By the time each high school student graduates, they will have spent over 75% of their life inside a classroom, learning. Students gain a remarkable depth of knowledge, but for what? Eventually they will go out into the world with the hope of doing something impactful to benefit their fellow human beings and the world around them. To culminate their many years of schooling they should have the opportunity to apply their knowledge to the real world and to follow their passions in the form of a senior capstone project.
At some point in a student’s life they become an expert in the school system, mastering the ins and outs of how to study for tests and how to effectively balance a multitude of extracurricular activities. But eventually each student will have to venture out into the vast unknown, where learning will still remain, yet the ideals of innovation and execution will weave their webs further into their daily lives. Applying their knowledge to their own projects while still in high school will give them an immeasurable advantage as they learn to develop invaluable skills before even stepping foot in college. School simply provides students with a base of knowledge; it is their duty to build an empire of thought and ideas beyond that base.
Often students hear the clichéd advice to follow their passions, which they sometimes dismiss as overly optimistic. But what if they were given the opportunity to test out their passions before committing to a college major or career? Senior capstone projects are the perfect medium for students to continue to discover what they care about. Every human being wants to see their ideas come to fruition, and allowing students to venture out of thirteen years of schooling with a core product of experiences and knowledge packaged together into a consolidated piece, will allow them to truly begin to showcase their passions.
These projects deviate from traditional forms of schooling, however students are motivated and eager to take on challenges, making the opportunity to blend their passions and knowledge into senior capstone projects even more valuable.
Based on my own experiences, the school system does provide a priceless base of knowledge and learning, however, schooling can allow students to unlock their potential beyond the bare minimum of absorbing facts. By reducing mundane assignments and encouraging students to innovate and work on projects of their own choosing, students will be more motivated to work when focusing on their passions, and will be inspired to learn to make a legitimate change in the world.