Passion is at the Heart of Our Middle School

This year, after reading the novel October Sky where the main character pursues his dream, the 7th year students embarked on a yearlong pursuit of their own passions. Their goal was to use their passion to improve or inform their community, and to do so, they used foundational project skills like time management, organization, resource management, collaboration, and problem solving. They recently hosted a Passion Project Fair to showcase how they applied their individual interests to create big changes in their community. You can read the student summaries of some of those projects below.

“My passion is figure skating and I wanted to use my passion to help find homes for rescue dogs. I hosted a skating show to raise money for Hope Animal Rescue and found homes for several dogs along with raising over $600 for the shelter.” – Lillie A.

“My passion is drawing so I drew a poster with all the seventh graders and their passions and showed what my classmates were able to achieve by pursuing their passions.” – Reece B.

“My passion is website creation. My goal is to create a website that informs my classmates about what community service options are available.” – Josh D.


“My passion project is learning more about kids with a disability and seeing what kind of care they require and what I can do to help.” – Jessica E.

“My passion is crafts, so I had friends over to my house and taught them what I knew about crafts. I gave some of the girls sewing kits so they could sew at home if they so desired. I informed my community by teaching them the joy of crafts.” – Emily H.


“My passion is Legos and making videos for my Lego review YouTube channel, so I formed a charity to help purchase Legos for kids staying at the Durham Ronald McDonald House. I’ve raised $42 dollars and donated several sets.” – Jackson H.

“My passion is automobiles and engineering, so I did a free car wash in my neighborhood. I did it with John R. and Thomas M., and we washed 5 cars and 1 motorcycle. My goal was to explore different types of cars while serving the community and washing their cars.” – Harrison K.


“My passion is wild animals, so I went to the zoo and the Carolina Tiger Rescue to learn about these animals and then set up donations to help sponsor a Kinkajou. I have raised $60 so far.” – Thomas M.

“Our passion is sports, so we decided to hold a Hunger Games to raise money for the Special Olympics of North Carolina, which benefits young children with intellectual disabilities. We collected over $100.” – Griffin M. and Matthew N.


“My passion project is animation, so I’m trying to inspire other kids and hopefully some adults to animate and spread the fun. Also, I hope to show the community how hard animating big movies is. I created a stop-motion animation to accomplish this.” – Dylan P.

“My passion is aquatic life and marine life, so I cleaned out some of my neighborhood pond to help its population. I also did it to inspire my neighbors and discourage other people from littering in the pond. I plan to continue cleaning out the pond and telling people to not litter.” – John R.

“My passion project is wildlife conservation and animals, so I chose to create a bluebird trail. I researched and built three bluebird houses and put them across the Middle School Campus.” – Ivan P.


“My passion is animals, specifically reptiles, so I went to Carolina Classic Dragons shop in order to help the reptiles there by cleaning and working with them. Then I researched three reptiles under recommendation of the owner of Carolina Classic Dragons and then he brought them in to present to the middle school.” – Melissa S.

“My passion is music, so I prepared pieces for a piano concert at my house. In February I held the event and invited people to come to the concert as I shared my passion with the community. I asked for donations and raised $195 for the Community Music School, a school that holds music lessons for underprivileged kids for 1 dollar a lesson.” – Nicole S.

“My passion is technology, so for my project I created a video game called B00tcamp. I learned how to program in JavaScript and C++ and also learned how to make games with Unity. This game will be put on the app store in the near future and 75% of all earnings will be donated to Extra-Life and MSR.” – Mehtab S.


“For my passion I chose music. I started guitar only a few months ago when I began this project so I was excited to learn more. My goal was to share happiness through music so I learned around 15 songs and held an informal concert for 7 of my good friends.” – Claire S.

“My passion is writing, so I set up a website to share my stories. I based my project on the idea of, “What if the first story had never been told?” I used my writings to influence people to help the community since I believe that writing is the most powerful form of communication.” – Paige S.