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Senior Capstone Project: Guide

Symposium Schedule 2024

Community Research 




Topic Brainstorm -

Community Problem Solvers

"Real community problems are likely to be complex."

Can't Think of a Problem to Solve?

Rather than aim for a complete problem list, here are some criteria you may consider when identifying community problems:

  • The problem occurs too frequently (frequency)
  • The problem has lasted for a while (duration)
  • The problem affects many people (scope, or range)
  • The problem is disrupting to personal or community life, and possibly intense (severity)
  • The problem deprives people of legal or moral rights (equity)
  • The issue is perceived as a problem (perception)

[From:  Center for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas. ]


Some examples

Tennessee Education

Tennessee School Vouchers -

Tennessee Charter Schools  -

Tennessee Book bans and legislation -

Tennessee Climate, Environment, and Sustainability

Projects that kids and teens have worked on that made a difference.

Marley Dias [1000 Black Girl Books] -

Amina Anekwe [#EndPeriodPoverty campaign] -



Global Energy Costs/ Crisis

Possible solutions for European energy crisis - Fundraising for solar power kits for the poor in Germany and Ukraine


Global Warming
Food Waste
Student Debt
Electronic Waste
Mass Incarceration
Voting Access
The Electoral College
Media Consolidation
Campaign Finance


Community Research

Emerging Voices: Find Your Voice, Use your Voice!

Examine a specific, preferably local or community-related, issue

Develop a practical, viable solution for addressing the issue in order to create change within the community.

Questions to ask


The Webb School encourages you not to be a spectator.  The Emerging Voices program urges students to find their voices.  So, let’s take a hand in the game and use our voices to affect change.  

Your goal in the senior research project is to identify a specific problem within a community and argue for a potential solution for that problem. 

The problem must be sufficiently significant to warrant the attention of a given community.  However, it should also be addressable -- at least in some small part -- in the scope of this project.

See here and here for recent examples of young people doing exactly this kind of work.  Granted, the scale of these projects is probably a bit larger than we might accomplish this quarter, but they should serve as inspiration.  


Be inventive and seek original solutions to real-world problems.  Your ability to solve problems, big and small, will be immensely valuable at the personal, academic, and professional level.  So, too, will your ability to construct effective proposals such as the one we’ll be writing this quarter.

25 Ideas for doing Community or local Research

“Primary research involves collecting data about a given subject directly from the real world. ” [Driscoll & Brizee]

  1. Interview an Expert or Professional face to face

  2. Interview an Expert or Professional via phone, Skype, OR email

  3. Visit a Museum

  4. Tour a Factory or Business

  5. Volunteer at an organization

  6. Attend a meeting or service [church, brotherhood, fraternity, society, club]

  7. Shadow an expert [in person or online]

  8. Draw insight from an Internship or Externship

  9. Volunteer or attend a Camp or Retreat

  10. Attend a cultural festival [PowWow, Storytelling festival, African Street Festival,  Nashville Greek Festival, etc.]

  11. Participate in an event [charity or community]

  12. Curation - Creating a collection of resources [physical or online]

  13. Following Twitter Feeds or Blogs - journaling your impressions

  14. Starting a Twitter Feed or blog about your topic

  15. Keeping a research journal

  16. Video Journal an experience

  17. Conduct an Experiment

  18. Test Computer Code

  19. Create an App to address a need

  20. Chart a Contrast/Comparison 

  21. Creating an “Infographic” to include in your presentation

  22. Questionnaires to a small group of people

  23. Survey a group [survey must be approved by Teacher and Lead Adviser]

  24. Create a Statistical survey

  25. Opinion Poll within a group or organization




The Tennessean - Full-text articles from The Tennessean newspaper. Provides Nashville and Middle Tennessee regional coverage.


Tennessee Data Sources

US Data Sources

World Data Sources


See the Library Staff for print copies of the Shelbyville Times Gazette and Murfreesboro Daily News Journal


The Webb School Library and Archives Phone: 931-389-5758