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Capstone Project

Burke County High School

SENIOR PROJECT 2018 - 2019



The Senior Project at BCHS is designed to provide you with the opportunity to apply all that you have learned in the four years of high school to a project which will extend your learning, stretch your potential, and challenge your abilities! Completed during the senior year, the work of the BCHS Capstone Project consists of four major pillars: paper, product/performance, portfolio, and presentation. The goal is to choose a topic of interest to you and explore it. This might include investigating a topic you have always been curious about or choosing something you know a little about and taking your understanding of it to a new and challenging level.  The Senior Project Concept has been highly acclaimed and proven successful in many high schools across the country.


For Example. . . A possible BCHS Capstone Project for someone who might be interested in English Language Learners might be to investigate how people acquire a second language and produce a bilingual book for young children about a cultural event (Cinco de Mayo, Chinese New Year, etc.). This product will require you to write the story, translate the story, illustrate the story, and bind the final copy.


This handbook will guide you through this exciting journey every step of the way. It includes the information and forms you will need to complete the BCHS Capstone Project


The Senior Project is a fitting conclusion to your high school education. It must be successfully completed as a 20% component of your senior English class, which is required for all graduating seniors, and will replace the final exam in your Literature class only. Through the project, you are able to demonstrate accumulated skills in time-management, research, problem-solving, human interaction, organization, and public-speaking. This is appropriate as the culmination of your K-12 education because these are the very skills and abilities which you will be expected to demonstrate as college students and/or employees. 



Each phase must be completed and graded before credit will be given on the next component.


  • The first is an EXPOSITORY research paper. You must research and document information on a subject of your choice -- a subject in which you have an interest, but are not already an expert. Your research must be a worthwhile stretch beyond what you already know. As part of your research, you must obtain a mentor to assist in advising you throughout the project. Your mentor cannot be a Burke County faculty member, a family member or anyone under 21 years of age. Your mentor must be someone who is knowledgeable or a professional in the area of your interest. Your mentor will be guiding you and grading your finished product. You must spend face time with your mentor (16 hours – 8 hours for job shadowing/8 hours for product creation.
  • The second phase requires you to apply the information you have gained from your research to manufacture a "product." Your product may be an actual physical product, a performance or demonstration, or a service to the community. There must be a clear relationship between your research and your product. Select a product within your financial budget, keeping in mind that you are not expected to spend money in order to complete the Senior Project.
  • The third phase of the Project is the portfolio. You must keep good records of your progress and preserve everything in a portfolio that demonstrates your journey throughout the entire Senior Project. These documents include personal notes, photographs, time logs with your mentor, journal entries, receipts, letters, your research paper, etc. Although components of the portfolio will be graded throughout the year, a committee will grade the entire portfolio for completeness and aesthetics at the end of the semester.
  • The final phase of the project will be the presentation. This will be a speech of between eight to ten minutes, given before a board of judges. You will be assigned a date and time for your board well in advance.

If you adhere to the guidelines, meet the deadlines, and put forth your best effort, you will know that you have been successful in a life-long learning experience. All information is included in your handbook or will be given to you by your English teacher. It is imperative that you maintain good attendance so that you can be aware of any changes in dates or other vital information that becomes necessary as you move through the year.


For a detailed and concise explanation of the project’s requirements, please refer to the file below entitled BCHS Capstone Project. 



Where to start...

Research, Product & Portfolio

Research has repeatedly shown that when students are given clear and concise directives, coupled with exemplars, they are better able to understand what they are asked to do. Using exemplars enables students to visualize or picture what must be accomplished for a successful outcome. To aid our students in creating their Capstone Projects, we have included several exemplars in the presentations below. Please take a moment to view these, parents and students alike. Take time to discuss what a successful Capstone Project looks like. Parents, brainstorm with your students ways to begin their projects, how to narrow down their choice of research topic, how to find and access information and what materials may be available for their use.

The Presentation

The capstone culminating presentation is based on your research and is given before a board of judges consisting of professors and/or administrators. A student's capstone presentation should demonstrate his or her ability to synthesize and apply the knowledge and skills acquired during his academic research to real-world issues. Students, with proper preparation, you will not only earn high marks, but you'll gain invaluable knowledge and skills in doing so.

To view the video associated with the presentation exemplar, please click HERE.

Job Shadowing

Job shadowing is an activity that enables students to spend time observing a professional on the job in real-world situations and offers students a unique opportunity to visit to a professional work environment. While shadowing, students gain insight into how to choose, find and keep a fulfilling career. Shadowing also helps students see connect textbook learning and real world applications. 
Last edited & updated by Dr. P. Saxon & S. Barajas, Oct.15, 2015

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