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Grade 8 Capstone

Grosse Pointe Academy Capstone Challenges Students to Impact Their World

“What world challenge would you like to help solve?” Bridgette  Murray asks a group of Grosse Pointe Academy Grade 8 students. Murray, who is Assistant Head of School, Middle School Division Head and Middle School Language Arts teacher, is referring, of course, to the Academy’s Grade 8 Capstone Project.

The Academy Grade 8 Capstone Project provides our students with a yearlong opportunity to research a challenge of local or global significance, design a solution to help resolve that challenge and, ultimately, present their findings to the Academy community.

By early fall, our Grade 8 students are already well underway in their Capstone work. They begin with researching their potential topics and identifying sources that can help them. Part of the Capstone experience is “learning how to use critical thinking skills when reviewing sources and researching your topic,” says Mrs. Murray.

Next, students presented their “Guppy Tank Proposals" to their peers. The "Guppy Tank Presentation" is a two-minute presentation to their fellow classmates and Mrs. Murray, providing an overview of their proposed research topic for their Capstone Project.

As part of the Guppy Presentation, each student explained to their peers the challenge they want to help solve, potential obstacles they have identified and why their Capstone project is a worthwhile investment of their time. Students had the opportunity to give feedback, ask questions and provide guidance to each other as part of that process.

Over several months Grade 8 students invested significant time into developing their projects, culminating with a presentation near the end of the school year.

When Mrs. Murray introduced the Capstone project to the Academy nine years ago, she knew it would be a great fit for the Academy approach to education. “Capstones align with our Cornerstones and values,” says Mrs. Murray.

Once students have finished writing their research paper, it’s time to leave their mark in the world. The “Action Piece” portion of the project must be action-oriented,” explains Mrs. Murray. “This is not just about researching a topic. It’s about taking that research and turning it into an action to help solve that challenge.”

These skills, “thinking critically, asking questions, thinking about how they can affect the world around them and taking action” combined with “developing skills such as public speaking, research, self-sufficiency and goal setting” are skills that will help prepare them for high school, college, careers and beyond.”


Grosse Pointe Academy Capstone Challenges Students to Impact Their World

“What world challenge would you like to help solve?” 

2024 Projects

AI in Banking and Investment
Animal Abuse
Black Teens & Anxiety and Depression
Child Abuse
Child Labor
Children & Leukemia
Drug Use
Drug Use & Youth
Eating Disorders
Effects of Cancer on Families
Global Warming
Natural Disasters
The Right to Bear Arms

2023 Projects

Boosting Anti-Poverty Policies
Child Abuse and Its Lasting Effects
Child Soldiering in Uganda
Depression in Teens
Disabilities in School Environments
Eating Disorders in Adolescents
Effects of Eating Disorders
Equality for Everyone
Fighting Malnutrition
Illiteracy in Detroit
Lack of Clean Water Around the World
Minimum Wage
Non-Accessibility to Healthcare
Poverty and Its Causes
Poverty in Youth Sports
Self-Harm in Teens
Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Sports
Suicide and Depression
The Effects of Smoking
The Effects of Vaping
Unemployment in the United States
Water Affordability in America