LPHS is introducing a new diploma for the 2019/2020 school year.
The Capstone diploma offers a range of challenging and independent opportunities for students willing to meet its requirements.
“Not only does the Capstone diploma make you stand out above all the other students applying to college, but it shows the college that you are ready for college level independent work because these are college level papers.” AP Research teacher Mr. Tuholski said, “It shows the university that you have already moved beyond high school classes and you’re ready to take on bigger research projects,”
The AP Capstone diploma is earned by taking six AP classes: AP Seminar, four AP classes of the student’s choosing, and AP Research, a class making its first appearance at LPHS this year. Students will receive a college credit for each exam they pass.
AP Research is a class that really pushes students to their limits in terms of readiness to be independent workers. It also offers many opportunities to students wanting to go to college.
“I wanted to take this class because I thought that it would really help when applying for college. I want to go into the medical field and learning how to do actual college level research will really help me,” junior Riya Verma said.
The class requires writing a year long paper on any topic a student has interest in.
“Since it will take an entire year to write, the paper must reach 20 pages in length. If you are taking this class, pick a topic you are actually interested in, not just something you find a lot of information on. Writing it the whole year will be very boring if you don’t,” junior Rachel Bellah said.
As for the normality of the class, an average day in AP Research would usually consist of a little instruction from Mr. Tuholski and then work time where the student is working his or her way throughout the process of the assigned paper.
“Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into which is a lot of challenging independent work,” junior Maybeth Lara said.
At the end of the year, the students find out whether or not they get the college credit by the paper being graded and supported through an oral defense. In the oral defense, students will be expected to stand in front of a committee of three: Mr. Tuholski, a teacher of the student’s choosing, and an expert on the chosen topic.
All in all, AP Research is one of the most demanding classes that LPHS offers due to the need for students who can work independently, the fact that it requires a paper longer than any of these students have written before, and the oral defense. Students taking this class are developing their own methods to test their own questions.