MLEC's Capstone projects based on four years of study and preparation

Tuesday, July 3, 2018 0 Comments


Every year, Miami Lakes Educational Center (MLEC) seniors of each academy and strand combine all the skills they’ve gained over their four years of high school into one big end-of-the-year project. 

 These capstones are all different, with every student putting their own spin on their strand’s selected assignments. 

 The engineers are tasked with making any type of original mechanism, digital arts students must complete a digital advertisement campaign as well as compile a portfolio of some of their best works throughout their four years, and journalists are asked to produce a product that relates to media or marketing. 

 What all of these capstones have in common is that at the end of the year, each student must present their final product to a panel of judges who decide their grades.

 “Presenting in front of judges is pretty nerve racking. Standing up there feels like an eternity, and once they start talking it makes you feel even more anxious. But in the end, all the practice you did beforehand pays off and causes them to like it,” said Michael Burgos, an IT student enrolled in the Cisco strand. 

 The work that these students do is up to them. Although some teachers may give some basic guidelines, it is up to the student to decide on what exactly they will do. 

 Through these projects, students have to master the skills they’ve been taught before, as well as learn brand new skills that they may have previously had no experience with. 

 When these students finally complete these projects, they’re able to present them in front of a panel of industry professionals who give the students feedback as well as constructive criticism.

 Journalism seniors Alexandra Reboredo and Daylin Delgado presented their capstones in front of two judges. Jose Otero, a representative from the yearbook printing company Herff Jones and Jennifer Bakeman, a journalist who has worked for Politico and WLRN, South Florida’s local National Public Radio (NPR) station. 

 These two judges were amazed by their work, and could not have imagined doing this college level project as high school students. 

 “The students were so impressive, they were able to exercise so many different skills professionally. I was reviewing their portfolios and thought about how I wasn’t able to do anything of that level probably until I was a sophomore or junior in college,” said Bakeman. 

 In addition to improving skills, these capstones serve to prepare these students for the future, not only in their strands or specific industry, but in any path of life they choose. 

 “Many of my students are able to graduate and start entry-level positions because of the skills they’ve acquired, and because of their portfolio,” said communications academy head Odalis Soto. 

 “Many students decide not to pursue college and become freelancers and entrepreneurs. The skills they’ve learned here helped them to accomplish this and become successful.”


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