By Sarah Bain ’18 and Elaine Chen ’18
AP Capstone was added into the school’s AP list, and many sophomore students signed up.
Unlike many other AP classes, AP Capstone is a two-course class that consists of two AP classes: AP Seminar and AP Research. It is designed to prepare students for college, foster independent thinking and promote overall academic success. Earning a score of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Capstone will receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate.
According to Mr. Kamile Kraszewski, an AP Capstone teacher, the workload of the class is different and more than any other regular English class. However, the teaching of this course is similar to the teaching of a regular English class.
“I don’t think it’s very different, there’s a lot of similarities. Honestly, I’d say the biggest difference is just the amount of grading that happens when you have a hundred students or over a hundred students write 10 pages of research papers,” said Mr. Kraszewski.
Taking an AP Capstone class comes with many challenges. The class has a narrow time frame to complete its tasks. Students need to prepare for speeches and presentations based on real world topics/issues. It also requires students to participate in the science fair.
“ Even with three AP classes as a junior, I felt more under pressure as a sophomore with only AP Capstone class,” said Calvin Huynh’18.
This program focuses heavily on students’ abilities to explore complex issues and topics and evaluate them through investigations from multiple viewpoints. It strengthens critical thinking and writing skills as well as encourages collaboration with other people and develops skills necessary to conduct independent research.
Danny Mejia’18 explains, “I got the opportunity to learn about current events/issues in the real world and it helped me develop my essay skills and gave me a glimpse of how college English courses are.”
Others found it familiar and less exciting given that it revises skills that were already taught.
“We didn’t necessarily learn anything. Instead, the course was more less an opportunity to strengthen skills in which we already had. For example, development of public speaking skills and forming an effective presentation,” said Calvin Huynh’18.
Since AP Capstone is newly introduced to the school, the debate on whether students should or should not take the class is heating up. Despite of its workload and challenges they face throughout the year, some students believe that it is an earnest class to take.
“I would recommend people to apply for AP Capstone because the program really was a new experience to me. You get to meet a whole bunch of people and you help each other out on the process of bettering one another. I’ve learned to see things from different perspectives, teamwork, time management and many other skills,” said Lois Luo’18.