Students are putting the final touches on months of hard work as the school year draws to a close.
With May, the “sprint to the finish” time of year, come final projects ready to face the world. That includes the capstone work of 13 seniors from Jackson Hole High School.
From 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, members of the public are invited to see what the students have been delving into for the past seven months. Personal creations range from fine and performing arts, architecture, documentary videos, audio podcasts and online businesses.
“The students in this year’s Senior Capstone cohort have all selected topics and projects based on deep personal passions and issues that our community grapples with as a whole,” Carl Shuptrine, senior capstone coordinator, said in a press release. “It’s always amazing to see what students are able to accomplish when given the freedom to pursue their interests at a deep level.”
Last year, projects addressed everything from financial literacy and women in the workplace to ice dam mitigation and antimicrobial stewardship. Social media addiction, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and sexual assault were studied, too.
Students told the Jackson Hole News&Guide in years past that their projects helped them decide what kind of career they wanted to pursue after graduation, from being a teacher to studying climate change.
The capstone curriculum is unique because it’s self-directed and doesn’t follow set lesson plans like other classes. After identifying issues and interests, students seek out experience in the form of community mentors, internships and job shadowing outside the four walls of the high school. The personal responsibility of meeting deadlines all year is supposed to mimic life after graduation.
“The goal of the course is to help students ‘learn how to learn’ in order to address complex challenges,” Shuptrine said in the release. “The course gives them the opportunity to take full agency of their learning and experience a scenario that resembles what they are likely to see at higher levels of education or in the workplace.”