Capstone Presentations Underway for Seniors
Over the next three weeks, 123 members of the Class of 2020 enrolled in Springboard or Mercersburg’s Advanced Program for Global Studies (MAPS) are presenting the results of their capstone work. Presentations began Wednesday, April 29, and are being shown virtually, followed by a time of online Q&A for peers and mentors to participate.
All seniors are enrolled in one of the school’s two capstone experiences—MAPS or Springboard—and successful completion of one of these two experiences is a requirement for graduation.
Nine Springboard courses are offered this year: COMMARTS: The Art and Business of Graphic Design, Entrepreneurship, The Fight Against Disease, Maker’s Lab, Parallel Histories, Write Your Novel, Open Topic, Positive Psychology, and Rapid Application Development.
MAPS is a two-year program beginning in the 11th-grade year, and is geared toward expanding the existing curriculum and engages other academic and cocurricular opportunities to challenge students in deliberate ways. Through the program, students will become compassionate and engaged global citizens, creative and discerning thinkers, and self-motivated learners.
"All of the presentations this year are pre-recorded,” says John David Bennett, Mercersburg’s dean of curricular innovation. “I’ve had the pleasure of previewing some of them, and I’m amazed and charmed by what I’ve seen. I’m watching seniors make the best of difficult circumstances, telling the stories of their projects with sincerity and pride.”
SEARCH presentations, which are given by the 10 students enrolled in MAPS, cover topics including technology's impact on the way we read, misunderstanding the effects of drug addiction, art therapy’s innovative approach for treating autism, and how new media has polarized politics. “SEARCH” is an acronym for Study-Engage-Apply-Research-Create-Help, and students give these 45-minute presentations to a panel of peers, professionals, educators, and experts from both inside and outside the Mercersburg community.
“MAPS is proud to present the 2020 SEARCH presentations of our senior scholars,” says Director of MAPS Peter Kempe. “All of us need to adjust to a new reality in these unprecedented and unpredictable times and circumstances. We also adjusted our usual MAPS presentation format for this year. There is no doubt that we are very proud of their work and commend them for living up to the high standards of MAPS by truly becoming ‘compassionate and engaged global citizens, independent and self-directed learners, and creative and discerning thinkers’”.
Faculty members involved in the courses include MAPS faculty Kempe, Jay Bozzi, and David Bell, and Springboard teachers Bennett, Kristen Pixler, Franklin Bell, Dave Holzwarth ’78, Todd McGuire, Eric Hicks, Brett Potash, and Andy Brown. Jennifer Miller Smith ’97 is the school’s academic dean.