SUSO Student Projects
Speak Up! Speak Out! Projects focus on a problem impacting the local community. By allowing students to select problems that have a direct impact on their lives, we hope to show students the importance of being engaged at the local level
Each team's final project should include a Solution Station and two short speeches which they will present at the end-of-semester Civics Fair. Solution Stations display the problems and solutions of each team to a panel of judges, parents, and the community. Speeches provide information about the team's problem and proposed solution.
To see more examples of what the Civics Fair looks like, what other teams have done in the past and what teams are working on now, we encourage students and teachers to follow us on facebook: www.facebook.com/SpeakUpSpeakOutTX
The Project Action Guide can help teams plan their project and offers tips for different stages of the process.
When choosing your problem, you and your teammates should:
- Research your problem extensively and be prepared to tell judges how your obtained your information, what your sources were, and how in depth your research went.
- Define your problem clearly. Homelessness is a problem, but it can be framed as a problem due to lack of jobs, lack of low income housing, lack of mental health care, or even a lack of drug treatment facilities. Be prepared to clearly frame your problem so your solution can be more specific.
- Be prepared to state why this problem outweighs other concerns in the community. Why should we pay special attention to this problem?
- Know all sides of your issue. Do not just research those who agree, but also research those who disagree so your arguments can be well grounded.
When preparing a Solution Station students should keep the following in mind:
- Neatness counts. We strongly suggest that students refrain from handwritten presentations and utilize computers, stencils or other means of displaying their written work.
- Creativity is important. Judges will be looking for original ways of tackling problems and displaying ideas. Be prepared to use a number of different tactics to get noticed.
- Present Evidence. Have documentation including photographs, newspaper clips, or interviews to back up your work.
- Handouts Help! Boiling things down for judges on easy to read handouts can make it easier for judges to get your key points.
When preparing for the Speeches, students should keep the following in mind:
- Each team will present a four minute informative speech about their focal problem, as well as a four minute persuasive speech presenting their proposed solution.
- Time counts! In order to include everyone's speech, we must adhere to strict time guidelines.
- Practice your speech. Presentation is an important part of the Speak Out! Session.
- Know your sources. Be prepared to back up assertions with evidence from your research.
- Be prepared to answer judges' questions. Practice having students who haven't heard your presentation before ask que stions of the speakers.