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Capstone Proposal Process

What do you need to do to get your proposal approved?

Well, I'm so glad you asked.


Essential questions for the proposal:

What do you want to learn and show about yourself in this project?

How will you be able to achieve your goals through your project execution?

How will your process enable you to achieve your goals?

How will you use the five core values to guide your work?

How will you create benchmarks and due dates that will keep you focused and on task?

DEFINE YOUR CORE VALUES: Where is the inquiry? the research? the collaboration? the presentation? the reflection?

Your final proposal must include the following elements

  1. List of advisers, explanation of why you selected them and how you will work with them
  2. Your overarching focus for the project
  3. Your learning goal for this project
  4. What product you are going to produce in order to achieve your learning goal
  5. Justification of learning goal and product
  6. Explanation of how the product will demonstrate that they have met your goals
  7. Detailed outline of how you will use your time for the rest of the year (must incorporate official checkpoints, and your own week-by-week plan)
  8. Reflection on the process so far

How to get your proposal approved:

1. Select your teacher-mentor, get matched with an outside mentor, and think carefully about why you think these people will help you achieve your goals for this project. Be sure to record your thoughts on this, as you will need to include your justification in your final proposal. (Checkpoint 1, Q1)

2. Work with your advisor and mentors to brainstorm and refine your focus for your project, and develop a learning goal.

3. Reflect on the projects you have done at SLA and contemplate the type of format you think will best meet your learning goal. (Checkpoint 2, Q1)

Final Capstone Requirements

Due date: May 27, 2011

Please read the description below of what you must do to fulfill the requirements for “turning in” your Capstone. All of this must be completed and submitted by May 27, 2011, prior to your Capstone Defense. This may seem a little vague due to the nature of the many diverse projects that students have done, so do not hesitate to see Ms. Echols if you have additional questions.

    Please keep in mind that anything you turn in must be easily recognizable as yours. This means that every digital artifact must include your name and graduation year so that there is no confusion.

1. Your “Capstone”, in digital form

    If you created a product that is already digital, such as a research paper, video, blog, etc, for your Capstone, this should be fairly self-explanatory. You need to turn in the product in a format and size that we can store it in the Capstone archives.

    If your final product is a physical object (i.e. art work, something you built, etc) or an event of some sort (such as the blood drive), what you should “turn in” should be some sort of digital representation of your project. For example, you could turn in pictures of your product/event with captions to explain what you did. There must be something to show what you did and something to explain what you did that we can store in the Capstone archives.

2. Cover Page

    To enable easy searching, we are requesting the you submit a “cover page”. This is literally a page (please, no more than one page), that includes the following information:

        1. Your name

        2. Your mentor’s name

        3. A one sentence summary of your topic/project.

    4. A one-paragraph “abstract” that summarizes what you did for your project. You may reference the process, product, and what you learned, but please include only the most relevant information for someone trying to understand the Capstone process.

3. Bibliography

    You need to have a briefly annotated bibliography (which you should have been keeping throughout the process). Your sources may obviously include other people and/or experiences, so you should be sure to document anything you used as a resource from which to learn, not just books or websites.

4. Draft Presentation and Process Paper

        Please see the Capstone Defense Requirements for more detail about what is expected here and an extended timeline.

Capstone Defense Requirements

Presentations: June 6-8, 2011


Present an argument that your Senior Capstone Project demonstrates the SLA Core Values as well as significant growth in your understanding of our school essential questions: How do we learn? What can we create? What does it mean to lead?

    In other words, you are responsible for creating a presentation that shows your mentor and other audience members what you have done with this year-long process and justify your fulfillment of the senior project graduation requirement.

Presentation Requirements:

        1. Presentation must be 10 minutes long. Plan to talk for the whole 10 minutes.

        2. Presentation must be formal. You may use either Keynote or Powerpoint.

        3. Presentation must describe goal, process, and outcome of the project.

        4. Presentation must provide evidence of the intellectual and personal growth you experienced.

        5. You must explicitly state your evidence that you addressed the five core values.

After your presentation, there will be time for questions from the audience (roughly five minutes) as well as feedback (roughly five minutes). You should be ready to present precisely at the time assigned, and should plan on the whole process taking 20 minutes.

           Keep in mind that some of the people in your audience (teachers, other seniors, underclassmen) will never have heard anything about your project before and it is therefore imperative that you provide a clear and coherent description of what you did. A significant portion of your Capstone grade will be based on this defense.

Process Paper Requirements:

    On the day your Capstone is due (May 27), you should have a rough draft of your presentation and process paper, in which you provide us with a written version of the presentation requirements. Given that this should be a 10-minute presentation, expect to write approximately three pages. During the week of May 30, alumni, faculty, and volunteers will be available to provide you with feedback so that you can make sure your presentation and paper are as polished as possible. You will have the opportunity to sign up for a time slot during that week.

        By the end of the school day before your presentation, you must turn in your finalized process paper, which will give anyone who plans to attend your presentation an opportunity to prepare meaningful questions.

Presentation Date

Final Process Paper due:

Monday, June 6, 2011

Friday, June 3, 2011 (3:05 pm)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Monday, June 6, 2011 (3:05 pm)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011 (3:05 pm)

Suggestions from your future audience:

        1. Remember the principles of good presentation design (Contrast-Repetition- Alignment-Proximity).

        2. Make your audience care about your project.

        3. Bring your A-game! This is the culmination of four years of hard work. Make it worth it!