Sonora High School seniors strolled the Mother Lode Fairgrounds last night, most looking faintly pleased with themselves.

After a long and arduous process, their senior projects were finally turned in and displayed around the John Muir building and outside for the community to see.

Students are graded on the various steps of the project, from a research paper related to their topics to completion. They will present their projects before judging panels next week, then receive their final grades.

The showcase, although not graded, was a chance for the community to see the work the students have done over the past year.

Last night, people perused projects to the beat of Robert Greenfield's elementary and high school drum ensemble. Ten-year-old Cody Denton, who attends Jamestown Elementary School, said he'd been practicing with the group since May. Leaning back to balance the set of tom toms suspended from his shoulders, he said he hopes to play in the Golden Regiment when he gets to high school.

Many seniors chose to work with elementary students to complete their graduation requirements. Some project displays were covered in pictures of kids at wrestling camps, baseball clinics or in Spanish classes, all taught by Sonora High seniors.

Haley Stolp chose to work with children, although she never got to meet her charges she wrote to Mayan children whose villages were destroyed by Hurricane Isidora in 2002, and asked them to draw pictures of their homes and families. Stolp touched up the drawings, scanned them into her computer and made notecards that she sold to raise money for the children and their families.

"I'm going to continue to sell them and hopefully market them," Stolp said. She's made $500, but said she hopes her senior project will continue to bring in money.

High school students, parents and curious showcase-goers wove their ways through cars lined up on a grassy area with hoods and trunks popped. Each car displayed a different repair job or souped-up engine. Seniors in ball caps and sunglasses sat near their cars and listened to Van Morrison songs pumping out of a newly-installed speaker system.