The GMHS Academy Capstone

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Raniya Digankar, Staff Reporter

Green Mountain High School is home to a wonderful capstone program, a multi-faceted project that provides students an opportunity to give back to the community, develop a new skill, or explore a career field of interest. A capstone project must be successfully completed in order to earn an Academy Pathway Endorsement with Honors or Renaissance Scholar Endorsement. It is also a requirement to earn the Valedictorian or Salutatorian recognition at graduation. Completing a capstone project comes with several more benefits such as gaining skills that will aid in post-high school college and career choices, helping students stand out on college and scholarship applications, and receiving one credit towards graduation. The project serves as a transition that allows students to move away from subject-centric learning to a real-life experience relevant to their next stage in life. It is a culmination of each student’s K-12 educational experiences and requires the use of several 21st-century skills to ensure success. In order to successfully complete a capstone project, students must focus on completing the six main components of capstone (the 6 P’s). The first component is Proposal and Paperwork, which involves completing a project proposal, waiting for proposal approval, and filling out all of the necessary forms, including parent/guardian consent form, mentor agreement form, and a formal letter of intent. The second component is Product/Service and Fieldwork, which involves the creation of a product or completion of a service related to your project topic. In addition, capstone requires a minimum of 10 hours of fieldwork to be documented in a log. The third component is Paper which requires students to write a reflection paper (5-8 pages) about their capstone project. The fourth component is Portfolio which is the student’s documentation and reflection of their entire capstone process. The fifth component is Poster which serves to promote and publicize the student’s capstone project. Lastly, the sixth component is Presentation which consists of a speech and a slide show presented by the student to a panel of judges. This completion process may seem extensive, but several previous capstone students have ensured the process is absolutely worth it in the end. One student stated, “There were many times I felt like dropping out, but I am so happy I stuck with it. It was one of the most valuable experiences of my high school career and I had fun doing it!” I just completed my capstone journey, and I couldn’t be more proud of my decision. Capstone is a great opportunity for students who wish to gain more hands-on experience surrounding their areas of interest. Any student who decides to do a capstone will definitely not regret it.