May Projects prompt creative exploration


Henry Benton

Seniors Peter Cox and Jay Molony work together to build a go-kart for their group’s May Project.

Zara Siddique, Sports and Leisure Editor

From Jeep restoration to perfumery to traveling the world, seniors have chosen a multitude of activities to explore as their May Project. Over the past decades, the projects have become a creative outlet for a senior’s personal interests. The requirements are straightforward: students must find a faculty adviser and get their proposal approved by the May Project committee. After completing the project, each student must make at least one classroom presentation. Participation in the exhibit on June 1 from 12:30-3 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. is also required. But in between, their creative freedom spans as far as some of their travels.

Nico Ahmed

Nico Ahmed

My May project is designing and building a small electric go-kart or vehicle. I am doing it with five others in two groups of three that are separated into one group that designs and the other that builds, although we are basically working on the whole project together. We are making the entire frame, steering and drive axle from scratch but are also buying stuff such as the electric motor, seat, etc. 

All of my group were all on the robotics team and had some interest in either STEM or the organization aspect of the team, and we are also all super close friends, so this project seemed like a cool way to create something that we could learn some skills from but also have fun with. 

The idea to build some type of vehicle was actually a joke at first when one of us said we should make a vehicle from the game “Bad Piggies” (Angry Birds franchise). As we talked about it more and more, the idea actually seemed viable, so we decided to do it. We wanted to have a decent drivable end product but also have been having fun with the creative side by recording the entire process with an old camera and making it look scuffed and rundown with weird parts.

Maya Atassi

Maya Atassi

My May Project is making a recipe book of authentic Syrian dishes with some help from my grandmother and mother. 

What inspired me was Meena Lee’s May Project last year, where she did a similar thing but combined her two cultures. I thought that I could do something similar in order to honor my Syrian culture. 

My end goal is to have something that I can use to make sure my children are able to experience the Syrian culture in the way that I did, through food. Hopefully, I will cook them the dishes I grew up eating to continue the tradition.

Amelia Cifu

Amelia Cifu

I’m learning American Sign Language, and I’m translating a poem. I’m using a couple different sources, grammar and a dictionary for specific things that I’m translating. 

My goal is to start learning sign language so I continue later this summer and later into next year and something I’ve been interested in

When I was fairly young I saw someone presenting their May Project who did something younger and that I guess was the inspiration for this may project and

It’s been going well I feel like i’m on track and sticking for the schedules there have been a couple of more difficult things

Blake Dunkley

Blake Dunkley

For my May project I have these little essential oils, and I plan to mix them together and make perfume out of them. I had to go and find the different oils. I also did some research on which oils go together and which ones clash. My goal is to create a fragrance I can enjoy and will be proud of. 

The inspiration is really just from that I like buying a lot of colognes, so I figured it would be interesting to try making one myself. My end goal is to create one that I would like to wear, especially because I’m usually kind of picky about which ones I do like to wear. I was curious about what kind of effort went into creating my favorite fragrances.

Jenna Kilkus

Jenna Kilkus

My May project is restoring a 1987 Jeep Willy. It started off in really bad condition, and my goal is to get it turned over and running by the end of May. This consists of doing electric work and working to figure out what’s wrong with the motor.

I have always had a passion for old cars. Ever since I was little I have admired any and all muscle cars that have passed by. I also got this passion from my grandfather.

May Project gave me the perfect opportunity to explore this passion of mine. It also gave me a great opportunity to work closely with family on the beginning of a journey to restore a car to its original condition.

Leo Pratt-Thomas

Leo Pratt-Thomas

My inspiration for May project came to me last year during the sailing team’s race to Mackinac Island. I remember thinking when I was sailing that I should do it as my May Project. I had to get my boat long-distance ready, but I was able to do that successfully.

My motivation was really since freshman year. I’ve always wanted to do more long distance sailing, but the sailing team only does two a year. This project is so that I can have more experience with that.


Fredrick Pytel

Frederick Pytel

For my project I am researching nutrition. The way we eat has a big impact on how we feel and it is also important for our health to eat well. During my project I am reading from a couple of books about nutrition, as well as cooking meals around five times a week. For example I made a quiche, some pasta dishes and some brötchen, which are German breakfast rolls.

I am very interested in the way our bodies work and how to be healthy. Before going off to college I wanted to learn more about what to eat because in college I will have the ability to choose from a wide variety of options at every meal.

By the end of my project I want to have learned the basics of nutrition. Something I am planning on learning more about in the last week of the project is macronutrient. I want to understand how these nutrients make up our foods. I also want to have a list of good recipes that I have made throughout my project, which are healthy and taste good that I can make.

By The Numbers:

  • 161 seniors are on May Project
  • 29 seniors are traveling internationally
  • 41 seniors are traveling domestically
  • 19 seniors are exploring projects involving food
  • 27 seniors are working outdoors