Gahanna Lincoln High School students presented senior projects to teachers, community and business leaders Jan. 20. Topics ranged from architecture to creating a web-design portfolio.

Gahanna Lincoln High School students presented senior projects to teachers, community and business leaders Jan. 20. Topics ranged from architecture to creating a web-design portfolio.

Senior Sarah Lee researched graphic and web design and what it takes to be proficient in both.

"I had to gain knowledge of coding languages that are used to create websites and also had to learn how to utilize design programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to aesthetically enhance my product, which is an online web design portfolio," she told ThisWeek. "I hope to use my design portfolio in the future to become a freelance web designer."

Lee named her portfolio Dustral Design, which can be found at http://dustral.com.

During her presentation, she said she first became interested in web design through neopets.com.

"There were user-communities called guilds for people who had similar interests," Lee said. "It was beautifully designed."

She researched the web to find samples of good design like the Apple web site to others that showed bad design.

Principal Dwight Carter, one of Lee's judges, asked what skills she learned through the process. He also asked her to rate herself.

"I feel like I learned patience," she said. "And I learned to be a better problem-solver. The coding was difficult."

Lee said she would give herself a high B for her project.

"I had trouble using some of the coding language," she said. "CSS (the design and look) was the hardest for me. I did get everything turned in on time."

District technology director Joe Schiska, another of Lee's judges, questioned the educational value of the senior project versus a traditional educational experience.

"It's like being thrown into the deep end of the pool," Lee said. "As I read through design blogs, there's so much more to the design process. It made me focus on what I needed to learn. It's not like sitting in a classroom listening to a teacher say what I needed to learn."

Erik Kang, another judge, said Lee did a good job of explaining her final product.

"I thought it was an interesting topic, and she did well," he said.

"It was amazing," Schiska said. "It's so broad - visual and technical coding. They drive realistic learning experiences a lot here."

Senior Katherine Garber studied architecture for her project.

"I researched the history, then designed a house floor plan of my own," she said.

For her presentation, Garber showed house samples on a bulletin board as well as a "prezi," which she described as a PowerPoint but on a website.

For senior projects, students investigate an area of personal interest, research their topics, develop a product from their research and create a presentation to showcase their learning stretch.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

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