Thornton's Making School Matter - University Liggett School and the Academic Research Program premieres at 7:30 p.m., Monday, January 27, 2020, on Detroit Public Television.
The film is the culmination of a four-year documentary project that followed four students attending University Liggett School in Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan. All high school-aged students at University Liggett School participate in the Academic Research Program, a four-year curriculum that takes a subject they are passionate about and turns it into an in-depth research project that teaches them the skills they will need to prepare for success in college. During their participation in the project, the students mature, their interests change and develop, and by graduation, they have become experts on topics that could end up changing the world. Thornton comments on the students' work ethic and dedication to the project: "You'd be surprised what some of them came up with. It put my high school years to shame."