Capping Off the Year


Kassie Sainz, Staff Reporter

With the sudden approach of our concluding school year, the capstone projects produced through each pathway’s designated course are finally being showcased. 

To clarify, a capstone project is a long-term assignment that is designed and completed during the duration of one’s senior year of high school. It is intended to provide students with the proper preparation needed for future pursuits or careers. Here at Millikan, our five programs; SEGA, COMPASS, MBA, QUEST, and PEACE, each lead their own capstone courses that build off the content taught in previously taken pathway classes. They are specifically tailored to the industry sector each pathway hones in on.

Regarding SEGA, the pathway that specializes in information and communication technologies, students are expected to craft a marketing plan for their previously developed video games. With the structure of the program, SEGA students are required to study Game Design in 9th grade, develop their games through Unity or Construct Three in 11th grade, and formulate a marketing plan with a production team in 12th grade. Through the capstone project, they additionally learn how to construct a mobile version of their games through using Unity, Construct3, DotBigBang, or MIT App Inventor. The SEGA teachers have worked diligently to provide their students with the expertise of industry professionals. 

Ms. Becker, the lead SEGA and CTE teacher, went on to state, “I hope that they understand all of the different careers related to software engineering, game design and development and that they see that even if they don’t go into that field as a professional, that it kept them engaged during high school.”

The pathway displayed projects such as a student made game called “Star Defender” by hosting a Game Showcase around Open House. In the future, they additionally aspire to organize “Game Jams” where students can collaborate together within a fun setting to create a game.

Shifting towards COMPASS, the pathway that targets social science and art, their senior capstone primarily dives into sociology and current affairs. The projects typically touch upon contemporary social issues such as poverty, race, gender, education, and health care systems. Throughout the course, the COMPASS seniors seek to broaden their knowledge by working hand in hand with research and the visual arts. 

Sharing insight on this year’s pool of projects, Mrs. Massich, the social science and COMPASS lead teacher, said, “Our students had a fundraiser to purchase 80 toys for the children at Child Lane that foster creativity and imagination. We also purchased arts supplies for the center to utilize in their classrooms. We are looking forward to continuing our relationship with Child Lane next year and bringing in activities focused on the visual and performing arts.”

Within the classroom and world of the art community, these senior capstone students have been able to celebrate the achievements of their projects.

For MBA, the pathway that is centered around marketing and entrepreneurship, its seniors utilize their prior 9th to 11th grade skills to design a conceptual product and detailed business plan. With the instruction of the CTE MBA teachers, these capstone students have gained 21st-century skills and a deeper understanding of the business world. The pathway’s projects were available for viewing on May 18 and 19 at the MBA Expo hosted by Ms. Valdez. 

“This is the first year MBA launched a project like this on our campus,” stated Ms. Sanchez, an AP Spanish teacher and the MBA lead teacher. “It was a great opportunity for our students to showcase the businesses they created this year.”

The Virtual Enterprise students were located in the gym where they set up booths for other MBA classes to learn about their developed products.

As for PEACE, the pathway that is geared towards learning about public services and legal professions, its senior capstone students are expected to analyze the UN’s outline of 17 goals that are directed towards improving the world. After analyzing, they must self-select one of the 17 goals and pick a specific region to base a project upon. 

“They look to see how that goal is affecting the people who live there and what potential sustainable actions are being enacted,” said Ms. Glenn, the PEACE lead teacher.

PHOTO COURTESY OF: the instagram account @mhsquestambassadors
A picture of a QSP student presenting their project at QSP night on May 25th.

Lastly, for QUEST, the pathway that is not affiliated with an industry sector, its capstone students were tasked with arranging a project that is meant to better the local community. With the instruction of Ms. Tubbs and Dr. Nolasco, the teachers of Millikan’s Quest Senior Project (QSP) class, the students were able to immerse themselves in community service. They were given the opportunity to craft a project that was tailored to their personal interests and the benefit of our community. 

On May 25, the QSP students along with the AP Research students showcased their months long hard work at QSP night. Various booths and classrooms were available for viewing to gain insight on the unique projects. 

“QSP night was a fun night where we could showcase our projects to our parents and each other. I loved seeing what my peers worked on all year and the impacts they were able to make,” stated Lindsey Yates, a QUEST senior.

All in all, our students here are experiencing great opportunities that they can use in their futures to help spread creativity and create better communities!