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Academic Symposium

by Christopher Cardenas


In the world, people look up to people that have the same dreams as them. Subsequently, this is one of many reasons that the class of Mr. Minotta are completing the biggest project of their high school careers so far.

Mr. Minotta’s eight classes are conducting an academic symposium on a Latina or Latino stars. An academic symposium is a public meeting in which several speakers deliver a presentation in front of an audience. Each of his classes are spilt into groups of seven and are given a Latino star to write about. Each group member is given a task as either secretary, designer, writer, master of ceremonies, public relations, investigator, designer of the web page, or photographer. Two are chosen as co-leaders. It is the job of the students in the group to monitor themselves and each other. This creates a better group dynamic and ensures that each student is working hard, as they are all working towards an excellent grade.

First the students discuss what themes they want to write about. Although it might be difficult, the group members must pitch in and help create the main and sub-theme for the project. These themes are vital, and without them, the group cannot continue the project.

After this, each group member’s task is to complete the role they were assigned. The secretary is to organize everything the group completes into a comprehensible and organized binder. The designer creates the PowerPoint in his or her image and helps to contribute creative ideas for the group. The writer is to write the script for the academic symposium, as well as writing for the master of ceremonies. The master of ceremonies is to read the script during the academic symposium and ensure that the symposium flows in a good, rhythmic way. The investigator’s main job is to investigate how the themes that the group creates relate to the Latino (a) star. They must also help the writer create the script for the symposium. Public relations must be the person in the group to speak with the designated people; Dr. Ricca, Dra. Hand, Mr. Sheppard, and Mrs. Panaro. They are to alert the public of the symposium and keep them to date with all the details about the symposium. The web page designer does exactly what the name states: they are to create a webpage that includes all the information of the academic symposium. Lastly, the photographer is to take pictures of their group working, as well as helping numerous other tasks, and creating a creative cardboard that shows and connects to the academic symposium. No one student is alone in charge of his or her task. Additionally, each student is given a part time job, where when they are finished with their job, they are to help in this part time job.

After understanding the importance of the task, the students are to jump right into their work. Co-leaders meet with their Latino star and understand their life story, as most of their story is not readily available on the internet. Articles are researched, brochures are created, and paragraphs are written. Each group member must write a daily diary on what they have completed each day, and weekly objectives are created by Mr. Minotta to keep groups on track.

This academic symposium is to create a conference between an audience, to help display our themes and to support our themes by connecting them to our Latino star by using his life, articles, and other sources.

lthough it may seem like a lot of work, groups from the past are an example on how well this project can go for students. They can learn how to work together and help one another to achieve their goal, as well as learning much about their abilities and their communication skills. Although the symposium is near the end of the month, the long marathon has begun for these students.

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