Culminating Projects

Since its founding, Marin Academy has been a school that values connections to the local community and the call to use one’s knowledge responsibly in the world.

With these goals in mind, MA doesn't give traditional final exams to end the year. Instead, students participate in weeklong end-of-year culminating experiences. These inter- and transdisciplinary, experiential programs are designed to target the academic goals (both skills and content) and developmental needs of each year, and intentionally build on one another.

These culminations represent the deeply held values of Marin Academy that run through our philosophy, mission statement, and strategic vision.

9th Grader

Members of the ninth grade class will work collaboratively to explore an issue that challenges the city of San Rafael: economic inequity; food scarcity; education; affordable housing; and the biodiversity of both animals and the land. During the mornings, students will be participating in a service learning project that helps them understand the theme to which they have been assigned. In the afternoon, students will engage in the creative process to demonstrate and reflect on what they have learned through a project that pushes them in four areas: awareness, empathy, engagement, and action.

More info on specific assignment to follow in March.


All sophomores will explore the theme of learning and responding to the global community.  At the start of the EOY days, students will participate in a debate around the following proposition: In a post-colonial world, increased globalization promotes the greater good for Haiti. After the debate—and based on some of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals—small groups will design a response to the challenges and benefits of globalization for Haiti. On the final day of EOY, the groups will present their responses via a gallery walk.

More info on specific assignment to follow in March.


Juniors will participate in the Ninth Annual Conference on American Priorities. Drawing on deep research that students have done in the full range of their junior year coursework, juniors form teams to identify key priorities for the United States to undertake, crafting a slate of proposed bills, with budgets, to advance to a UN-style assembly run by Professor Chris O’Sullivan, the 2009-2010 Brizendine Visiting Scholar and an expert on the United Nations.

More info on specific assignment to follow in March.


Senior EOY is an extension of the preparation students have received from previous culminating projects and regular coursework. These three-week, intensive projects are an opportunity for seniors to model independence in their learning process as they demonstrate their mastery of the five MA Competencies. During this time, seniors pursue goals, activities, or interests that normally would not fall within the four-year high school course of study. They do this, with adult mentorship, during the last three weeks of the regular school year in one of three areas: internship (projects work in service of or for the purpose of understanding an existing organization), apprenticeship (projects work in service of or for the purpose of understanding a master in their field), or craftsmanship and scholarship (projects work in service of or for the purpose of understanding a complex problem or question the creator feels called to explore). Throughout the process, careful self-assessment and reflection serve to focus the mind on what it means to inquire, to create, and/or to take action as members of a democratic society.

More info on specific assignment to follow in March.