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Senior Project

Page history last edited by Beth Helfrich 9 years, 3 months ago

Woodlawn Capstone Project

 Advisor:  Beth Helfrich





At Woodlawn School, “our mission is to produce independent, lifelong learners who are responsible, contributing members of a diverse global society.”  As senior students near the end of their Woodlawn experience, the Capstone Project provides the opportunity for students to demonstrate their understanding and fulfillment of the school’s mission.  Students meet requirements throughout the year that address each part of the mission statement.  Through successful completion of the Capstone Project, students demonstrate their mastery of the school’s core values and are ready to move forward as graduates of Woodlawn School.




Students meet weekly with the Capstone Project Coordinator to brainstorm ideas, discuss concepts, and complete tasks.  Students select a topic of interest that they hope will be part of their lives after moving on from Woodlawn and even formal schooling.  This could be a future profession, hobby, charity, or area of special interest.  Each trimester focuses on a specific aspect of the mission statement. 


Trimester 1:  The Plan and Presentation


During the first trimester, students select topics and plan a course of action for their projects.  The project topic is an area that the student is interested in pursuing long-term.  Students line up interviews and research on their own to understand the chosen topics more thoroughly.  Once students have gained background information, they develop presentations to share their findings with the local community or the Woodlawn community.  The presentation will be 8-10 minutes in length and should include a visual component.


Trimester 2:  The Paper


During the second trimester, students continue to investigate and research their topics and share their findings in a formal research papers.  The research paper will be 2500-3000 words and will include 5-8 properly documented sources, including at least one interview.


Trimester 3:  The Project


Finally, students take action by planning and executing a goal-oriented, hands-on project that connects their topic to the real world.  The project must include a service element.  Students also prepare for an off-campus experience at the end of the year.  For one week near the end of the trimester, students spend time pursuing an internship, a volunteer position, travel, or other approved experience. Students reflect on their experiences and their fulfillment of the school’s mission through a final reflection.  Students present the final reflections to a panel of teachers in an exit interview.


Role of the Project Coordinator


The Capstone Project Coordinator will facilitate brainstorming sessions and help students formulate their overall plan.  The coordinator will aid in research and accompany students to the library for research as necessary.  The coordinator will also help students establish contacts for off-campus experiences and interviews.  Finally, the coordinator will assess all written work, the oral presentation, the project, the reflection, and the exit interview (with the aid of additional faculty members or administration).




The Capstone Project is graded on a “4-3-2-1” scale and is listed on the student’s transcript.  The first trimester grade will be primarily based on the planning sheets, interviews, and the presentation.  The second trimester grade will be based on the research paper.  The third trimester grade will be based on the project, the reflection, and the final interview.


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