AP Capstone students explore topics on a collegiate level
Norman High School has many opportunities for students to help them succeed beyond their high school career. AP Capstone, a class focused on academic research, is one of them, helping prepare students for college level research.
AP Capstone is a two year course at Norman High made available for students in the fall of 2014. Students begin the course their junior year in AP Seminar then take AP Research senior year.
Once both classes are complete, students are able to earn a Capstone diploma by receiving a passing score of a three or above on the Research AP exam and receiving a passing score of a three or above on four other AP exams.
Sarah Dewitt, who teaches Capstone, recognizes the significance of the diploma and the class.
“I regularly receive messages from Capstone alum at esteemed institutions like Penn, Rice, Michigan, and Berkeley who credit their experiences and coursework in Capstone with their success in their college careers,” Dewitt said.
Students learn to use online databases provided by the school network, such as EBSCO or CQ Researcher, and analyze data to strengthen arguments.
AP Research allows students to create a research topic on the area of their choice. Many students choose an area that interests them, putting them in the “driver’s seat”, as Dewitt puts it.
Senior Dani Lodangco’s research topic is on the misrepresentation of LGBT + individuals in film and television and the differing perceptions regarding this issue.
“I can clearly remember when I struggled with this issue coming to terms with my own sexuality, and I am certain that so many more young people are facing the same difficulties,” Lodangco said.
Lodangco has seen improvements in her performance in English class which she know will carry beyond the high school curriculum.
“Capstone has improved my overall vocabulary and has allowed me to speak confidently in front of people,” Lodangco said.
Senior Tavana Farzaneh has been working tediously on her individual research project this semester. Her topic focuses on the reasons behind the lack of minority students enrolled in Advanced Placement classes at Norman High school.
Farzaneh believes that Capstone has the unique ability to prepare students for college.
“It’s such a good class and you learn so many important things for college, such as properly citing a source, that’ll just set you apart from your peers,” Farzaneh said.