Wrapping Up 2021 With the Major Effort Projects


Treven McKeone

Ruby Gaetani ’21 presents her project, “The Recipe for a Serial Killer”

Treven McKeone, Staff Writer

With the close of the school year comes the last time this year’s batch of seniors will be attending Falmouth Academy – and with that comes a final challenge, the Major Effort project. This final section of senior science class is an optional alternative to the Science Fair. The project tasks seniors with researching a topic over the course of the year, then creating a paper and 30-minute presentation showing the knowledge they have thus gained on their topic of choice. This year, the senior class had a striking group of major efforts from passionate speakers going in as much depth as they could about the projects they spent their final year working on.

One of these topics was from Noah Glasgow ‘21, who gave a look into what exactly a history of the United States would look like if it was colonized by Chinese immigrants earlier on. He explored how this would have affected the country, and how it would have changed under the new rule. This included various rebellions, changes in the landscape based on how disputes of land might play out, even wars and elections.

According to Noah, the project began as more of a passion project that was allowed to be transformed into a major effort project. 

“I really enjoyed having a lot of time to dive into something, and developing the project as it went, not knowing where it would go. It’s more of the professional style,” he said.

When asked if he would consider looking more into this subject and similar alternate histories, Noah replied, “Yes, or I would expand upon this project.”

James Goldbach created a project on the possibility of the universe being some form of a hologram. 

“I’m very interested in cosmology,” James said, “and since I’ve been taking Calculus, I’ve had a better understanding of points of discontinuity in graphs. Applying those concepts to cosmology, I realized that black points are essentially points of discontinuity in space time.” 

James concluded that the idea that the universe is contained within a simulation to be entirely possible based on this evidence. After the presentation, James reported that he particularly enjoyed this project. 

“I enjoyed my project for many reasons: the first because it really was kind of an external motivator that helped me learn more about something I wanted to learn about, and because I got to share this information with all my classmates.”

When asked whether he would have done the same on his own time, he said, “I don’t think I would’ve done the quantity of research that I did… But I actually had already done some research on this project before I knew about the major effort, just not to the extent that I did.”

There were many more projects, such as an investigation into the accuracy of adaptations of stories about notorious serial killers, a look into the capabilities of sonar and the consequences of it on ocean life, and a study of the culture of clothing and how our fashion is shaped by it. The major efforts this year were quite phenomenal and gave a glimpse into what each senior thinks about on any given day but with the added attention of a few months of constant research and effort. The major effort project every year displays the passions of seniors as they work on what they most enjoy, as shown this year with every presentation.