Selecting a Senior Capstone Project
You may already know exactly what Capstone you wish to pursue, or perhaps you don’t know where to begin. We have provided an approach for brainstorming and selecting a topic. The Capstone should be a topic you are passionate and excited about, so that you will learn from the experience while having a great time.
The following steps are guidelines for brainstorming and selecting an exciting and interesting Capstone.Step 1 – Generalize
Explore a general area of interest. Subject area should be relatively broad and something you are interested in. Examples: Environmental Science, Classic Literature, Visual and Performing Arts, Law, Medicine, Computer Science, Industrial Arts, Agriculture Business/Tourism Human Services
Step 2 – Narrow the subject area down
What are your reasons for interest in this subject area? Why does this subject area interest you? Does this subject area have long term interest? Why? Do you have particular skills and/or knowledge already in this area that you are looking to expand? Are there people around you or that you have access to the subject or that may be interested in getting involved or assisting you? Specifically, what parts of the subject are you curious about or are most interested in?
Step 3 – Choose the right topic
Choose a topic within the subject area that is most appropriate for the Capstone.
In this step, it is important to consider your access to the resources that you will need to complete the Capstone. The Capstone should stretch your abilities and create new learning opportunities, but it should not stress you out because you don’t or can’t get access to the resources you need to complete it. Do you have some general skills and/or knowledge in the topic? Will the topic challenge you? Is this challenge surmountable? Will the topic inspire you to be creative in your completing the challenge? If you believe your topic may include community service activities or an internship, do you have organizations or companies within your area that you can approach to work with? Do you and could you travel and stay with a relative to achieve access to an organization or company of interest? Do you have access to other individuals that may have some expertise in the topic area?
Remember, this is your project, but it is quite acceptable to learn from others and their experiences.
Step 4 – Picking a project strand
Consider the best method to showcase the topic of your Capstone by reviewing the description of the requirements of each project strand. Below are examples of how a student might arrive at a project strand selection. It is critical to understand that any Capstone could fit into any project strand. The ultimate decision of how you arrive at your selection is how you best learn and how enjoy spending your time.
Consider the following:Example 1
Step 1: Computer Science
Step 2: Network Management
Step 3: Student has taken computer classes and develops small websites as a hobby. Uncle or friend's father works for a local computer consulting company that is open to an internship.
Step 4: Career-Exploration with an internship working with the Information Technology team at the local computer consulting company.Example 2
Step 1: Human Services
Step 2: Elderly Care
Step 3: Student currently volunteers at a local retirement center and has observed the interaction between the residents of the center and children that have visited other residents in the center. Student senses value in these interactions.
Step 4: Service-Oriented with a specific focus on the development of a new socialization program for residents at the retirement center. Program may include a monthly event in partnership with a local elementary school where students “adopt” and visit a resident of the retirement center.