2017 Senior Challenge Academy: Week 4

We're getting closer to the event, and the seniors are even more diligent in preparing their presentations. There are only three Senior Challenge Academies remaining, and the pressure is mounting. After the students arrived last Wednesday, grabbed snacks and settled into their chairs, One World Education student (and former staff member), Ben Acquah, led the students in practicing their presentations in rapid-fire format while facing one another. It was an important moment to remind students that in just three weeks, they would be doing this on stage at the historic Howard Theatre.

Once students had shared constructive feedback about each other’s presentations, they were treated to a demonstration by our teaching artist, Drew Anderson (founder of Spoof School), who used the claim that Andre 3000 (part of the group OutKast) should be part of the “GOAT” (Greatest of All Time) conversation in the rap world. After his 90 seconds, Drew broke down what helped him give his presentation so flawlessly: his notecards, likening this presentation tool to a popular video game convention and highlighting that "notecards are the checkpoint of life."

With examples on the screen behind him, Drew instructed the students to think about three primary ways of putting information onto notecards: specific, general/directional, or by simply using keywords. He then stated, “Everyone in here has a different style. What might work for me won't work for you."

Following the detailed breakdown on creating and using notecards, Drew reiterated the 5 Ps:

  • Presentation: How you look is part of your hook! You want to look nice, be professional.

  • Project: You want to make sure the folks in the back can hear you (even if you can’t see them!).

  • Pace: Find that balance between too fast and too slow.

  • Posture: The way you’re carrying yourself speaks before you even open your mouth.

  • Poise: Let confidence feed you, believe in what you're saying, and remember what made you want to do this.

...and his mnemonic device for effective presentations:


  • Creative
  • Rapturous
  • Unified
  • Natural
  • Knowledgeable

Ultimately, the goal is to teach students how to expand their hook and claim into a 90-second presentation that utilizes the 5Ps, all while staying CRUNK.


Finally, students watched videos from last year's College & Career Senior Challenge, sharing feedback about the presentations. One senior noted, "I felt like she was saying the same thing over and over. There wasn't new information.” Drew pointed out that "this is why we cut things down, makes the point stronger, make every statement mean more, force the presentations to be more concise."

We have two Senior Challenge Academy sessions remaining before the main event on Wednesday, April 12th at the Howard Theatre. We hope you can join us that evening to celebrate the hard work of these DC public and public charter school seniors! RSVP today!

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