Capstone Projects are the biggest component of our school. Project Based Units are created to fit within an overarching Capstone or Theme. These Capstone ideas are carried throughout a ten week session and are implemented into the curriculum as transdisciplinary lessons.

 

 

Bridges (document link)
Bridges represent the physical connection of locations, ideas, and people. Though there are many different types of bridges, all must be built structurally sound. Students will explore the mathematical faculties and engineering components needed to maximize the reliability of a bridge structure, while gaining an understanding of force and thermal analyses to determine the soundness of the structure.

Bridges also represent metaphorical connections, and in English language arts, students will explore the connection of character relationships through literature analysis of different dramas. In Romeo & Juliet, the families are separate, but their love is a bridge between two families. Where else in history have opposite points of view clashed? In history bridges are often the undercurrent of multiracial family relationships.  America has a long history of “forbidden love” in race relationships, starting with Pocahontas and ending in the multiracial heritage of our current President.  Students will experience the lives of extraordinary mixed-race Americans, and explore race and racial identities that have prevailed in this country. Bridges represent a social connection, and in Social Studies, students will delve into different social constructions and societal norms that have lead to a bridging of societal gaps. In the creation of dramas, students will recreate those character relationships while they analyze the bridge between actor and audience.

   

 

Sustainability

Students will explore sustainable living through research and experimentation. Students will be grouped and each group will choose a sustainability topic. Students will learn about engineering and green technology through the construction of a working green design. Each student will submit a research paper and be responsible to create a 5-10 minute presentation to be given at a regional sustainability conference with peers and professionals. Students will be engaged in three units that will allow them to form opinions and draw conclusions around the topic of sustainability, both in context of the environment and societal issues. 



Light                                                                                               Light is the foundation of all life and therefor will be the foundation all the students' STEM experience with life science.  Students will understand the power of light. Students will begin by understanding the historical significance of light through the history of physical light to the history of light production in the industrial revolution. Students will then be able to build a 3 dimensional structure that incorporates geometric shapes and patterns into a tiered pyramid, each tier being a different trophic level. One tier has an interactive informational display. The interactive shape will be focused on cellular structure of plants and animals. The theme of light will be addressed through LED incorporation into the design. The product will be used to educate elementary or middle school students. This capstone will culminate with a chinese lantern ceremony that allows students to make reflective observations about the learning they've done about both light and life.


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Communications
The Communication Capstone is designed to give students an authentic engineering team work experience in which the strengths of each member of the group is utilized for the good of the common product.  The groups will be composed of four students that will have specific roles. The groups will work over a 10 week period to complete three major construction components to a sound system.  First the groups will design and construct an amplifier. Next, students will create a housing unit that will hold the amplifier and a speaker. Lastly, students will use software to write an original piece of music and may also incorporate instruments and live vocals if they so choose.  Students will also be creating a light display that will be a visual interpretation of the music they have created. The groups will give a “performance” using their constructed sound system in which they play their original piece of music through the speaker and amplifier, showcase the light display and marketing components.


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Health and Wellness
The 10th grade students will be studying Health and Wellness.  Speakers from these fields will be coming in during our project time in the mornings during the month of January.  They will be addressing the top 10 health indicators listed in the Healthy People 2010 report from the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report.  Students will craft and compose information cards that will be distributed throughout our community explaining their research on a chosen health indicator listed in the Healthy People 2010 report. Based on their findings and research of their chosen health topic, students will create a statistical tool including an excel spreadsheet to collect data from a health and wellness index that displays data and calculates summary statistics. Students will explain their understanding of biochemical pathways related to the 10 health indicators by creating animated pathways using Scratch. They will also explain how certain diseases associated with the 10 health indicators are inherited at the molecular level and demonstrate how to identify certain indicators of these diseases.  Students will manage the development of the wellness indicies and systems using the engineering problem-solving and design process. Students will also be able to communicate with each other about food and sports in Mandarin. They will also design a brochure about “Health and Wellness in China” including an introduction to one of the eight Chinese cuisines, martial arts, and Tai-Chi research. Every Monday, students will also be engaging in the art of Tai-Chi. The social implications of Health and Wellness will be addressed by interpreting how a country can be considered "well" through its legislation, societal conditions, and development of all its citizens. Students will also be writing interactive Adventure Books about one of the 10 health indictors. We are very excited about this capstone and look forward to developing lifelong skills to support sustainable health and wellness.


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Community Action Plan
Jeremy Bentham once said, “It is vain to talk of the interest of the community, without understanding what is the interest of the individual.” MC2 STEM Students completed Community Action Plans. Components of this project will be covered in each academic class. Throughout the following unit, students explore a “Community of Characters” unit in English class, which will focus on the role individuals play in creating and maintaining community through effort and action. Within the context of this unit, students will be faced with the questions, what is a community, how important is my role in the community, will the efforts I make to improve my community be relevant and long lasting, and can my ability to communicate contribute to positive changes in my community? Using the book Seedfolks by Paul Flieshman, scholarly articles on community, and sample community action plans, students will explore these questions.Students will be completing a written community action plan, a persuasive letter, complete novel reading, and a creative writing assignment. All students play an important role in their school community, and understanding that role will allow each individual to excel beyond what they simply need to do, and challenge themselves to accomplish even more!


DNA, Diversity & Design

Every living thing on earth has a unique blueprint (DNA / RNA) for it's own design. The diversity of life has been estimated to be 5 to 100 million species; science has only identified 2 million. Yet sometimes, design can determine the destiny of the blueprint, allowing some life to continue, and some to fade into antiquity. In this capstone, students will learn how DNA, Diversity, and Design (3D) can influence each other. Students will design and program robots to traverse a challenge course, identify bacterial colonies using PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and gel electrophoresis, and write Just-So Stories in collaboration with a K-8 STEM School in Cleveland. The Capstone will culminate in a week-long adventure in Biosphere 2 (B2), doing research projects that will relate back to 3D, and producing poster presentations which will be viewed by faculty and staff of the University of Arizona and B2 in Arizona, as well as judges at the Northeastern Ohio Science and Engineering Fair (NEOSEF) in Cleveland.

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Optics - Power of Light

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Da Vinci



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Nicholas DiGiorgio,
Oct 18, 2011, 5:09 AM