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Two Seniors Present Capstone Projects in First Semester

Andy Garside ’19 and Melanie Comoglio ’19 have both presented to classmates and faculty their Capstone projects, consisting of two diverse subjects for the benefit of the local community.
The optional Capstone Program is for students who have an interest in independent research and have demonstrated the ability to balance the project with their other school work. Under the tutelage of a Faculty Sponsor, students pick the project during their junior year and pursue the research for the duration of their senior year. The mix of independent research and the mentor relationship prepares Capstone scholars for the future higher education experiences of a senior thesis or doctoral dissertation.

Andy’s project, under the direction of history teacher Mr. Timothy Love, was entitled “The Powerful Impact That Dogs Have on Veterans and the Homeless.” With a combination of academic research and interviews, Garside’s conclusions came in the form of a series of essays on how dogs impacted the physical and mental well-being of his veteran and homeless subjects.

When asked about the experience, Andy responded: "Having the opportunity to interview individual veterans and homeless people about their relationships with their dogs was my favorite part of the entire project. Research and numbers can only tell you so much about an issue, so the stories that these people shared about their animals were both eye-opening and beneficial in better understanding the issue."

Melanie’s project involved the development of a solar heater for beehives. For the past three years, the High School Campus has kept honeybees, which have been the subject of a community service project. Last winter, due to extremely cold temperatures, the colonies were all wiped out. With the help of science teacher Mike Ireland, himself an amateur beekeeper, Melanie developed, tested, and improved a beehive heater using glass tubing, copper, and alcohol.

Since the aim of the Capstone projects is to synthesize their academic work, the two students used knowledge from a number of past classes. Melanie used Materials Engineering, Science 2: Physics, Science 1: Chemistry, AP Chemistry, and Algebra II. Andy used Seminar 9 and 10, English: American Studies, and English: World Studies.

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