Students attend Capstone networking event

Chloe Green, Staff Writer

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 The Capstone Networking Event took place in the library on September 26 and 27. This event allowed Capstone students to interview professionals in specialized fields from the community.

 The main goals of the event was to build students’ communication skills as well as provide them with connections from outside of the school that would help them in progressing with their own capstone projects.

 “One of our goals for Capstone is for kids to be able to communicate their learning, to really be able to talk about what they want to do. And what we want to do is also provide these kids with the opportunity to go on interview-like experiences. We really want to get community connections to these kids so we bring the community in,” steering committee member Kelly Stokoe said.

During the event, students were given a 15 to 20 minute conference with their expert to discuss their project and ask any questions they may have had. The structure of the event consisted of each student having a one-on-one conversation with their designated professional. Afterwards, professionals gave feedback to capstone teachers regarding their interview with each student.

“Capstone Networking affected my project because after meeting with a professional whose profession did not initially match my interests for a career to pursue. It opened my eyes to an entirely different career that I will now change my project focus to,” junior Anna Saraceno said.

In order for this event to occur, School-to-Career Coordinator Kristi Ohanesian talked with capstone teachers and students about their research projects. This allowed Ohanesian to identify the types of professionals from the community that needed to be included in the event. She worked with the Farmington Chamber of Commerce and Farmington Economic Development to get more professionals involved, as well as the Career Center who sent out surveys to parents who showed interest in participating.

“Making connections with experts is a requirement for all capstone students, so this event helps to kickstart this process. We have found over the years that the hardest part of Capstone for most students is finding and connecting with professionals,” Ohanesian said.

Capstone Networking gave the professionals a chance to learn about the students’ projects and allowed the students to receive feedback and additional resources. One of the professionals involved, Social Studies teacher and former attorney Mark Chavey, was invited to participate in the event. Chavey spoke with students focused on going into the legal field.

“I hope that I was able to give some students direction about different ways they can pursue a job shadow and different people they might communicate with to have the best experience possible,” Chavey said.

According to senior Julia Furmanek, she left the Capstone Networking event with new knowledge about her field of interest and found the feedback from her professionals helpful in improving her project. Furmanek’s project is based on fictional short stories that surround issues that face adolescents today.

“Capstone Networking mainly impacted my project by providing me with guidance on how to take on a large work of fiction. I have limited experience with creative writing at the magnitude I plan to make this project, so talking with others with greater literary experience was definitely beneficial,” Furmanek said.