The Value of AP Capstone™

Since 2015-16, RSGC has been part of a small group of schools that offers the AP Capstone two-year diploma program for Grade 11 and 12 students based on two foundational courses, AP Seminar and AP Research. 
Designed to stimulate minds and prepare students for the rigours of university, AP Capstone seeks to build key skills like deep and sustained reading, scholarly research, the formation of evidence-based arguments and the effective communication of ideas.
In the AP research year, students must independently come up with their own research. They survey what’s been done in the field and come up with a gap. The research must be 5,000 words, scholarly and original. Dr. John Lambersky, who runs RSGC’s  AP Capstone program, sees the course as a mini-thesis for high school students. 

“It’s about being prepared for university and beyond,” said Mr. Lambersky. “It’s great because students get to be a participant in every aspect of graduate school at the high school level.”

Mr. Lambersky had the boys create their own journal where they could submit their research, opening up submissions to other AP students from around the world. They have received 63 submissions. Eight boys in the class are editing and working with 14 external editors to form an advisory panel, who will decide what will be published. 

“In the first year, they get exposed to peer review and scholarly articles in a way that is uncommon for high school students,” said Mr. Lambersky. “In the second year, they can contribute to the journal and conduct a mini PhD. It’s a nice thing to be a part of and it’s a wonderful thing for us to give our students.”

Ethan Kelly, Class of 2017, is excited about the journal.

“It’s extremely rare to have this experience in high school and even in an undergraduate degree,” said Ethan. “It’s really interesting to see what other students are doing. It’s a unique process to go through as a high school student and be doing this level of work.”

As for the course in general, Ethan feels it has really helped him prepare for university.
“I’ve grown a lot as a researcher and a writer as a result of taking the Capstone program,” he said. “It’s been challenging at times, but very rewarding.”