2022 Capstone at YHS: Inspiring Students to Learn, Engage, Grow, and Create

As a part of our new Wellness Wednesday model at York House School, the Grade 12s presented their final Capstone Projects to the Senior School on Wednesday, October 5, with great passion, excitement, and with pride. The YHS Capstone is an independent, student-selected, and student-driven project that extends beyond the walls of the classroom. Working with an advisor and a mentor, Capstone inspires students to learn, engage, grow, and create with curiosity and with purpose. 

We saw and heard an incredible range of projects that stimulated lively conversations that continued to echo in the hallways long after the presentations were done. One of the projects is from Angela who realized the impact COVID has on small businesses and so for her Capstone, she designed an online, digital magazine to help provide marketing for Asian-Canadian-owned businesses in Vancouver and to share their stories. 

For her Capstone, Yael developed her own almond butter business called, The Lovely Spoonfulful, which was inspired by her mission to find a safe healthy food option for people with IBD. Yael sold her almond butters online, at a local farmer’s market and donated some of the proceeds to the Crohns and Colitis Foundation. 

Olivia shared that she and her family lost her grandfather just over a year ago and so for her Capstone, she composed a historical piece of music that documented the 92 years of her Grandfather’s life. Olivia created two distinct elements that were woven together to tell his story: a 5-part musical opus, and a matching 5-part photographic accompaniment, with each part having its own significance to the story of her Grandfather. Olivia said that “Capstone gave me the opportunity to celebrate him, keep his memory alive and bring joy, closure and meaning to our loss.” 

Capstone is an incredible opportunity for students to drive their own learning, share it with others, and make an impact in their community and the world around them. The Class of 2023 truly demonstrated that last week. They showed us that Yorkies pursue their goals, that they follow their passions, and that they find deep meaning and purpose in something personally relevant to them. 

Jaclyn Murray
Career-Life Connections & Capstone Coordinator

Grade 1 “Bee the Change” Project

As part of our “Bee the Change” inquiry project, the Grade 1 students had a memorable field trip visiting the beehives at Ms. Carmelita’s home. They were thrilled to get dressed in real beekeeper suits in order to stay safe around the hives and around the backyard. Ms. Carmelita’s husband, Patrick, opened the bee boxes right in front of the girls and showed us the parts of the hive. We were able to see the worker bees busy making wax, honeycomb and honey! We noticed parts of the hive that contained eggs and larva. We learned that beekeepers use a smoker (with pine cones) to keep the bees calm. Students who were keen were invited to stand right next to the hives to watch the bees flying in with pollen. Some students were able to hold worker bees and drones! We ended the trip with a honey tasting with honey straight out of the hives! It was delicious! We had an incredible time and want to express our sincerest thanks to Ms. Carmelita and Patrick for welcoming the Grade 1s to visit their fascinating beehives. It was truly a life-changing experience. Many of the students have a new love and appreciation for the important work that bees do in pollinating our world’s plants!

Nicole Sobieski
Grade 1 Teacher