EXPLORATIONS

Click on the classrooms above to learn about this year's investigations.

WHAT ARE CAPSTONE PROJECTS?

WONDERING about the world...

DISCOVERING ideas and points of view...

HAVING AN IMPACT on others...

Students will explore a topic that fascinates them.

Throughout their years of elementary school, our "seniors" have amassed formidable research skills, practiced reading and communicating effectively, and have analyzed topics from different points of view. By fifth grade, they are eager to conduct their own serious and extended exploration, which is the Capstone Project. This year-long project is both an opportunity and a challenge to our students. They have the freedom to choose their own areas of inquiry and design their own investigations. They are encouraged to develop original viewpoints, and look beyond the school walls for sources of information. But they also have the responsibility of asking compelling questions, managing their time effectively, and giving credit where credit is due. These skills and habits of mind will endure throughout students' secondary years.

Students will document their inquiry process.

A common thread through all Capstone Projects is an explicit emphasis on the learning process. From beginning to end, students reflect on their progress and make adjustments accordingly. By teaching our students to look back as they look ahead, we hope to make them more aware and accountable for their learning. When the end of the school year arrives, students can look back on the evolution of their effort and thinking. We believe these insights into themselves will be as valuable as their mastery of their content knowledge.

Students will take their projects beyond the classroom.

Our students are challenged to consider the social, cultural and community impacts of their investigations. Now that they have educated themselves, what's next? What should they do with what they have learned? Whether through educating others, getting involved in an organization, or sharing information online, students are encouraged to take their work into the real world.

Some investigations from last year: