8th Grade Projects

In the fall of 8th grade, students begin working on a project that ties together their leadership abilities, community awareness, core knowledge, and communication skills. Choosing a topic of personal significance, students conduct research, write an essay, develop a presentation using a source of media, and present their work to the entire Middle School community. In addition, students perform service related to what they have chosen.


Past topics have included: ethical fishing practices, gun control, organic farming, world hunger, and many more.

8th graders work closely with an advisor during this capstone experience. They grow over the course of these months and emerge as civic-minded leaders, confident presenters, and passionate defenders of their own ideas.

8th Grade Projects have been a part of the TDS Middle School experience for years and serve as their capstone experience before they leave for high school. Students are asked to choose a topic to investigate, write an opinion paper on that topic, and present their findings to the entire TDS Middle School community in the form of an oral presentation. TDS alumni will tell you that this guided introduction into the world of scholarly research and writing helped them to feel more comfortable in high school when called upon to do such assignments.

The 8th Grade Project is not merely a requirement to graduate from TDS; it provides students the opportunity to sharpen their research and public speaking skills.  Additionally, this experience challenges students to take a stance on a controversial topic, and requires them to defend their position through careful examination. A particular student’s 8th grade project can be a source of stimulating conversation between the student and teachers, student and peers, and student and his/her family.  Engaging in discussions about his or her topic sparks powerful debate, communication, and understanding for all involved. We have been pleasantly surprised by the 8th grader’s extensive knowledge and passion about a chosen topic.  This year, topics include the genetic modification of humans, space exploration, the benefits of eating at home versus in a restaurant, the causes and effects of racial profiling, animal testing, and the limitations of the North Carolina foster care system.  

Click HERE to see an example of an 8th grade project presentation!