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Jackson Middle School eighth-grade students complete capstone projects

(05/10/19) The culminating moment of a students’ time at Jackson Middle School - A Specialty School for Math and Science (JMS) is the eighth-grade capstone project. Projects, which Capstone presentation at JMS begin in January and conclude in May with a six-minute presentation, pushes JMS students to their limits, but ultimately shows their strengths.

Over 700 capstone projects will be presented over a three-week period, marking a significant achievement for all and symbolizes the end of the eighth-grade experience at JMS. View a photo gallery.

Each student is provided a capstone journal and begins by picking a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM)-based project. Students are encouraged to choose projects that are innovative and allow them to decide and thrive, sustain and conserve, or imagine and create through their exploration.

The goals are that students will explore current topics that are relevant to them; that they will choose a specific topic to research; and they will act upon what they have learned by creating an oral presentation.

“One of the values of this project is that you can say to a student, congratulations, you finished,” said Jane Matheson, curriculum integrator at JMS. “This project gets students out of their comfort zones and they learn so much, especially with public speaking.”

In the months leading up to the project, students heard from nearly 60 different outside speakers who presented on topics that might drum up some interest while researching capstone project topics.

In the culmination of the project, students create a slideshow to aid their presentation, which is done in front of a panel of teachers and classmates.

“Along with everything they learned while researching the project, we’re sending them away with the skills and knowledge on how to present yourself in front of people, but also on how to organize and create a presentation,” Matheson said.

While the students may feel a sense of relief when the project is completed, but in the end they are very proud of the work they did and presented.