The Capstone Project Internship
Real world work with the guiding principles of STEM applications
Credit: 1.0 credit, STEM, awarded by Stanstead College, Quebec, Canada
Grades: Students entering grade 11 and 12 in the Fall, 2017 (some exceptions made for advanced grade 10)
Dates: June 5 to July 21 (2-3 weeks remote, digital work; 2 weeks of project execution in country; 1 week remote, digital follow-up)
Location: Pleiku, Vietnam (SOS Children’s Village and local businesses)
Overview: The Capstone Project Internship (CPI) is an innovative project-based program that provides students with an opportunity to engage in rigorous scholarly practice of the core academic skills necessary for the successful completion of a real world internship. Built on the foundation of two principles — project-based learning and internship — it is designed to complement and enhance the in-depth, interdisciplinary study provided through research, trial-and-error, and reflective post-project analysis. It cultivates curious, independent, and collaborative scholars and prepares them to make logical, evidence-based decisions, and real-time adaptions: project management. It will also serve as a springboard for college application essay writing, which is an added component and requirement for those entering grade 12.
Essential Tasks: Design, execute, and de-brief programs for local businesses and the Children’s village to maximize resource allocations, maintain sustainability, enhance quality of programs and/or products. Students will begin by analyzing the current needs assessment of the either a local business or the children in the SOS village. Working remotely at their home locations on shared virtual space and within specified budget parameters, students will propose schedules, programs, data-collecting processes, and quality metrics. Upon approval, these programs will go into place upon arrival in Pleiku, Vietnam, where all constituents will meet in person and make final preparations. Plans will be executed on site(s), and upon completion of tasks, post-project analysis will occur with publication and strategies for modifications presented. Students will return to their respective homes and work remotely, and final products will be shared on common platforms and social media sites. College essay writing, if applicable, will occur simultaneously as students will be keeping a detailed journal of their field observations, data collection, and activities.
Discover, Organize, Analyze, Synthesize, Authenticate, Predict, Publish
Reading Comprehension and Metacognitive Awareness – APPLIED MATH & SCIENCE
· Grasp of increasingly complex nonfiction (informational) texts with added depth of understanding through the acquisition of developmentally appropriate reading strategies.
Level 2 – (10) Develop an understanding of scientific and/or mathematical concepts by accessing information from multiple sources.
Learn to self-teach: access multiple sources to aid oneself in problem solving.
Evaluate the scientific accuracy and significance of information.
Understand the sequence of a text (ability to recall/re-access earlier material).
Redefine key terms and phrases authentically.
Take notes for meaning.
Use notes as a source for review.
Level 3 – (11) Skim a text and/or scholarly writing (e.g. scientific article) with pre-determined purpose for relevant information.
Navigate and decipher between valid and invalid Internet information.
Level 4 – (12) Refine the ability to retrieve relevant information from a problem and filter non-relevant information.
Be able to see the broader historical context of discovery and future implications and applications of different areas of study.
Justify the validity of interpretations of data.
Advanced Identify the strengths/weaknesses of informational texts.
Evaluate the quality of informational sources.
Multimedia, Art, Oral Comprehension – APPLIED MATH & SCIENCE
· Evaluation of web-sites; interpretation of non-verbal and oral information
· Savvy choice of reliable and varied references, ability to glean information from charts, graphs, tables, visual and artistic pieces
Level 2 – (10) Develop and use spreadsheets.
Access relevant sources for a project.
Use virtual simulators to develop/demonstrate understanding of material.
Level 3 – (11) Select an appropriate graphical representation for a set of data and use appropriate statistics to communicate information about the data.
Use basic Excel formatting and graphical representation.
Evaluate graphical (visual) information for what it shows and does not show; make extrapolations and mathematical computations.
Draw connections between different mediums of information conveying similar concepts.
Level 4 – (12) Create the guidelines/rubric for an effective multi-media presentation.
Assess the quality of visual presentations based upon content and style.
Interpret graphs with mathematical models.
Advanced Evaluate presentations and reports in terms of content and style; offer specific feedback for enhancement and further study.
Critical Thinking – APPLIED MATH & SCIENCE
· Demonstration of increasingly complex critical thinking skills (Bloom’s taxonomy)
· Discernment of relationships between increasingly complex abstract ideas and information, primarily evaluation.
Level 2 – (10) Analyze the findings of a given experiment.
Differentiate between laws, theories, postulates, hypotheses.
Identify patterns in data, what it suggests and does not suggest.
Prove theories/find exceptions to a rule (if any).
Extrapolate charts and graphs.
Make connections between classroom content (theory) and environment (real world).
Understand when an answer/conclusion is reached and why.
Recognize continuity/progression of math and science.
Critical thinking–Knowledge, Comprehension, Application–Bloom’s first three levels of higher order thinking.
Level 3 – (11) Analyze the findings of scientific research.
Determine laws and theories from observations and data.
Understanding bias in experiments and samples.
Use, manipulate, and understand how controls work in an experiment.
Understand how variables may affect data.
Evaluate statistical significance.
Infer implications of seemingly disconnected examples to learned concepts.
Level 4 – (12) Bloom’s highest orders of thinking–Analysis, Synthesis, Evaluation–students to respond to and generate questions in this realm.
Advanced Create authentic experiments and problems for discovery, predicting outcomes and defending results.
Postulate problems for further study.
Inquiry & Meaning Making – APPLIED MATH & SCIENCE
· Ability not only to tackle questions posed by others but also to identify and articulate the questions that require solutions (Bloom’s questions)
· Application of purposeful inquiry to stated problems in order to evaluate a situation and articulate how solutions may be found
-Application of technology to measure, investigate, and calculate.
· Make observations, raise questions, and formulate hypotheses.
Level 2 – (10) Hypothesize and give reasons behind hypothesis.
Predict based upon prior knowledge.
Formulate questions that can be investigated in the lab/understand whether or not questions can be investigated in the lab.
Recreate a previously completed lab exercise.
Make connections between various theories and laws in nature.
Evaluate the accuracy of scientific findings and their limitations.
Recognize sources of error in an experiment/derive ways of decreasing said error.
Verify previous discoveries.
Evaluate and summarize the results of experiments.
Level 3 – (11) Select required materials, equipment, and conditions for conducting an experiment.
Write procedures that are clear and replicable.
Investigate and discern the integrity of others’ experiments.
Critique and question biases of research (e.g., scientist, investigative journalist).
Formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize, and display relevant data to answer them.
Develop and evaluate inferences and predictions that are based on data.
Design further experiments based upon data results.
Infer and draw conclusions by statistically manipulating raw data.
Level 4 – (12) Create a lab given only a question and/or concept.
Express the knowns and unknowns when approaching a new problem.
Recognize themes that identify skill sets that may be useful in problems.
Understand and articulate relevancy of problems and analogous situations in which the methods used to solve may apply.
Advanced Evaluate the technology used–its limitations and liabilities–in measurements and investigations; propose alternate uses of technology, research techniques, and problem-solving strategies if need be.
Writing, Speaking and Digital Expression – APPLIED MATH & SCIENCE
· Ability to produce fluid, well-organized, and clearly articulated written expression of ideas; facility with technological tools for appropriate and effective communication
· Effective and varied use of sentences, vocabulary, punctuation; structured and logical progression of communication in all forms
Level 3 – (11) Present relationships between and among variables in appropriate forms.
Represent data and relationships between and among variables in charts and graphs.
Use appropriate technology (e.g., graphing software) and other tools.
Level 4 – (12) Work with digital tools used at the university and professional level, recognizing what the strengths and limitations are. (Calculators, Applications, etc.)
Show solutions with clear and well-organized structure.
Advanced Publish scientific and mathematical reports, labs, discoveries, etc..
Character and Citizenship Development – APPLIED MATH & SCIENCE
· Understanding that learning shapes ethical and empathetic traits; ability to work collaboratively with others; intellectual risk-taking; accountability for one’s actions
· Empathy – Compassion – Integrity – Courage – Teamwork – Humility – Intellectual curiosity – Ownership – Responsibility
Level 2 – (10) Work as part of a group (fill a given role).
Own and report errors in an experiment.
Understand the importance of presenting correct information.
Recognize the consequences of error (or hiding error/intentional miscalculations).
Recognize ethics in findings.
Understand the responsibility of human beings in the world (natural environment).
Identify and critique arguments about personal or societal issues based on scientific evidence.
Evaluate scientific explanations in a peer review process or discussion format.
Recognize motivation in science.
Level 3 – (11) Lead a group or groups towards a single goal.
Accept and work effectively in a variety of roles in a group.
Understanding equality of roles in a group (no role is lesser than another — without all working together, the group will fail).
Level 4 – (12) Publish or present ethical positions to the school or general community, either as a group or individually.
Advanced Evaluate the global implications of scientific, mathematical, and technological issues and innovations in terms of ethics and legal statutes in terms of International laws.