Commending Capstone. Students should consider the AP Capstone program for the academic freedom and exploration it provides.


A couple months ago, I remember sitting in an English classroom with limited knowledge of what I was doing. Everyone was in the same position as I was. We were some of the few students who took AP Capstone, a new pilot program that Carmel High School introduced last year. The Capstone program provides students with good opportunities to explore various fields and perspectives.

When I was a sophomore in high school, the College Board introduced the new two-year pilot program: AP Capstone. Like everyone else, I was lost in what the new pilot programs would be like. I liked that aspect of uncertainty though. By partaking in the class, I love how nothing is already established. The class is still in the trial and error process, which allows for flexibility with assignments. For example, in my first semester of AP Capstone, we had to do an argumentative paper. Since we were spending more time learning and experimenting with other ideas, we ended up making the argumentative paper abridged. If this was a regular English class, we would have had to finish the whole argumentative paper because there was nothing new to learn.

Another reason why many students should join the Capstone program is because there is a lot more freedom with assignments. For many years, in most of my other classes, there has always been a set curriculum. Every year, all of us go by the same set of rules and standards. By taking new pilot programs like AP Capstone, we are allowed the freedom to come up with new and creative ideas on our own. We aren’t bound by the guidelines that are already set in place. This creativity is necessary because this is how new inventions and innovations arise. For instance, in Capstone, every student gets to pick his or her own topic and do a full research paper on it. By having each student pick what topic he or she wants to write about, this allows for various ideas and perspectives to get across rather the usual, standard responses that arise from non-Capstone programs, such as Honors English 10. Therefore, more students should engage in pilot programs to improve their creativity and think outside the box.

Looking at the various advantages presented by the AP Capstone course, I encourage everyone to participate in the program. Through my experience with AP Capstone, I am beyond satisfied with my choice. Using the ideas and concepts I learned through the pilot program, I can apply it to real-world applications. I have looked at problems with a new perspective and angle.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Divya Annamalai at [email protected]