MENLO SCHOOL • SINCE 1915

IP Capstone Seminar (H) (1S and/or 2S)

Biography

The Interdisciplinary and Personalized (IP) Capstone Project Seminar at Menlo, which involves a 1- or 2-semester elective course, provides students with meaningful opportunities to build on their previous coursework, immerse themselves in project design principles, and become knowledge creators and autonomous learners. By forging impactful academic explorations in a classroom context with peers and instructors, IP Capstone students forge new ways to distinguish themselves in their studies during their high school years by orienting their project in one of the 4 fields of study, including Arts & Letters, Civic Leadership, Community Engagement, and Global Scholars. Modeling a form used in higher education, students work with instructors as well as mentors, hone their research and reflective writing as well as oral communication skills, present their conclusions before faculty, family, and friends, and produce a final deliverable. In the first weeks of the course, our approach focuses on the shared skills needed to successfully ideate, develop, and complete a long-term project of their design. Examples of skills learned include design-thinking principles in the initial stages, pointers for effective research, advice for contacting professional experts, and/or setting up internships and field visits. Next, students move into the independent work phase in which students focus on their projects as well as their peers’, which requires taking initiative, giving attention to written and oral communication skills, and committing to frequent check-ins for staying on track. They also learn the skill of managing unforeseen problems and/or obstacles that may emerge in the project development process. Students are expected to meet a series of benchmarks at various stages of the project.

This is an Honors-level course open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.