Developing a Mobile App: Students can work to develop their own mobile application through learning programming languages like Java, Python, or Swift. They would need to come up with an app idea, design user interfaces, write code, debug issues, and eventually present a working prototype. Some app ideas could include educational tools, games, organizational/productivity apps, or ones focused on a cause they care about.
Starting a Business: An ambitious capstone could involve actually starting a small business. Students would develop a business plan including market research, target customers, product/service details, operations, marketing strategies, and financial projections. They may create a website, set up social media, seek funding, produce inventory, and try selling their product/service. Sample business ideas could be tutoring, crafts, food items, car washing, photography, etc.
Improving the School Environment: Capstone projects provide an opportunity for tangible community impact. Students may propose and implement plans to make their school greener, healthier, safer, or more inclusive. Ideas include starting recycling/composting programs, creating outdoor classrooms or gardens, developing anti-bullying initiatives, highlighting diversity, coordinating blood drives, or organizing fundraising events.
Documentary Film: Students passionate about filmmaking can produce a documentary film as their capstone. They would research a topic, develop a storyline, obtain supplies, conduct interviews, capture footage/images, edit the raw content into a polished film, and screen it for an audience. Potential topics could explore school or community history, local issues/organizations, hidden populations, or cultural traditions.
Research Study: For scientifically-inclined students, a research study makes an ideal capstone. They first need to formulate a research question and hypothesis, create a methodology, get necessary approvals, collect and analyze data, then report findings. Research could survey classmates, test concepts in science fair projects, analyze historical trends or statistics, explore relationships between variables, or even involve lab work or field studies.
Music/Theatre Production: Creatively focused students can write, direct, choreograph and perform their own musical or play. This would entail developing scripts/scores, choreographing routines, designing sets/costumes, holding auditions, coordinating rehearsals, marketing shows, and putting on live performances. Original works allow students to express themselves while cultivating various real-world skills.
Community Service Project: Many impactful capstones address real issues facing the local community through hands-on volunteering. Students may organize a collection drive, implement a mentoring/tutoring program, construct homes/playgrounds, revitalize public spaces, or host educational workshops. Collaborating with non-profits exposes students to meaningful career paths focused on social responsibility and civic engagement.
Athletic/Fitness Challenge: Those with physical talents can plan and complete an athletic feat requiring perseverance, dedication and teamwork. Examples are running races like marathons or triathlons, cycling long distances, participating in endurance competitions, organizing intramural leagues, instructing fitness classes, creating exercise videos, or establishing wellness programs. Pursuits like these foster growth mindsets around health, goal-setting and leadership.
Website/Digital Portfolio: A website or digital portfolio composed of multimedia elements proves a flexible capstone for any student. They can survey appropriate topics and technologies, build interactive web pages and databases, collect testimonials and samples of best work, integrate social sharing features, and more. Finished products can then function as lifelong marketing and résumé-building tools.
This covers a wide range of potential high school capstone project topics along with examples and suggestions for each. Capstones provide students an authentic opportunity to dive deeply into self-directed work, solving problems in creative ways, and leaving their high school years having achieved something meaningful they can feel proud of. With guidance from instructors, any hard-working student should find this list a source of inspiration for impactful projects befitting their skills and passions before embarking on their next educational journey.