The project was amazing in the way that there was no rubric, no rules, and no limits. ...I was able to take something I was passionate about and was given advice from coaches and peers to better it. I feel that more students should be able to experience something like this.


This summer, each student will launch an independent project of their choosing that connects with their fellowship theme in some way.

In summer 2018, we ran a fellowship based on our Social Studies for Social Problems course and our fellows worked on projects of their choice as part of the fellowship. Each week, students received feedback on their project from both a coach and their peers. Projects ranged from surveys to strategic plans; products ranged from op-eds to videos. In summer 2019, each of our fellowships will continue to include this project component.

Summer 2018 fellow projects


Taught to forget

None of us are perfect, especially when we're learning something new. Jessica Bowen, a rising junior at Winston Churchill High School, surveyed her peers about getting things wrong at school--how they feel about it, whether they get a chance to learn from their mistakes, and how they perceive their school views their mistakes. 

After completing my project, I based most of my studying on learning from my mistakes. I advocated for getting quizzes and tests back before unit tests so I could get the best scope of what I needed to work on/practice. Although this method might seem obvious, many students, such as myself before Kaleidoscope, don’t utilize it to its full potential.
— Jessica Bowen, Junior @ Churchill High School

editorial turnaround

Thomas Mande, a rising senior at Walt Whitman High School, is the editor-in-chief of the Whitman Journal of Psychology, the only journal of its type in the country. While once flourishing, submissions have dwindled. Thomas plans to turn it around.

September 2018 update: Thomas has gotten the rest of his psych journal class on board with the strategic plan and got a call for submissions placed in the American Psychological Association's biannual newsletter, which goes out to thousands of readers. 

June 2019 update: Thomas's journal produced two strong issues this year, both of which can be found on the newly redesigned website. In the coming year, the Journal's staff will look to continue improving the publication's quality and improve connection with subscribers and submitters through a monthly newsletter.


communication is key / La comunicaciOn es clave

At Northwestern High School, where Dayana Chicas Lopez is a rising junior, more than half of students are Hispanic, many of them English language learners. Dayana surveys them about the extent to which they understand the school's announcements and how the school could communicate so they understand. 

If it wasn’t for this fellowship I don’t think I would have had the initiative myself to create a project like this. ...The fellowship gave me the strength and the confidence to create a project that will benefit many.

teen attitudes on human enhancement

Giovanna Eichner, a rising senior at Winston Churchill High School, surveyed her peers about their attitudes toward human enhancement, physical and mental. She compares the results to a Pew survey of adult attitudes on human enhancement. What she finds surprises. 


global refugee crisis

We are in the midst of a global refugee crisis. How much is the U.S. doing? How much capacity do we have to do more? Emma Guarnero, a rising senior at Walter Johnson High School, explores.


motivation in high performing high schools

Hannah Kim, a rising senior at Winston Churchill High School, surveys her peers about the experience of attending a school where everyone is trying to get A's. They report that it's competitive and stressful. But they also give a clear roadmap for improving education.

I learned that topics you’re really interested in motivate you to keep wanting to know more and more, even if it exceeds the parameters of your project.
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loyalty or context?

How do we rate US presidents' views on immigration? Does it matter if we know who's speaking or their party affiliation? Lyla Bhalla-Ladd, a rising junior at National Cathedral School, surveys her peers. She starts with the hypothesis that loyalty will shape preferences but ends with a question: does speaker information actually provide useful context?

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Gun control

Every day 318 Americans are shot and 96 are killed. Karenna Nambiar, a rising senior at Winston Churchill High School, gets out and interviews both sides of the gun control debate in this documentary short.


collaboration is the new isolationism

When it comes to US-China relations, collaboration is the New Isolationism, argues Leila Wass, a rising senior at National Cathedral School, in this series of op-eds.

I learned that my ambitions to conduct a research project could be produced into a real and tangible final product that reflected my own interests and conjectures. I furthered my passion for the social studies and the problems existing in our society, and I saw that I could really create change.