Capstones allow students to pursue their passions by finding a topic of personal interest and exploring it in depth, and provide opportunities for academic and/or character growth. The projects take on a wide variety of forms but most are long-term investigative projects that culminate in a final product. Students select a topic that interests them, conduct research on the subject, maintain a portfolio of findings or results, create a final product demonstrating their learning, and present their learning at the end.
Capstones pay off in terms of extrinsic rewards by giving students the time, space, and resources to complete a deep learning exploration; they will be more prepared to thrive beyond high school. Equally importantly, they will have the opportunity to explore their own, personal interests and passions, and to enjoy the intrinsic satisfaction of learning.
After students graduate from Roaring Fork, they will need to be prepared to complete these types of projects. Any student planning to attend a college or university will have to complete major projects as a part of the university experience. Students planning to enter the workforce directly after high school will require skills such as communication, collaboration, problem solving, and time management. The capstone encourages the students to transition from traditional learning in the classroom to a more interdisciplinary approach, applying their skills to real-world tasks.