What Is A Capstone Project?
From the time we are born, we are learning and as we grow our ideas grow. We go to school to pick up tools like reading, writing, math, science, skills for investigating the world around us. However, we are not everybody. We have our own talents and interests, things we are curious about. Imagination and skills, things that will be important in the future. And while right now we might just consider them hobbies, the world needs them.
Imagine, what if talents you already had or interests would like to pursue, things that you’re curious about could be potential career paths for you, imagine being paid to do what you love. A capstone project is designed to give you that opportunity to deeply pursue something that interests you personally. It can look a lot of different ways.
One option is the research capstone – a topic you’ve always wanted to know more about. It will give you the time to interview experts or pursue documents, uncover the truth and present it to others around you.
Maybe you’re really into art or music and you’ve always wanted to host a festival. Imagine contacting venues and organizing artists in order to undertake and invent at this level.
Or perhaps you have a question you’ve always wanted the answer to. In an experiment project, you could design your own experiment test your hypothesis collect data and share your results.
Maybe there is a cause that’s very near and dear to your heart, where you’d like to volunteer your time or create a project in order to support.
Perhaps you are interested in the workforce and ready to get out in a professional environment to see if a particular career path is right for you.
All of those are capstone projects. What they all have in common is that they are chosen by you. of a learning committee that you put together to help design a project that lets you explore and share your ideas with the rest of
Choosing A Capstone Project
Choosing the topic for your capstone project is exciting. Some of us might struggle to narrow it down to just one thing However, there are so many different interests and ideas that we like to explore.
Two questions are essential as part of this process. The first is:
1. What do you most want to learn?
Maybe you’ve got some background knowledge in particular areas that you’d like to develop further, or there is something you’ve been dying to know more about.
The next question to think about is:
2. How you learn best?
This can help you decide on one of the five different types of formats for your capstone project.
Let’s say you’re the kind of person that likes to know absolutely everything about a certain area. A research topic that you would pursue would start off with some background learning. Maybe you do a literature, or you go onto the internet to look at databases to find out whats already known about a particular topic.
Then, to help answer the questions that this might generate you are going to compile a team of experts. Someone from your school community, someone from outside and your local community. You address to professionals that can help you delve into this topic further and learn about worldwide applications or current technologies going on. You can use this information to look at the significance of your research topic and maybe apply it in the future.
The last step would be presenting the findings so that other people can learn from the research that you’ve done.
Maybe you’re more of an action person and what you’d really like is the excitement of putting together some kind of event for your community. Maybe there’s a topic that you’re interested in getting other people more aware of. So again, you would start with some background research. Then find out whats already known about the topic. And finally talk to local experts who might be able to inform and guide you so that you can get the message out, invite others to participate and create an event that brings awareness to whatever it is that you are most passionate about.
Of course, you’d share this experience at the very end so that others can learn about the planning and all of the different efforts that went into this project.
Maybe you’re somebody that really likes to ask the big questions. There are experiments that you’d like to conduct. So, the experiment format would be similar in that you begin with background research – what do we already know about a particular topic and how can we use that to create the research question and develop our own hypotheses. You call in a team of experts to ask questions and help formulate your methodologies. You can also conduct your experiment, collect the data, interpret the results. Finally, you present these findings to others so that they can benefit from the work that you’ve done.
Maybe you are somebody who is really motivated by a particular cause and you’d really like to create change in a positive way in your community. A service learning project, like building some kind of project in the park, would again begin with the background research. What is it that’s needed? Who would be the stakeholders and devising a team of experts that can help advise you on this project? As you volunteer your service to create positive change, of course, everybody would want to hear about your results at the end.
Internship Capstone Project
The last option, the last format for a capstone project is the internship project. It is great if you’re ready to get out there in the professional community and see what a particular career is really like in the real world. You will have to do some background research just like the other projects to find out more about this profession, what kind of skills are needed to help you connect with an industry or business in order to best serve in this format. Of course, other students would want to know how that went, what kind of challenges you faced while really exploring a career topic to its fullest.
The capstone project has a lot of different goals. Some of the ways that you can think about the different topics that might work for you are the kind of subjects you’ve been interested in or the kind of hobbies and interests that you’ve had over time.
Think about the impact it will have on the world. Not just globally, but locally in your community. Walk around your community and see what kind of projects you could start and finish in the time you’ve got. And, finally, how can these ideas come with you after you graduate, lead to more opportunities and more ideas. Think about where your different subjects, ideas, and topics that you’re interested in converge. Look at what that pathway could look like and while you’re in high school. So that by the time you graduate, you created a project that you’re proud of and you’re able to share with the rest of us so that we can learn from your experience. This is just one way that we can test our readiness to leave high school.