134824Student: Brandon F.

Project Title: Blending Abstract Expressionism With Chinese Art

Internship Location: Fong Chung-Ray Studio

Abstract: What is the relationship between Abstract Expressionism and traditional Chinese art? There is a familiarity between the two in their glyphs, fluidity, and ideology. Yet, how does some Abstract Expressionism resembleScreenshot 2023-05-31 135015 Chinese aesthetics so closely while remaining distinct from traditional work? In this Senior Project, I create a painting after analyzing artworks from acclaimed artists in both fields and putting art into practice, where unveiled similarities can bridge Western and Eastern art, and encourage a holistic view. The final work I paint blends these cultures together while using key techniques from both styles, such as Xie-Yi, Shui-Mo, calligraphy, “paint splatter, drip, splash”, and collage. I am working at Chinese Abstract artist Fong Chung-Ray’s art studio, where he will guide me in addition to my advisors Mrs. Karen Ourthiague and Ms. Carolyn Phillips. By the end of this Senior Project, I am now able to compare manners of style in Abstract Expressionism and traditional Chinese art and see how they can come together.

To view Brandon's project, click here. 


Screenshot 2023-05-31 135628Student: Savitha S. 

Project Title: Legacies of Inter-Ethnic Tensions and Colonization on the Mental Health of South Asian Youth

Internship Location: San Jose State University


Abstract: South Asians have generally avoided discussions about mental health, resulting in serious detriments as time goes on when unresolved stressors accumulate. However, among other factors, historic South Asian conflicts like British colonization also affect youth mental health. The Bay Area, the region of focus of this project, is especially unique because of the large South Asian demographic. As such, the purpose of my project is to understand how South Asian history and the retellings of past events, from the internet or family, impact the mental health of South Asian American youth from the Bay Area. To do this, under the guidance of Dr. Trung Ngyugen, who is the assistant professor of Ethnic Studies at SJSU, I am conducting and analyzing interviews of South Asian youth to better understand how influential ethnic history is on current youth mental health. Additionally, I am incorporating the sociological technique of “haunting,” which is the process in which both the manifestations of history in everyday life and the missing pieces of the past are equally studied to gain a larger perspective of the human experience. Ultimately, the project will help policymakers and medical professionals make more informed decisions to better battle social stigmas and stereotypes often placed on South Asians. With this, public resources can be made more culturally sensitive to South Asian history and South Asian American experiences, through more staff trainings, better-informed institutional policies, and more.

To view Savitha's project, click here. 


To view our entire collection of 2023 Senior Projects, click here. 


BASIS Independent Silicon Valley is a TK - Grade 12 private school, providing students with an internationally benchmarked liberal arts and sciences curriculum, with advanced STEM offerings. Considering joining the Bobcat community? To join our interest list for the next school year and receive admissions updates and more, please click here.