Signature Programs

AP Capstone Program

Program Overview

The AP Capstone program is the crown jewel of the College Board curriculum, offering two yearlong AP courses: AP Seminar and AP Research. These courses seek to develop students' skills in research, analysis, evidence-based arguments, collaboration, writing and presenting. They are also designed to complement the nearly 30 other subject-specific AP courses available to Westminster high school students.

Students who pass both AP Seminar and AP Research, as well as four other AP exams, will graduate with the AP Capstone Diploma from the College Board, a highly coveted and prestigious honor.

AP Capstone Faculty

List of 1 members.

  • Photo of Hannah North

    Mrs. Hannah North 

    University of Miami - Bachelor's Degree, English and Political Science
    Johns Hopkins - Master's Degree, Secondary Education in English

AP Capstone Scholars

List of 7 items.

  • Maia Alvarez '21

    A varsity tennis player, Maia has explored children’s cognitive development through her internship with a pediatric neurologist. She also pursues her passion for culture through her travels to 32 countries and her tenure as president of the French Club and leader of a French class for elementary students.

    Past research includes: The Illusion of War: The Dangers of War Toys in Children’s Pretend Play; Tetris: A Supplementary Treatment Option for Adults with PTSD

    Culminating research project: The Effect of Parenting Styles on Academic Work Ethic

    Synopsis: Parents are the most influential influences on their children. A parent’s form of parenting through their actions is called their parenting style, which is distributed in four groups: authoritative, authoritarian, permissive, and uninvolved. Although parenting style has been seen to affect several aspects, such as academic achievement and cognitive development, little is known on parenting style’s effect on work ethic in an academic setting concerning adolescents.
  • Ashley Arango '21

    A dedicated track athlete for the past four years, Ashley explores her interest in psychology through her research in AP Capstone and plans on pursuing industrial-organizational psychology upon graduation.

    Past research includes: Social Anxiety in School: The Need for Special Accommodations

    Culminating research project: The Relationship Between Social Media and Emotional Intelligence

    Synopsis: In this research, a correlational study between the amount of time spent on social media (screen time) and the Emotional Intelligence (EQ) of teenagers between the ages of 14-18 was conducted. EQ was broken down into four quadrants: social awareness, self-management, relationship management, and self-awareness. The study found a statistically significant relationship between screen time and EQ as well as screen time and relationship management.
  • Leila Barket '22

    A committed student-athlete, Leila has earned internships at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital for nutrition and diet as well as Baptist Hospital for orthopedic surgery. She uses her experience coupled with her interest in psychology to study mental health issues.

    Past research projects include: The Need for Virtual Reality Therapy as a Required Resource for Veterans with PTSD; Reimagining Family-Based Therapy: The Need for Virtual Reality Therapy for Adolescents with Anorexia Nervosa

    Culminating research project: The Relationship between a Coaches’ Communication and their Athlete’s Self-Conceptual and Motivational Response

    Synopsis: This research aimed to study high school football and wrestling coach’s communication toward their athletes and how it effects their motivation and Athletic Self-Concept (ASC). Communication was qualified through content analysis of responses to hypothetical situations and grouped into four perceived mechanisms: Internal locus of control, Avoidant, Closeness, and Accountability. This study found that football coaches statistically exhibit the “Closeness” mechanism while wrestling coaches exhibit “Accountability.” Despite the differences in communication styles of the coaches, there were no differences in different athletes’ motivation and ASC.
  • Elizabeth Dolan '21

    A committed singer and member of the Robotics Club, Elizabeth works with foster children through the Made with Love Foundation.

    Past research includes: The Need for eSports in High School Education

    Culminating research project: Developmental Differences in Gender-Specific Spatial Skills

    Synopsis: In the field of gender studies, psychologists often argue if men and women are psychologically different because of their environments, such as gender stereotyping, or if the differences are causes from inherent neurological variations each gender holds. This research aimed to clarify this dispute and tested how gender-specific spatial skills vary in different age groups.
  • Kayla Dumas '21

    Kayla is the founder and leader of the Cafecito Organization, a group that organizes mission trips to Fundación Red de Miscericordia orphanage in Dominican Republic. She pursues both her passion for early childhood education in her research but has also studied Alzheimer’s Disease, research that has earned her a silver medal in the Science Fair.

    Past research includes: The Call for the Prohibition of Sibling Separation in the U.S. Foster Care System

    Culminating research project: The Effect Attending Preschool has on Children’s Academic Self-Concept and Long-term Academic Success

    Synopsis: The purpose of this study was to assess whether the academic feedback children received in preschool had a positive impact on the child's Academic Self-Concept (ASC) and long-term academic success. The study’s results showed that the elementary students who went to preschool demonstrated significantly higher ASCs and higher letter grades throughout elementary, and that preschool teachers were more likely to give their students growth mindset-based feedback.
  • Andrea Escobio '21

    Student Council representative for three years running, Andrea competes as the ninth ranked soccer player in the state of Florida and one of the top 150 soccer players in the nation. She uses this experience and perspective to drive her research concerning student-athletes.

    Past research includes: The Call for the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to Regulate Social Media Networks

    Culminating research project: The Ivy League vs. Division III: A Social and Academic Comparison of Student-Athletes

    Synopsis: Because athletes in Ivy League universities get preference in the admissions process, the general student population could be inimical toward these student-athletes. Analyzing the way Ivy League and Division III student-athletes feel regarding academic footing in relation to their peers points to the purpose of the research conducted: to determine whether student-athletes in Ivy League universities feel out of place, both socially and academically, amongst their peers.
  • Landon Glavach '21

    An elected member of the Student Council for four years in a row, Landon earned the Engineering Award and the AP Statistics Award, driving his research interests to explore statistics and the American media.

    Past research includes: The United Nations and Global Warming: A Call for Rightful Challenge to National Sovereignty Culminating research project: The Public’s Ability to Detect the Media’s Misuse of Statistics

    Synopsis: This research project analyzes media bias, if the media misuses statistics, and if the public can protect itself from the misused statistics. The results showed that the media is purposefully misusing statistics to mislead voters. This study suggests that news articles need a more rigorous fact-checking process and that the teaching of statistics must become more widespread.

List of 8 items.

  • Austin Jones '22

    An experienced graphic designer, published author, and editor of the literary magazine, Austin credits his extensive travel—45 countries on five continents—for his environmental research interests and global perspective.

    Past research projects include: Improving the Governance Model for Antarctica; Crafting Better Prisons Through Design

    Culminating research project: A Comparison of the Effects of Melatonin and Bisphenol A (BPA) on the Behavior of Free-living Motile Zooxanthellae

    Synopsis: There is a possibility that the substance bisphenol A (BPA) is interfering with natural cellular communication between corals and their symbiotic partners on which they depend. This project examined the effect of BPA and the neurotransmitter melatonin on the behavior of these symbionts to determine if they exhibit competitive qualities. It found that melatonin prevents the negative behavioral response seen in BPA alone, providing the possibility that high concentrations of BPA in the oceans could be devastating to coral reefs.
  • James Lee '22

    An MMA fighter and varsity soccer player, James pursues his passion for medicine as founder and president of the Westminster Vision Club as well as through his work as an investigator for the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and co-author of an article submitted to the Aesthetic Surgery Journal.

    Past research projects include: A Call for New Regulation on Transgender Athletes; A Call for New Regulation on Abortion in the United States

    Culminating research project: Comparative Case Study on COVID-19 Prevention Methods

    Synopsis: This comparative case study investigated the efficacy of lockdown as a response to COVID-19 through the analysis of Florida and California. These states were analyzed through the variables of mortality, morbidity, the economy, and psychological effect. Florida’s loose lockdown led to a better outcome for the economy variable and the psychological effect variable. California’s strict lockdown led to a better outcome for the mortality variable and the morbidity variable.
  • Charlotte Leigh '21

    A passionate social justice advocate and winner of the AP Seminar Award, Charlotte pursues her dream to represent the US at the Youth World Championships in sailing after being ranked the top US Girl Team for the 2019-2020 season.

    Past research projects include: A Call for Classroom Discussion of America’s Racial Injustices; A Call for the Abolition of the Death Penalty
  • Juliet Pis '21

    Juliet intends to study law, leads the theater program as treasurer of the National Theater Honor Society and was the recipient of the Best Actress award last year. She also pursues her passion for psychology and service through her work as a peer counselor and winner of the Gold Presidential Service Award for the past three years.

    Past research includes: The Call for the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator to Be Used for Employment Decisions

    Culminating research project: Impulsiveness in Consumer Purchasing Behavior and the Jungian Cognitive Theory

    Synopsis: I noted that businesses tend to focus their marketing on those who are impulsive. Therefore, this study attempted to correlate the Jungian cognitive theory, a measurement of personality, with impulsivity, and then apply those results to consumer purchasing behavior
  • Joshua Ramirez '20

    Upon graduation, Joshua will study Homeland Security through the Embry Riddle Honors Program.

    Past research includes: The Solutions Needed to Combat Climate-Induced Migration

    Culminating research project: How Western Intervention in the Middle East Can Be Tied to ISIS’s Use of Their Destruction of Cultural Monuments as Propaganda

    Synopsis: This was accomplished by looking at historical events that involved Western intervention, like the Iranian Revolution, and comparing their origins and goals to cultural monuments that ISIS has recently destroyed. By utilizing this historical correlational method, it allowed for deeper insight into the context of this specific type of terrorism.
  • Teresa Somoza '21

    A four-year varsity soccer player, Teresa earned the AP Scholar with Honor award. She also holds the distinction of being the  first Westminster student to earn the AP Capstone Diploma as well as the AP and Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Student Achievement, in addition to certification in Autodesk Inventor.

    Past research includes: Non-Violent, Motion-Interactive Video Games: A New Treatment Plan for Children with Cerebral Culminating research project: Effect of Musical Ability on Math-Specific Skills

    Synopsis: Neurologically, when participating in activities that require musical ability, the parietal lobe is active. Similarly, when participating in advanced math, the parietal lobe is also active. My results suggest that musical ability is strongly correlated to Algebra skills. More specifically, melody is strongly correlated to Algebra skills as well as speed and that speed is also correlated to data analysis skills.
  • Natalie Talarico '21

    Natalie pursues her passion for politics and law as evidenced by her AP World History Award and commitment to volunteer work at the Paws 4 You animal rescue organization. She has also been a stage manager for three years and winner of the Theater Award.

    Past research includes: Religious Podcasts and Presence: How Virtual Presence Impacts Christian Churches

    Culminating research project: Effect of Judgment Styles on Place Memory

    Synopsis: Thinkers, individuals who are logic-oriented and analytical, tend to remember details of an event while feelers, those who are emotion-oriented, tend to remember how that event made them feel. Considering this, one’s personality type and its effect on place memory was tested. It was found that thinkers rather than feelers had the stronger relationship with place memory.
  • Aria Upton '21

    Honored by the College Board Recognition Program and the National Student Leadership Conference, Aria pursues her passion for fine arts on stage as well as through her research interests, sparked by her time at Yale University’s acting program.

    Past research projects include: Examining Possible Methods to Create Mentorship Training for Teachers; The Call for Creative Art Therapy for LGBTQ+ High School Students

Westminster Christian School

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