What can I do for my capstone project? The answer is almost anything

What can I do for my capstone project? The answer is almost anything

Jessica Polito

Juniors today are going to have a meeting about starting capstone. The hours of hard work that goes into the project can be daunting for upcoming seniors, and many don’t know what they’re going to choose. With three different types of projects, it can be confusing for students to understand which type is best for them. Here are three different current seniors who just presented in each of the categories:

Community Impact Project: Hope Forcellina

The community impact project is a popular choice for students. The essence of the community impact option is the ability to create an event, project, or work with an organization to benefit a cause of your choosing. This option also allows students to work with a partner or group, which is an alluring feature. Group projects still require individual written work to be completed, but the presentation can be done together.

Community impact projects can benefit the high school, district, town, or larger community. One senior, Hope Forcellina, decided to do a community impact project surrounding her work with The Make a Wish Foundation. In past years, she volunteered at various events for the foundation, and “remembered it was really awesome to be a part of changing the lives of the children who receive wishes.” She decided to choose this organization so that she could learn more about it and how she could be further involved.

During the project, Forcellina loved “being able to spend time with the children at their Wish events and fundraisers.” One of her favorite experiences was dressing up as Princess Snow White. During this event, she talked to the children and took pictures with them. She enjoyed this because “you could see how happy the children were to have an event dedicated to them.”

Looking back on the experience, Forcellina recommends the community impact project to anyone who wants to see an impact they can make through volunteering. She advises that if you’re considering this, you should pick an organization that you’re already familiar with or something that is local because it will be more meaningful.

Student Interest Project: Kaitlin Smith

The student interest project is a catch-all for anyone looking to learn a new skill or expand their knowledge on a specific topic through a unique/creative project. This category allows students to take an independent goal and follow through with it. Some seniors have chosen to learn how to play a new instrument or even build a computer from scratch. While those sound like adventurous goals, advisors help to make the goal manageable and attainable.

As a very creative and art-inclined student, Kaitlin Smith chose to start an art club at the high school. As a freshman, she noticed that there was not an opportunity for students to pursue their interests in art. While there are numerous classes available, there wasn’t an afterschool opportunity to try out different mediums. With a goal of creating a “space for people to freely pursue their own artistic interests,” Smith started the art club, which is still active today.

At the club, Smith loves that she was able to take a leadership role. She runs the meetings and helps the club create their own goals. At one meeting, the club explored the new painting fad called acrylic pour painting. With acrylic paint, cups, and canvases, the students experimented with different colors and techniques.

Through her project, Smith explored different mediums of art as well as having the opportunity meeting new people. Her advice for anyone interested in this type of capstone is to think carefully about what you want to accomplish before you cement your decision. She emphasized that it’s important to “make sure it is something that will truly keep you interested, not something that you will lose interest in halfway through the project.”

Job Shadow: Nicole Grasso

The job shadow option for capstone gives the perfect opportunity for upperclassmen to explore potential careers. If you’re seriously thinking about a particular job, a job shadow will be a chance to see if it’s the right fit for you. Through hours spent learning about and experiencing the job, the student learns the reality of a specific career path.

Senior, Nicole Grasso, picked to do a job shadow so that she could learn more about dental hygiene. It’s a career path that she has been considering for years, so this was the perfect opportunity to discover more about it. During her experience, Grasso “observed different hygienists to see varying techniques.” She also watched and learned how crowns are made, as well as helped prepare packs of disposables for hygienists to grab between patients.

The job shadow was something that Grasso enjoyed because she got to “interact with patients, learn about them and their lives during their appointment.” She met people in the field and learned lots about dental hygiene. To anyone considering this category, Grasso advises that “you pick a job that interests you so you can learn about it and see if it’s something you really like and want to do for a career.”

The capstone experience allows students the opportunity to try something new or take something that they already do, and expand upon it. The leadership roles that stem from this project allow for seniors to practice skills that will be beneficial for their futures, no matter their post-secondary plans. Though the near complete freedom of the choice of the project may seem daunting, there are advisors ready to help juniors/seniors decide what they want to explore.