Leadership Project Ideas
This is a list of project possibilities. Additional or alternative assignments for each topic may be required beyond what is listed here.

Analysis of Public Policy
This activity allows students to conduct research on a public policy issue of personal interest. Group work and an oral presentation help them increase the communication skills that are vital to leadership.

Steps to Complete the Activity
  • Brainstorm as a group to identify controversial examples of public policy. Bring up such policies as censorship, flag burning, privacy on the Internet, Electoral College reform, Napster, health care for the elderly.
  • Choose one policy to research and investigate. Form small groups in which to work.
  • Reconvene by groups to discuss and analyze findings. Students may use graphs, charts, or other methods of data analysis.
  • Present findings in an oral group presentation. Encourage other students to respond to the group’s presentation.
  • Write a persuasive essay or letter to the editor asking for some change in policy as a result of the research and presentations.

Instructional Materials and Resources
Students may use their textbooks, school and local libraries, the Internet, or other
electronic resources. Of particular help may be the New York Times Web site:
http://www.nytimes.com.
Analysis of public policy is addressed in the Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI)
e-Congress. The e-Congress is introduced as a high school activity on page 83. For more
information, visit the YLI Web site (http://www.youthleadership.net).
http://www.pen.k12.va.us/VDOE/Instruction/activities.pdf


An Environmental Study
The purpose of this activity is to make students more aware of the environmental issues in their community.

Steps to Complete the Activity
  • Brainstorm to identify environmental issues that affect their class, school, or community. Examples may include studying the pollution in a local stream, the human impact upon the pollution, the causes of pollution, and the depletion of natural resources. Facing the Future has background info and project ideas to get you started on many topics.
  • Choose an issue to study. Research should include problems caused by the individual, the school, or the community.
  • Present their findings to the class, the school, or the local community.
  • Write a paper on their research, collect data to graph, interpret, and analyze. The results could be used to make presentations (which include the problem, research, experiment, and solution) to the peer group, administration, or school board.
  • This project could become larger as a student or a group of students incorporate their watershed and then make presentations to a local or state government.

Instructional Materials and Resources
Students may refer to any of the following:







Let Me Help You Learn That
The purpose of this activity is to make students more sensitive toward the learning styles
of younger students.

Steps to Complete the Activity
Talk about how they can help younger students become stronger academically.
With the help of a guidance counselor or teacher, select younger students who need
tutoring.
Meet for tutoring with the younger child once a week throughout the semester/year.
Focus on math skills, reading improvement, vocabulary building, or any area needed.
Analyze the improvements the younger students have made during the semester and
chart a course for the next semester or next year.
Analyze their own tutoring skills and think of ways to improve their skills next time.

Instructional Materials and Resources
Students may refer to their classroom teachers, the Internet, textbooks, and school and
local libraries.


What Does Our School Need?
The purpose of this activity is to make students aware of service projects that can be done
to improve the appearance of the school and to encourage them to participate in the
projects.

Steps to Complete the Activity
Identify improvements that could be made in the school. Areas might include
cleaning the school grounds, planting flowers outside the school, picking up trash in
the halls, beautifying the lunchroom, or creating a mural in a drab hallway.
Plan how to accomplish their goals. They may need to talk to the principal, the PTA,
the custodian, their teachers, and their fellow students.
Think of ways to include as many students as possible in the service project.



How Can We Help the Hungry?
The purpose of this activity is to make students aware of the plight of the hungry in their
communities and to encourage them to take leadership roles to lessen the number of
hungry people.

Steps to Complete the Activity
Research (through newspapers, the Internet, interviews with local officials, and
contacts with local churches) to find the identity and location of the hungry in their
community.
Plan how to feed them. Organize a canned food drive, take up contributions in their
neighborhoods, or work in the local kitchens that feed the homeless.
Think of ways to include as many students as possible in this service project and
think of ways to make this an on-going, year-round project.

Resources
Local officials and church leaders, the Internet, and any other sources of local
information

Explore a Movement
Study the history of the space race - How USSR and the US competed to get to space....

Magnified Giving