The AP Research Topics of the Senior Class 2021

Juniors, get ready.

To recognize and commemorate everyone’s hard work despite the overwhelming chaos of this year, I asked all of our seniors about their AP Research projects. They’re all extremely interesting, and most likely time consuming, so enjoy!


Casey Mathews – Constructing a Timeline of Feminist Representation in American Cinema

The goal of my project is to study how roles of women in and outside of cinema have interacted throughout American cinematic history.

Lydia Cox – An Evaluation of the Effects of Implementing a Pollinator Garden in an Urban Community Garden in Charleston, South Carolina and a Sample Landscape Design

This paper seeks to assess the efficacy of integrating a pollinator garden into an urban community garden in Charleston, SC and to analyze likely effects on both pollinator species and nearby gardening output.

Liana Horner – Social Media’s Influence on Everyday English: Frequency of Word Usage Over Time as a Function of Word Origination

My goal for this research project is to see how much of an effect social media has on the English language, and find out the extent to which modern words are becoming a part of accepted language, as opposed to being categorized dismissively as “text speak” that only teenagers use.

Brendan Elliot – An Analysis of the Correlation between Increased Imports and Political Polarization in the United States

I’m analyzing a possible factor of polarization in American politics. There are other similar studies from the past, but I wanted to see if the trends continued in the most recent election cycle.

Tabitha Johnson – Payment Plans in Veterinary Hospitals

The goal is to find what factors correlate to the magnified use of payment plans for vet bills. Factors such as pet attachment, vet to client communication, income, number and type of pets, etc.

Prudence Criscuolo – “36 Views of Mt Fuji” and Color

I am analyzing the color schemes of Hokusai’s “36 Views of Mt Fuji” woodblock prints, differentiating between the landscapes and the seascapes in the series.

Whitney Knotts – How Confederate memorials are taught in schools.

How can the history of Confederate memorials be taught about in 8th grade SC history classes? Every SC eight grader has to take a South Carolina history class. I wanted to study how the history of the Confederacy was taught in these classes and how that affects their current opinions.

Marshall Hodges – New Approach in Sports Helmet Technology that Can Change the Industry 


Kristen Cooper – Improving Students’ Storm Surge Understanding in Charleston, SC

My project is focused on educating high schoolers about the factors impacting storm surge. Over half of hurricane-related deaths are caused by storm surge. Despite this, most people do not understand how dangerous storm surge is.

Rachel Ackerman – Examining Intrinsic versus Extrinstic Motivational Factors in High Preforming Students

Christina Dolan – Reforming the Traditional Grading System.

Kaila Brown – The Effects of Location When Thrifting in Charleston

My paper is basically about how the popularization of thrifting affects local communities (especially low income) and I changed it a little because of feasibility so my actual research focuses on how the location of a thrift store affects how people shop and if it has any significant impacts on people. I don’t know if that makes sense but you’re in my research class; you’ve heard me talk about it.

Alexander Hernandez – Investigating the Opioid-Naloxone Prescribing Cascade and the Gap in Care

The antidote to an opioid overdose is a drug called naloxone. However, there are many people in South Carolina who take high dose opioids and do not possess naloxone, putting them at a very high risk of a fatal overdose. The intent of the project was to identify Medicaid members in South Carolina who are at high risk of an opioid overdose and distribute naloxone to those individuals in hopes that if they were to overdose, the naloxone would save their lives.

Molly Tippey – How Ancient Mayan Cultural Values Impact Individualism and Collectivism in Guatemala Today

I am using ancient Mayan fables to determine if ancient Maya was individualistic or collectivist. Then I can relate it to modern Guatemala and its high Mayan population!

Josie Massenet – How to Reform Public Education to Combat Cyclical Poverty

Lots of kids are let down by the public education system, due only to the area that they live in. I hope to find what factors most cause this and how they could be amended.

Mary Routh – The Effect of the Federal Child Welfare Budget Distribution on Foster Care Populations

With over 400,000 children under the age of 21 living in foster care everyday in the United States, many are deprived of overlooked educational, nutritional, and developmental resources. As an alternative place of investment to foster care, implementing preventative measures and early intervention plans for parental substance abuse, child neglect and malnourishment, education opportunities, and mental health services on a national level would reduce the need to remove and place children in foster homes. My research aims to discover whether or not increasing the proportion of Title IV-B spending to that of Title IV-E will lower the foster care population.

Anyjah Sally – The financial literacy levels of single, African American mothers in North Charleston, South Carolina

The goal of this research project is to draw attention towards this particular community and recognize the discrepancies with their financial literacy compared to others. With this, the researcher hopes that there can be more financial education opportunities targeted towards this specific community in the future.

Maya Pai – Assessing Mental Health Stigma Among Academically Rigorous High School Students

My research intends to measure the amount of mental health stigma in AMHS, specifically in correspondence to its 3 characteristics: stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. The goal of my project is to use results to recommend effective intervention, if needed. This is significant because mental health stigma is considered one of the main barriers to mental health treatment, and teenagers are especially vulnerable to conditions such as anxiety, depression, and eating disorders.

Serenity Gainey – The Role of Religion in Deciding Sex Education Curriculum in America’s Southern “Bible Belt”

The purpose is to discover what has continued to influence the sex education legislation in the southern United States and thus created a greater hesitancy towards a broader acceptance of comprehensive sex education programs despite the ineffectiveness of abstinence based sex education.

Kyle Johnson – Creatine´s Effect on the Muscle Growth of Males Aged 17

See how creatine effects gains.

Conolly Burgess – Determining the Mathematical Relationship Between Surface Roughness and Ultimate Tensile Strength of Selective Laser Melted Ti-6Al-4V

To Determine the Mathematical Relationship Between Surface Roughness and Ultimate Tensile Strength of Selective Laser Melted Ti-6Al-4V.

Porter Zach – Calculating a Feasible Timeline for the Operational Use of Earth Orbiting Tethers

It explores the current state of research and development on Earth orbiting tethers (high-strength tethers connecting satellites to other satellites or payloads) and seeks to find a date by which this technology could be put into operational use.


The goal was to determine if a note taking method, computer vs handwriting, has a significant effect on the test performance of high achieving high school students. Longhand has tended to be superior in the past, but with evidence that high achieving students take greater control over their electronic notes, I wanted to see if this particular effect was diminished.

Isabella Darcey – Impacts of COVID-19 on Food Waste in Culinary and Pastry Classes: An Observational Study on the Utilization of Ingredients

It’s to see if the coronavirus has influenced the generation of food waste and the pre-existing kitchen initiatives set in place to mitigate food waste in an academic setting.

Emma Anderson – The Relationship Between Risk for the Female Athlete Triad and Personality Traits in Cross Country Runners

The Female Athlete Triad is a condition that is linked to insufficient caloric intake, overtraining, and injury in women participating in sports. This condition can be extremely detrimental to an athlete’s health if not detected and treated within a certain time frame. Unfortunately, FAT often goes unidentified, usually because athletes ignore or don’t recognize their own symptoms, as they can be synonymous with overtraining, and coaches/loved ones rarely pick up on symptoms because they are so varied. In my research project, I am trying to find out if personality traits might be an easy and accurate predictor for the risk of FAT, making identification of those at risk much easier and, in turn, preventing athletes from developing the detrimental condition.

Lily Feingold – Examining racial bias in education

The goal of my research is to examine the role racial bias plays in the fairness of grading writing samples and to determine if there should be more anonymity in these types of assessments.

Adam Frye – Sleep Deprivation and Memory Manipulation

Seeing if there is a correlation between lack of sleep and how easy recent memories can be manipulated.

Ruth Middleton – Routine Running Reducing Stress Levels of 14-18-Year-Olds: A Correlational Study

The goal of my AP Research project was to see if routine distance running positively effects the perceived stress levels of high school students through a correlational study. I did find that routine running seems to correlate with lower stress levels among students over different types of exercise! But more future research needs to be done to find true correlation.

Lily O – pee pee poo

Eliza Taylor – “The World’s Most Dangerous Group:” How The American Public’s Reaction to the Usage of Violent Language and Profanity In The Song “F**k Tha Police” by N.W.A. Has Impacted The Rap Genre

This research paper aims to fill this gap by analyzing the use of profane lyrics in the song “F**k Tha Police” by N.W.A. as well as the American public’s reaction to the lyrics, and determine how this reaction changed the stylistic direction of the rap genre.

Andrew Forsyth – Mental Health in American High School Student-Athletes

The goal of the study is to advocate for sports psychologists to be present in high school athletic systems to help athletes deal with additional mental health stressors caused by participation in athletics.

Karoline Surdyk – The Mental Health Crisis in Honduras

The intent is to determine the best mental health rehabilitation model that should be implemented in Honduras in order to improve the current state of their nationwide mental healthcare.

Mason Yost – Demographic Trends in Pro-Environmental Behaviors and Beliefs

I want to identify which demographic groups may be most receptive to sustainable lifestyle changes.

Miles Turk – Generalized Anxiety and Family Demographics: A Correlational Study Between Family Demographic Variables and Generalized Anxiety in High School Students

To identify if any family demographic predictors show a significant correlation with the ordinal levels of general anxiety of high school students.

Julia Camp – Earworms

I want to help people be able to have a way to get songs out of their head when it won’t allow them to focus.

Lily Lassiter – The Effectiveness of Music Therapy in Reducing Hospital Patients’ Pain and Anxiety Levels

I created a survey to measure the effects of music therapy (MT) on pain and anxiety, which was administered to MUSC patients over the last several months. The results showed that MT does help, and most patients had very positive comments about their experience!

Allie Streck – Eating Disorders and Female High School Cross Country Runners: A Correlational Study

The goal is to determine whether or not there is a correlation between the competitive mindset of female high school cross country runners (and how they view themselves and their bodies) and eating disorders. I am using a survey and a questionnaire, which were sent to all of the coaches at schools within the tri-county, to gather my data.

Sydney Isaacks – Music and it’s Perceived Effects on Important Factors Regarding Academic Performance in Students: a Trend Analysis Study on Gifted and Talented High Schoolers

To investigate how listening to music affects students our age especially when doing school work.

Valerie Salvatierra – The Effects of Plants in Workspaces: Would Plants Improve Stress Levels and Productivity in High-Achieving High School Students?

The intent is to see if putting plants in high school classrooms would help improve mood and productivity and reduce stress in students

Anna Grace Maher – Exploring Composting Deterrents

To highlight and understand why people do not utilize composting as a main form of waste management when it is a viable and accessible option.

Emily Griffin – Ethical Use of Genetic Genealogy Websites in Forensic Investigations

The problem being addressed in my research paper is the use of genetic genealogy websites by law enforcement to catch dangerous criminals and solve cold cases with forensic evidence, but while violating the privacy rights of the users. The purpose of my research is to find a way for police to continue using this method without infringing on the privacy of U.S. citizens. 

Ruth Liu – Superhero Cartoon Media and Children’s Violence Perception/Cognitions

The goal is basically to see if children’s TV shows with a prominent superhero group have an effect on violence perception and aggressive cognitions in children ages 3-6.

Disha Qanungo – The Correlation Between Violence and Desensitization in Generation Z and Generation X

The goal of the study is to see if school shootings, mass violence, and media violence have desensitized Gen Z more than Gen X since Gen Z has grown up with all of this brutality.

 John Thomas – Response to Fear Appeals Based on Big Five Personality Types

To understand what type of people respond positively or negatively to a climate change fear appeal.

Frances O’Shea – An Analysis of Quentin Tarantino’s Portrayal of Women

I’m studying five of the director’s most well-known movies featuring female characters to determine the extent that his work influences misogyny in the entertainment industry.

Catherine Santos – The Effects of Brand Bias on Cereal Preferences

I just wanted an experiment that was somehow focused on food.

Emma McLain – An Evaluation of the Impacts of Color on Memory and Retention

My study was designed to analyze if the presence of colors in combination with studying materials (for my example I used colored notes) helps improve performance on tests and other assessments. 


If your project is not featured in this article, it’s because you did not reply to my email. <3