Villa Park, CA -- May 31, 2019 -- Villa Park High School’s AP Research students, the first group of students to complete the AP Capstone Program at Villa Park, presented their year-long research projects to Villa Park High School staff members, Orange Unified School District members, families, and future Capstone students at the AP Capstone Colloquium. It was a celebratory night that recognized students’ dedication and perseverance throughout their research process, a process which culminated in a 4,000-5,000-word paper, a 15-20-minute presentation and oral defense to a panel of teachers, administrators and field-specific professionals.
Emmie Phuong, one of the first 11 students to complete the AP Capstone Program, remarked on the arduous nature of the course: “My AP Capstone journey has been a long one these last two years. But, being able to show my parents, staff, and peers the research I have been working on for the entire year made this experience worth it.”
The two year AP Capstone program, is divided into AP Seminar, taught by Ms. Meyer, and AP Research, taught by Mrs. Rockwell. The program is designed to teach students cross-disciplinary research skills indicative of and applicable to post-secondary education. This year’s AP Research students tackled a wide variety of topics: Dahlia Garcia researched the potential outcome of germline editing; Reina Miron researched the relationship between social media use and self-esteem; and Alan Cheung researched the impact of role models within education through the use of Sesame Street. Throughout the course of their research, students worked with an expert advisor from their respective field of study. This year, several students worked with professors at UC Irvine and Chapman University, and one student worked with a geneticist from Hoag Hospital.
“This was such a learning year for both me and the students. It was so inspiring to see students persist with their research in the face of obstacles and overcome their fears of public speaking,” stated Mrs. Rockwell. “This was an incredibly positive night, and I’m so happy others were able to see all of the hard work these students put into their research.”
As for incoming AP Capstone students, Dahlia Garcia imparts some advice: “I would advise incoming students to explore their interests, because you’re never going to have another class that gives you space and time to explore what you want to research. Take risks and study abstract concepts. See your ideas through.”