Education Matters: Capstone


From researching cures for cancer to writing and producing their own albums of original music – Captsone students at Auburn High School are completing their year-long projects.  The Capstone gives students a chance to put what they’re learning into action.

Renaissance Academy teacher John Rauh requires his students to complete a Capstone project.  It’s an independent learning opportunity for his gifted students who design their own projects.

“I’m always impressed with the ideas our students come up with,” said Rauh.

And with good reason.

“For my project, I’m looking at epithelial mesochimo transition in non-small cell lung cancer,” said Auburn student Brad Foster.  “I’m doing cutting edge experiments looking at the proteins that are causing cancer to occur.”

Classmate Lily Li has moved between China and the United States several times.  For her project, she’s using her interest in photography to capture images portraying the beauty of Rockford.

“I learned that if you look at things through a negative perspective, things tend to look a lot worse than they do,” said Li.  “So, I wanted to bring this positive energy and this idea that positive perspective can bring better engery.”

In the process, students are learning skills that typically aren’t taught in the classroom.

“How to contact people, how to interview people, how to find sources for funding – things like that that you just don’t learn in a normal class,” said Rauh.

It’s a year-long project, so students also learn something about themselves too.

“After maybe working on this project for a week or a month, you might feel like, ‘oh, this project is getting tiresome.’  But, you need the dedication to continue your passion and complete the project,” said Li.

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