Engineers are engaged in the design process which begins with identifying a real-life problem (s) to solve, understanding the science behind the problem, determining, planning and drawing possible solutions to the problem, building a prototype, testing the prototype, and improving the solution based on the data collected. For the last two years ASCS 8th grade students have been learning and applying the engineering design process sometimes referred to as STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics). At the start of the final school year all 8th grade students were required to develop a Capstone ED project. The Capstone Engineering Design Project (CEDP) is an individual student selected, research-based solution to an identified real-world problem. All Saints students have explored topics/issues which have expanded their intellectual curiosity beyond the classroom walls and given them experience in learning critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication, both written (journal) plus oral (presentations) in addition to a new nonfiction method of gathering research evidence through close reading. The Capstone Project provides students with opportunities to hone the skills and methods necessary for research projects of a larger scope in high school and, later, in college. It allows students to tap into their talents and interests as a mean of expression as well as a demonstration of academic achievement.
On May 8-9-10 each member of the Class of 2017 will showcase individual ED project history by presenting the results to teachers of the high schools which they will attend next year. The teachers will act as judges and the top students in each of three sections blocks will earn scholarships for high school next year. The Capstone presentation will showcase the student’s abilities in reading, writing, public speaking, critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, planning, collaboration and implementation, self-discipline, problem solving, and organizational skills. The goal of the Capstone is to stretchindividual students to participate in and demonstrate a new area of learning and growth.
The student cannot select a Capstone project that relies solely upon what the student already knows. Students will select a project based on the Engineering Design structure. The intent of the Capstone is to encourage and motivate the students to engage in a project that has direct applicability to pre-high school 21st century skill preparation and possible STEM career goals and aspirations. Most importantly, the Capstone should represent an area of STEM focus that they are passionate about and will have FUN doing!