The Capstone Project: An overview


A “Capstone” is defined as a finishing stone of a structure; the crowning achievement (first used in written form circa 1350-1400).


The Capstone Project is an individual piece of work designed to give each student a chance to explore an area of interest connected to their academy and personal education and career goals.  It will normally be completed and presented during the senior year, but this work could be completed earlier if circumstances are appropriate.  Capstone Projects may take one of a variety of forms, but each one will have three similar components which include a REFLECTIVE ESSAY, a JOURNAL, and a PRESENTATION (for more information on these three pieces, be sure to visit The Capstone Project: General Guidance page).  These three activities, along with your actual Capstone product, will be assessed by a panel consisting of some mix of mentor teachers, lead teachers, outside experts and students.  Capstones are intended to be fun, to give you a chance to do some quality work on a topic that you want to pursue. 


Successful completion of a Capstone Project is required in order to be recognized as an academy graduate.  Completing academy requirements brings several benefits such as…

  1. a chance to pursue an area of interest to you outside of the normal classroom experience

  2. another opportunity to satisfy your thirst for knowledge and love of learning

  3. the potential to clarify your education and career goals and to network with others in your field

  4. recognition with certificates, honor cords at graduation, school awards, etc.

  5. a counselor-generated letter of recognition that can become part of your college application

  6. a unique way to enhance your college essays and letters of recommendation

Feel free to take a look at some of these examples of previous capstone projects for inspiration and guidance as you begin your own Capstone Project.

Good luck, and thank you for your initiative and effort in undertaking the Capstone experience. We will continue to work on this together. 


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Silver Spring, MD 20901-2451