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The PCA Capstone: Senior Thesis

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PCA students are recognized as individuals who possess strong core academic skills and a clear Christian worldview. However, there is one aspect that may be overlooked; the capstone of every graduating class at PCA: the senior thesis. What exactly is a capstone? The Glossary of Education Reform defines a capstone project as "a multi-faceted assignment that serves as a culminating academic and intellectual experience for students, typically during their final year of high school...similar in some ways to a college thesis."

 All PCA seniors participate in the year-long Senior Thesis class or honors Senior Thesis class. The purpose of the course is for students to actively engage in self-driven research to pursue knowledge in a topic of their choice and prepare an in-depth presentation which they then showcase to a panel of peers, parents, and professionals during the month of April. Whew! That was a mouthful!

 Students in Senior Thesis research a career of their choice while at the same time enlisting the aid of an outside mentor in that respective field. As well as developing an online portfolio that can be taken with them to college or used when applying for jobs and internships, the students will defend how technology specific to their field has made a positive or negative impact on their career choice.

 Students in honors Senior Thesis research a non-career topic of their choice. They will develop an arguable thesis that considers opposing views and will present and defend their position. In conjunction with their research, students will enlist the aid of two mentors, one being a PCA faculty member and the other an outside professional/expert. The students will also participate in some sort of community outreach or involvement related to their topic.

 With knowledge being easy to access in today's age, it is more important than ever to hone critical thinking skills. This is what the Senior Thesis class does: it brings the day-to-day academic and Christian worldview instruction PCA students receive year after year to fruition. It is a visual manifestation of why it pays to be a graduate of PCA.

Posted by Selina Zubia with

2nd Graders Discover The Wonders Of God's Creation Through Science

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Squeals of excitement could be heard throughout Mrs. Rhodes
classroom as their scientific discoveries led to some fantastic results. The students used the scientific method to find out if the shape of a container would change the chemical reaction between baking soda (a base) and vinegar (an acid). What they discovered was quite a surprise.

 The students measured a solution of vinegar and blue dye and poured it into a vase. They measured baking soda and put it in the balloon. The balloon was placed over the opening of the vase. When Mrs. Rhodes signaled them to begin, students gently poured the baking soda into the vinegar and there were squeals at the results. They were shocked to find that the gas formed from the reaction would inflate the balloon!

 Mrs. Rhodes says this is part of the science chapter "What Scientists Do". She explains,"We are learning to study God's world and discover the wonders of His creation. He is a God of creativity, purpose, organization, and wonder. Second graders enjoy seeing God through His world."


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