Bellingham Public Schools

Culminating Project

Imported Content: 
Department Owner: 
June 2014: Starting with the class of 2015, the culminating project is no longer a requirement for graduation

The Culminating Project


The project is designed to help students develop or improve a skill or performance; design or create a product, service, system or event; and investigate a career to better prepare them for further studies or employment after high school.

Students are encouraged to identify projects that match passions or interests, demonstrate stretches in their learning and connect to the community. Students may begin developing proposals in high school courses during their junior year. Students will be supported in all components of the Culminating Project as part of their high school curriculum.


  • To demonstrate and document a significant learning stretch beyond classroom experiences;
  • To engage in work related to a personal interest or passion;
  • To connect/benefit community through the volunteer work of the project;
  • To complete a quality process, product and performance;
  • To experience personal growth and reflection in preparation for the future; and
  • To apply learning for transfer to life beyond graduation.

The Three Required Components:

1. Proposal
A plan that states the goals and rationale for the project with particular emphasis on the benefit of the project to self and community will be submitted and approved.

Purposes of the Proposal:

  • To define and defend the student’s plan for his/her culminating project
  • To obtain necessary permissions and commitments (e.g., parent, school advisor, statement of integrity)
  • Developing or improving a skill or performance
  • Designing or creating a product, service, system or event
  • Investigating a career

2. Field Work

Students are to complete 8 to 20 hours on a project that they have proposed. The project must benefit or connect to a community. The project should reflect the passion of the individual student exploring a new learning or service learning.

3.  Presentation
Projects will be presented to a panel of educators and community members for evaluation.

Purposes of the Presentation:

  • To demonstrate a significant learning stretch beyond classroom experiences and to reflect on learning
  • To demonstrate effective communication skills
  • To synthesize and share the overall culminating project experience

Click here for an outline for the Presentation.

Who will help students with their Projects?
Faculty will support and guide students through the project requirements.