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Seniors complete Capstone project

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For six periods a day from Monday, May 15, to Friday, May 19, Cotter;’s seniors delivered speeches for their capstone research project in the media center.

For the capstone project students choose a problem facing society and research the topic and write a 10 page research paper which offers specific solutions to the problem.

The format for the speeches is a 5-7 minute persuasive speech which is designed to convince the audience of the validity of their position.  After the speech the students defend their position by taking questions from their classmates and teachers.

This year the project was led by Mr. Costello, Mr. Howard and Mr. McGlaun and was part of students’ courses in Economics, English, and Religion.

“Last year was my first year doing the  capstone project, so I figured this year would go much more smoothly.  As a whole, it has been a better process, but there were some fun twists and turns this year as well.  It was refreshing to see some new topics.  I’m certainly enjoyed learning about some of the more obscure topics,” Mr. Howard said.

“Speeches are where I really dive into some of the thought-provoking questions.  I love the Q/A session with every speaker.  Contrary to what many people may believe, I’m not trying to stump anyone with questions; I am curious about a lot of these questions and like to see how students can expand on their information.”

“At the end of the day, capstone is about communicating at a high level.  Students are managing a research project at the upper end of their limits, and they are communicating the information they have learned to their classmates.  The ability to put together a fluent paper and a passionate, opinionated speech are strong indicator of the work they will be undertaking as university students, so I hope students can identify some strategies that they will be able to utilize in the future,” Mr Howard added.

“It’s a lot of work for both students and teachers, but it’s really cool to hear students talk about what they have been researching, and, I although I hate to see students under stress, I think it will prepare students for college,” Mr McGlaun said.

“I was impressed with the quality of the presentations, it was evident that the students had put a lot of time and effort into preparing their talks.  I was also impressed by the respect they gave their peers and  the genuine, sincere questions they asked each other, it said a lot about this group,” Mr. Costello said.

The seniors felt both satisfaction and relief after completing their projects.

“My topic was about Artificial Intelligence and job loss, It went well. I gained little confidence on public speaking. Aidan’s speech on school voucher because it was very clear, concise and showed his knowledge on topic extremely well,” Eric Seo said.

I was also impressed by the respect they gave their peers and the genuine, sincere questions they asked each other, it said a lot about this group,” ”

— Mr. Costello

“My speech was about the effects of plant based diet on chronic disease. I think my speech went well, I got some good sources. The Q&A part went well too, I didn’t feel stumped  on any of the questions. If I coul deliver the speech again, I would like to have more time so I could cover more information on my topic,” Andrew Arnold said.”

“My speech argued for increases usage of solar energy. It went fine, but seemed kind of weird. I am glad it is over, I wouldn’t want to give it again,” Allie Bailey said.

 “The speech was rather stressful, but I’m glad it’s over. I thought the other speeches were very well presented, they gave me new knowledge on topics that I had never heard of before. I think this will help me with projects in college,” Tim Welch said.

My topic was mandatory military service, I learned to be brave in front of people. I was very impressed with Steve’s speech. He did really well,” Olivia Park said.

Tristan Rusert  thought the process went smoothly and Josh Salwey agreed, adding “I really liked giving the speech.”

The video is Gina Pham’s speech on New York City’s “stop and frisk” policing tactic.

 

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Seniors complete Capstone project