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AP Capstone Program: Opportunity to become young researchers

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As of last year, York is one of the 1,100+ high schools participating in the AP Capstone program which includes AP Seminar and AP Research. Due to lack of enrollment this year, the current AP Research class is the only group of students to experience the course so far, and despite the current class’s appreciation for the opportunity to work as young researchers, some students still have no idea what happens in AP Seminar and AP Research.

These classes are part of the AP Capstone program where, typically, students take seminar as a sophomore/junior and research as a junior/senior. AP Capstone is a college board program that teaches students individual research, collaborative team research, and communication skills. In class students write essays, create presentations, and learn effective research methods.

“I learned a lot about conducting research, writing, and presenting in a professional manner,” said junior Kailee Skotty, “and it looks good on college applications.”

The College Board program is supported by a plethora of universities, therefore students can use this to their advantage on college applications. All of their work can be rewarded with an AP Capstone Diploma after completing their essays, presentations, and earning at least a 3 on their AP tests. This shows colleges that students have been conducting effective collaborative and individual research at a high level. Despite the seemingly overwhelming workload, AP Capstone students have the freedom to choose research topics that they are truly interested in and can become invested in.

The best part about the class is how much freedom you get in choosing what you research,” said senior Cate Ayers. “It makes the class much more interesting because you can focus on what you’re passionate about.”

The freedom students get in this course makes it truly unique, but the skills learned are not unique to the class. The academic and organizational skills are useful in other areas of the students’ lives and futures.

AP Seminar and AP Research has helped me to learn how to be accountable for myself, be responsible working on my own and in a group, designing a professional presentation, writing a college level research paper, and get a taste of what skills I will need for future preparation,” said junior Abby Ross. “Other students should sign up for this class because it really helps with all your other classes. The skills you learn in this class expand into all other subjects and reach widely across the board within your entire academic career.”

Specifically the communication skills gained by students taking this course are a huge benefitting factor. Spending 2 years with the same group of peers enables them to bond and be comfortable using each other as resources.

I really like the community that this program fosters,” said senior Madison Collins. “Since we have been together for two straight years now, we all know each other really well. There are so many inside jokes, and class is always fun to go to. On a more academic note, it is really helpful to have a tight knit community that you can turn to when you are stuck on writing your paper that you know is going through a similar situation that you are going through.”

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AP Capstone Program: Opportunity to become young researchers