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OPINION: Capstone Extends Far Beyond the Classroom

Olivia Carter, Editor-in-Chief

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While walking down the halls of any high school, it is not uncommon to hear grumpy teenagers complain “I’m never going to use this in life” or “I don’t get the point of this.” I am definitely guilty of this myself, but a recent experience in a new class here at Lake Brantley has allowed me to further appreciate the value of certain classes that plan to prepare us for college and beyond.

Just last year, Lake Brantley launched its very own Advanced Placement Capstone curriculum, a two year program composed of the AP Seminar and AP Research courses. Throughout these classes, students learn how to research various real world topics, develop their findings into a paper, collaborate with classmates through group presentations, and articulate arguments and their solutions to peers through formal presentations.

I will be honest, the class initially attracted me because it was supposed to look good on a college application and the block schedule would somewhat lighten up my homework load. I wandered into the class not knowing what to expect, but I eventually grew to love the writing and research challenges it presented. The papers and presentations put together by groups and individuals allowed my classmates and I to truly dive into topics we had an interest in learning more about. Not only did this facilitate our learning, but it gave us a greater sense of pride in the research we were doing and sharing with our peers.

The constant repetition of writing and verbally presenting lengthy and debatable research in front of peers allowed my classmates and I to mature and recognize the level of sophistication required at higher levels of learning. I went from watching classmates struggle to introduce themselves to flawlessly delivering an eight minute presentation, a fact that some students not in the class cringed at. Although eight minutes is relatively short and just the beginning of a college level presentation, these projects truly developed a foundation for confidence, conciseness, and professionalism.

Looking back, I am beyond grateful that I entered the AP Capstone program and would encourage every student to consider doing the same. The benefits go far beyond writing skills;  I am no longer uncomfortable speaking in front of a group of peers or teachers, papers in my other classes are no longer as daunting, and for once I have actually learned not to procrastinate. The skills my classmates and I developed through this program will undoubtedly be used in the future, and I have no uncertainty that we are better off because of it.

Would you consider taking the AP Capstone courses in the future?

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About the Writer
Olivia Carter, Print Editor-in-Chief
Olivia Carter is the Brantley Banner’s Print Editor-in-Chief and is beyond excited to cover LB’s most exciting events. Her love for writing started early, but it truly flourished and came to life in Mrs. Jucker’s freshman English class. From there, her older sister, Kailey, introduced her to the idea of joining the Brantley Banner staff....
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OPINION: Capstone Extends Far Beyond the Classroom