Students explore interests with ALPHA projects


In the midst of music concerts, sports events, and studying for finals, ALPHA students have yet another thing on their plates: the semester ALPHA project.  ALPHA is the talented and gifted program here at Cedar Falls High School, and it encourages students to work independently and explore their personal interests. “I like that ALPHA is a welcoming place to bounce ideas off other people,” senior Martha Hall said. “It’s nice to be in an environment like that during a stressful school day.” A core part of the ALPHA program is the project every student must complete.


Senior Martha Hall

Senior Martha Hall


“I am focusing on marketing and social media work for my mom’s business, Kate Brennan Hall Illustration. I helped with the creation of her website, The marketing of a business is a lot of behind the scenes work. Right now, we’re focusing on expanding the business’ reach in more stores, which means compiling an expansive list of possible vendors to contact. We’ve become a team working together, and it’s really fun to work creatively with her. ” – Martha Hall

Favorite thing about ALPHA projects: I love that the ALPHA projects give you a sense of independence. It’s self-directed work, and I think that’s really important to learn before we’re released into the real world. It forces you to focus on time-management and personal goals. I look forward to working on my project every day. I wish everyone could have the opportunity to do an independent project — I’ve learned so much from it.

Hardest part about ALPHA projects: Sometimes it can be tough to stay motivated. But at the same time, it’s almost a strength. I learned how to manage my time. I set a schedule for myself to work off. Before I get to ALPHA each day, I think about what needs to be accomplished and hold myself to it.



Senior Kelli Dekutoski

Senior Kelli Dekutoski


“My project is world building for a fantasy world. Obviously, worldbuilding is the process of creating the culture and history of a fantasy world. It’s necessary for a fantasy story. You have to have aspects of history, which may develop over time, having a creation story, which forms the core of what your characters believe happened. The biggest part is the races of the characters and their cultures. Must be distinct and authentic.  Language is harder to create, and it involves knowledge of linguistics and syntax. I’m skipping that it would take too much time to create a language, but if you can come up with your own language, go for it. ” – Kelli Dekutoski

Favorite thing about ALPHA projects: The complete freedom that you have. You can literally do whatever you want, wherever your interests take you.

Hardest part of ALPHA projects: There is a danger of procrastination.





Senior Erik Muetherthies

Senior Erik Muetherthies


“I am making the senior video that is shown at the senior breakfast every year. The video is done by Senior Leadership, but I decided to take it on by myself. It will be somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes, and I have to come up with a theme, do interviews, find B-roll footage and edit it together in a way that accurately reflects the characters of the students here. The main premise was to get experience in documentary production and editing, and I learned a lot more about that field as a whole.” – Erik Muetherthies

Favorite thing about ALPHA projects: I’d have to say the independence it gives me. Around the school there are not a lot of opportunities for that. It lets me manage time, which is a worthwhile skill.

Hardest part of ALPHA projects: I’d have to say freedom and independence is a double-edged sword, with an entire semester to do a project, it gives me a false sense of how much time I have to do the project.


Class of 2014

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