Senior Capstone Spotlight: Battery Packs and Fruit Snacks

The Senior Capstone Project is the culmination of each student’s academic experience at Upper Arlington High School. This is a genuine way for seniors to merge their interests, passions and curiosities with their academic goals. Seniors are given the opportunity to demonstrate the autonomy, complexity and uniqueness of their Senior Capstone Project both in a written format and through the oral presentation of their project before high school peers and teachers. 

In place of the Capstone Project, seniors in the Community School at Upper Arlington High School engage in a full-time, self-designed independent study exploration. These quarter-long projects may involve career-related experiences, community service endeavors, opportunities to hone practical skills, participation in college programs, involvement in a research project or the pursuit of a creative endeavor. 

We welcome community ideas for our seniors. Please feel free to submit those ideas by filling out the online form at www.uaschools.org/CapstoneSpotlight.aspxwww.uaschools.org/CapstoneSpotlight.aspx
 
Lily Liu: Battery Packs and Fruit Snacks 
My capstone involved planning, advertising and organizing a weekend-long camp for elementary and middle school students — "Mr. Bix's Robo Trix." The workshop was centered around STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), and kids were able to engage in a variety of hands-on activities. These included assembling a Rube Goldberg machine, programming a Dot and Dash robot, creating a motorized fidget spinner, and learning how to wire an Arduino project. In the end, I was able to nurture a love for robotics and engineering in over 50 kids, and raise over $2,000 for the Upper Arlington High School Robotics Club - funds which be used for the purchase of new machining equipment, and the construction and renovation of new and current robots. This process has helped me develop communication skills, and taught me the importance of time management. 

Why did this focus interest you?
This past school year, I served as the president of the UAHS Robotics Club. Robotics provided me with a learning experience unmatched by any formal course offered at the high school. It sparked my interest in engineering and allowed me to become a more independent learner and critical, creative thinker. Thus, I was interested in pursuing an endeavor related to the mission of UAHS Robotics because I wanted to expose other kids to STEM. A fundraiser format allowed me to both contribute financially to the success of the club, as well as encourage and develop interest in young minds. 

How does this project bookend your academic experience at the high school?
This project was a great way for me to end my high school career. I really felt as though I was able to impact my community (in a small way), and I hope that I was able to inspire kids to pursue careers in STEM and maybe develop a passion for robotics or engineering. 

What is your next step?
I am attending the Ohio State University, where I will be majoring in Mechanical Engineering.

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