Math & Science Department
At HS, AP Capstone Proves Challenging and Innovative
Last fall, the high school began its first year with AP Capstone, and the College Board program has proven both challenging and innovative. The program is comprised of two AP courses — AP Seminar and AP Research — and is designed to complement and enhance the discipline-specific study in other AP courses. East Islip was accepted to be an AP Capstone school in the fall of 2015, and was one of less than 700 schools in the United States offering this program during the 2016-2017 school year.
According to Janet Jones, the district’s director of math and science, East Islip’s AP Capstone program provides unique research opportunities that focus on collaborative teamwork and communication skills that are increasingly valued by colleges.
“It cultivates curious, independent, and collaborative scholars and prepares them to make logical, evidence-based decisions,” said Jones.
The school’s first AP Capstone students are currently taking AP Seminar, and recently began their required practice presentations, researching and presenting arguments for topics such as “Should GMOs Be Funded by Government?” and “Can Humans Reverse the Sixth Extinction?”
Kathleen Dinota, the teacher of AP Seminar, grouped the students based on possible connections between chosen topics. The students were then asked to collaborate and find solid connections based on facts. These connections were then compiled and put into seamless, professional PowerPoint presentations that accompanied a timed verbal description of the group’s support of their chosen argument.
“Our AP Capstone students spoke with self-assurance, conviction and astuteness thus making them one step ahead of the rest in terms of college and career readiness,” said Jones.