In the first of a series of spotlights on IA’s Junior Research and Pinnacle Project, we interviewed senior Cayden Walsh, who completed his pinnacle project last year. 

Cayden’s project centered around music’s role in social-emotional and cognitive development in students in K-12 education. He started with the broad topic of music in general as he himself has played the violin since third grade and focused in after completing a 50 source survey and lit review. Additionally, as his mother was a college professor, it brought him to the world of student education and the ways that he could improve it. This background gave him the idea of integrating the two topics and exploring the intersection. Since he was in AP Research, for which College Board requirements dictate minimal teacher feedback, he did find himself facing that lack of support, which proved to be a bit frustrating. He overcame this and successfully completed his presentation and oral defense, 4000-word academic paper and IA Showcase presentation. Well done, Cayden! 

Krishna Chaugule and Nyneishia Janarnathan 

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