Springing Into Capstones

No single class or activity captures the SYA experience quite like the capstone project. Not only does it provide students an opportunity to put their evolving skills to the test, it also gives them a chance to dive into a single topic that captures their imagination and interest. Students are challenged to design their capstones in an experiential way, in which students learn by doing, and the project must rely on local resources. Read about four proposed projects, one from each of our campuses, below. 

Blair C. CN’19 | Packer Collegiate Institute | Role of Taiji in Modern China

Topic: From ordinary citizens practicing taiji in public parks to students enrolling in sports academies in pursuit of mastering the art, the ancient practice of taiji remains part of the fabric of modern China. Blair is investigating the importance of taiji today, and the different ways that taiji continues to be practiced.

Method: Blair will be combining daily practice at Beijing Sport University with interviews of instructors, students and casual practitioners. This way, he will investigate the perspectives of a wide array of practitioners while also learning about taiji through firsthand experience. Blair plans to share his project with his peers by performing a series of taiji routines. After each routine, he will describe the movements and their importance in detail, and lead his classmates through a routine. Next, Blair will present his findings from interviews and research on the topic.

Lindsay G. FR’19 | Friends Seminary | Preservation of 20th Century Architecture

Topic: Struck by the dramatic architectural juxtapositions in Rennes and its rich and diverse cultural heritage, Lindsay is investigating the rules and processes for protecting architectural heritage in Rennes. In particular, she will be diving into preservation of 20th century architecture in Rennes.

Method: Lindsay will speak with working professionals and officials in the field of heritage conservation in Rennes, and will learn the city’s rules. Next, she will select a building that matches the criteria for protection, and build a proposal to defend her choice. Ultimately, Lindsay plans to present her case to conserve a building of her choice in Rennes, including input from professionals and officials in the field and relying on knowledge of conservation rules in Rennes.

Katie K. IT’19 | Denver School of Science and Technology | Walking to the Vatican

Topic: Katie is studying the history, culture and importance of the Via Francigena, a trade route connecting Canterbury to Rome.

Method: Katie will walk 163.9 km (just over 100 miles) between Acquapendente and the Vatican, interviewing hikers and people she meets along the way and conducting research to gain a historical and cultural perspective on the route. Without the time necessary to be able to hike the entire distance in one shot, Katie has divided the route into 9 sections to be completed over the coming weeks. Katie will take public transportation to pick up where she left off on her last excursion, and the final section will bring her to the steps of the Vatican. Katie will compile video footage from interviews with hikers and locals along the way, and share reflections from her 100-mile hike through Italian towns and countryside.

Abby T. ES’19 | Lincoln Sudbury Regional High School | Zaragoza Street Art

Topic: Abby is investigating street art as a vehicle for expression in Zaragoza, and will be comparing intentions of artists and interpretations of the public.

Method: Abby will interview multiple street artists, with the goal of understanding their creative process as well as their artistic intent. Next, she will interview locals to learn their perspectives and reactions to each piece of street art. And finally, Abby will create her own mural, with techniques that draw inspiration from the various artists she has interviewed and artists she has learned about through her art history class.

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Fieldwork Around the World

Take a visual tour of fieldwork taking place on our four campuses around the world, from cheese making to art explorations. 

Launching the SYA Practicum

We believe that the learning environment extends well beyond the classroom walls, and therefore Practicum is designed to continually present students with opportunities to challenge themselves.

Fall 2019 Photo Essay

Travel around the world with the Class of 2020 in this photo essay featuring highlights from the first weeks abroad.

Severine Bordeau

SYAers around the world followed Séverine's progress as she ran through famous sections of the race, feeling the adrenaline of each mile marker.

Power of Place

President Tom Hassan reflects on the observance of the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings, a visit to Paris and the Notre-Dame Cathedral, and a gathering of over 30 teachers and educational leaders in Viterbo, Italy.