Ross School - Senior Project 2006-07
Mentor: Thomas Liao
Consultant: Deborah Capone
Title: Cameron Discovers Diabetes
My Senior Project was an interdisciplinary one consisting of both Juvenile Diabetes research and the production of a childrenÕs book for 3rd and 4th graders on the disease. I researched diabetes extensively by using a variety of sources including several books, websites, and interviews with victims of the disease. With my research I produced a childrenÕs book appropriate for 3rd and 4th graders over-viewing the disease. Along with writing the book, I illustrated it and also translated it into Spanish.
My senior project is an interdisciplinary one consisting of both researching Juvenile Diabetes and producing a 3rd and 4th grade easy reader. I came up with this project while I was working as a camp counselor over the summer. I met a young girl who had recently been diagnosed with diabetes and after spending 2 months with her realized how little she knew about a disease she would have for the rest of her life. She sparked my idea to create a childrenÕs book about Type 1 diabetes not only for children who had been diagnosed, but for all children. Because of this from the very beginning I decided to create two characters, one character with Type 1 diabetes and the other without. However before I could start writing I had to do a significant amount of research.
Coming into the project I had little knowledge of what Type 1 diabetes was or what caused it, so I knew I had my work cut out for me. Luckily I was able to find several good sources, my favoriteÕs websites being sugurbugs.org, jdrf.org, and kidsandiabetes.com. My most useful source however was a one on one interview I had with Pietro Martini, a freshmen at Ross, who has had Type 1 diabetes since the third grade. He gave me an inside look at what living with diabetes is like and was basis of one of my main characters Diego, who has Diabetes in my story. After I had finished researching it was time to write. I went through several drafts and edits and the hardest thing was remembering I was writing for a 9 year old, but with the help of several teachers and mentors I got through it. The final step of my project was illustrating. I was originally going to make a picture book, but after writing the story I realized that the setting doesnÕt change much so instead decided to change my project from a picture book to an easy reader. I by no means consider myself an artist so I found this part of my project to be a daunting task. I tried using the computer and animation, but that failed. Fortunately one of my co-workers from the camp I worked at over the summer was an artist and she offered to help me out. We had several conversations about what I wanted the characters to look like along with the backgrounds and she helped me bring Cameron and Diego to life.
My senior project was an overall great experience, but I did have several challenges to overcome from printers failing, writing for a nine year old, translating the book into Spanish, and illustrating book. Pretty much, every step of my project was a challenge, but I feel that all the long and tedious work paid off in the end. I hope to publish the book as a public service and in the upcoming weeks will present it to local schools. I plan to attend college next year and to continue to pursue medicine, it has always been of great interest to me and this project allowed me to look at a major medical issue today, especially in the United States.
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Biermann, June and Barbara Toohey, The Diabetics Book. Los Angeles: J.P. Putnam, 1990.
Carter, Allen. IÕm Tougher Than Diabetes! Illinois: Albert Whitman & Company, 2001.
Loy, Bo Nasmyth and Spike Nasmyth Loy. Getting a Grip on Diabetes. United States of American Diabetes Association, 2000.
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Touchette, Nancy. American Diabetes association complete guide to diabetes. United State Of America: American Diabetes Association, 2005.
Community Member (Details)
My community member was Deborah Capone an acclaimed childrenÕs book author who lives locally.