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AP Capstone: A Student Perspective

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Published on Feb 25, 2015

Two students share their thoughts on the benefits of AP Capstone – two new courses created by the Advanced Placement Program. Srimayi Tenali, a junior at West Shore Junior/Senior High School in Melbourne, Florida explains how AP Capstone allows students to choose their own topics of research and how the course taught her to write papers that are concise and effective. Wesley Middleton, a junior at Carmel High School in Carmel, Indiana likes the freedom that AP Capstone offers, its intellectual challenges and how it enables him to work collaboratively with his peers.


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Wesley Middleton, Junior, Carmel, IN

Wesley Middleton: My name is Wesley Middleton, I’m a junior at Carmel High School in Indiana. I’m a point guard for the Carmel High School basketball team. We have a really good program here. We’re currently the fourth best team in the state. It’s always exciting to play a game at Carmel High School, we have a great student section. They get pretty loud, so [laughter].

Srimayi Tenali, Junior, Melbourne, Florida

Srimayi Tenali: My name is Srimayi Tenali and I’m a junior at West Shore Junior/Senior High School, which is in Melbourne, Florida. My friends and I go to the beach a lot, we also you know go to the movies, we go bowling. I just turned sixteen a couple days ago and I’m hoping to get my driver’s license in a couple weeks so I am hardcore preparing for that driver’s test.

Wesley Middleton: I chose to take AP Capstone because I wanted a class that would challenge me intellectually and I like the freedom that Capstone offers.

Srimayi Tenali: AP Capstone is different from the other courses offered at high school because you’re really allowed to pick the subject which you research. We have learned how to look at a piece of writing and instantly evaluate is the author credible, is the research biased in any way and we really evaluate things further than in any other class. So it’s taught me to look at any sort of research or any piece of writing in general in the same way.

Allison Malloy, AP Capstone and English Language Teacher, Carmel High School

Allison Malloy: AP Capstone is an innovative cross-curricular program that is really meant to prepare kids to be successful at the college level. It’s not only preparing kids to master certain skills, but the content is not the focus. These skills are meant to be transferable to everything that they’re doing.

Wesley Middleton: I became interested in hip hop just through hearing it. I like the beats, I like the rhythm. For our group project we chose to look at hip hop and see if it causes any illegal behavior in America’s youth. And we chose this topic by coming up with ideas that we all had in common. In Capstone, it is really important that each group member is there for each other and it’s also interesting how much we get to know each other through the process.

Srimayi Tenali: One of our research papers that we wrote for AP Capstone was about the Indian River Lagoon, which was very close to home. It sort of like hit us a little bit harder than researching about some distant environmental pollution so my paper focused on the environmental approaches we could do to improve the condition of the lagoon.

Wesley Middleton: It’s so much fun just working with your classmates in more complex ways than you will in any other class.

Srimayi Tenali: I think Capstone is incredibly beneficial to students because I’ve learned how to write a paper and actually make it concise, make it effective, get my point across in a fashion that is understandable.

Wesley Middleton: I’m thinking more analytically, I’m thinking deeper. They’re just skills that are vital in college and in possible future careers.

Srimayi Tenali: I think colleges might look at the fact that we have an AP Capstone diploma and be impressed with it because it shows them that we can work in a group, it shows them that we can collaborate past a high school level.

Allison Malloy: The tagline I tell my kids all the time is we are making you educated consumers of information.

Wesley Middleton: You’re getting vital skills that you’re going to need later in your career.

Srimayi Tenali: And it’s a really nice middle ground between high school and college so that we can be better prepared for the future.

For more information please visit: http://collegeboard.org/apcapstone

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