On Tuesday, May 1 from 6-8pm, 23 seniors from Jackson Hole High School will set up booths in the commons to show off the results of the self-directed educational journeys they embarked on seven months ago. Showcase Night for the Senior Capstone course will feature a variety of personal creations ranging from art installations, books, architecture, media productions, and businesses; all products resulting from a deep exploration of educational topics, social issues, design problems, and personal interests. The event is open to the public and community members are encouraged to attend to learn more about these students’ projects and see the results of their work first-hand.
“I have been extremely impressed by the scope of issues being addressed by these students. They are exploring everything from financial literacy and women in the workplace to ice dam mitigation and antimicrobial stewardship. They are bringing their talents to bear to create products that address social media addiction, DACA, sexual assault, and increasing physical activity in young people. It gives you hope for our future to see our graduating seniors actively pursuing such a wide variety of disciplines.” stated their Senior Capstone Coordinator, Carl Shuptrine.
Unlike a traditional classroom setting where all students follow the same set curriculum, Senior Capstone provides students an opportunity to explore topics or activities that might not exist in other classes and tackle problems that do not have straight-forward solutions. Students started the year by identifying interests, issues, or problems in the world around them and developing open-ended essential questions around these topics. To develop solutions to these questions, students sought out faculty mentors, community mentors, internships, and job-shadowing experiences to learn first-hand from local experts. Additionally, they conducted academic research to gain additional perspectives on their topics of choice. Throughout the year students managed their own unique timelines, set personal goals, and work to synthesize all their learning to create an original product or develop an original solution to their essential question.
“The goal of the course is to help students learn how to learn in order to address complex challenges,” said Carl Shuptrine, “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.”