As the Class of 2021 prepares for graduation, students enrolled in the senior capstone are working hard to finish their final projects. The senior capstone experience is the culmination of a student’s intellectual formation. Students select a topic, research it, and deliver the results in the form of a research paper and presentation. In this course, students learn the methods and process of academic research.
For Everest students, these are skills and habits they have worked on since their early elementary years. Recently, technology teacher Mrs. Maxim was working with second-grade students on research projects. Whether it be book reports, saint reports, or social studies reports, each year students practice learning about a subject and presenting their finding in various formats.
Capstone instructor, Mr. Nghiem Nguyen shared, “The senior capstone experience is Everest’s instantiation of the RC Graduate Profile. Our seniors have the opportunity to select a topic of interest, ask questions, embark on an intellectual journey to find answers, and then communicate it in writing and in spoken words. They are guided by their selected faculty advisors and teachers of the capstone class.
It is a challenge for them because:
- They tackle complex questions (What makes music objectively good? How do humans make decisions? What is the role of the individual in a democratic society?)
- They have to manage and take charge of their own learning.
- They have to give answers with carefully crafted arguments and support those arguments by thorough research.
- They need to synthesize ideas from a variety of subjects. A capstone project may require a student to integrate math and music, economics and history, biology and literature, etc.
- COVID restrictions have limited their access to quality sources. For example, many libraries were closed or restricted.
The experience has:
- enabled them to learn about an interesting subject
- showed them the energy and discipline needed to do academic research
- encouraged them to seek truth (not mere information).”
From the RC Education Graduate Profile:
[Graduates] are personally driven to a lifelong search for truth, goodness, beauty, and wisdom. They seek to maximize their intellectual gifts, thinking with logic and working with order… they are capable of introspection, thinking for themselves, asking insightful questions, and finding meaningful answers… Excellent communicators, they can speak and write clearly, conveying a message or emotion through suitable media.