Capstone Projects

What is a Capstone Project?

Every year Grade 12’s all around the province of British Columbia have a project called the capstone project as part of the mandatory course called Career Life Connections 12. These unique endeavours are to get soon-to-be graduates to explore their interests and passions in a structured environment. Each student must have a mentor to guide them or to help them reach their goal. Although it can be helpful, this year is increasingly harder because it is not possible meet with people within the pandemic. This project is completely self directed and can be about anything a student wishes.

Do this years Grade 12’s Like Them?

The common consensus among the Grade 12’s is no; they all had disliked the project. While talking to one, who has wished to remain anonymous, she stated that it was hard enough to juggle her classes while taking extra-curricular activities, and dealing with university applications, only to add the capstone on top of that. Many of the seniors have also given the same response. Others don’t think that they are necessary, because they can explore those interests on their own if they wanted to. When being forced to do something, the joy is taken out of it.

What is the Point of the Capstone Project?

The main goal of the Capstone is that students are forced to take responsibility for their learning while building many new skills. By having a presentation at the end, it builds public-speaking skills, and since all the work is completely self-guided, it helps build research, planning, goal setting and self sustainability skills. The main purpose is to prepare them for university or college so by teaching and building these skills while doing something a student enjoys, it encourages them to pursue it, which can have both positive and negative effects. The stress levels among teens are rising, and many people think it is time to retire the capstone project or at least for this year because of the balance between online and in-school learning. Another thing to add to the to-do list is not necessarily something some teens can handle. While also putting a due date and criteria on something that they enjoy doing might discourage them from doing it, which may cause them to entirely loose interest in their passion. At the same time, by forcing students to complete it, it may provide an opportunity to discover a new hobby or interest. It is safe to say that there are many positives and negatives, but the capstone projects are not going away soon.

How to choose a project

The most important part of the project is picking what you want to do. It should be something that interests you, but also may possibly help you in the future. For example, if you were wanting to become a nurse you could research what a nurse does and how they help patients. Another idea is to use your skills to benefit others. Whether it’s having a weekly concert at a retirement home, or teaching kids to draw —as long as it is some sort of an inquiry project, it will work. There are so many options out there so the more creative the better!

Written by Eva Ramsay

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