By Laurie Corrin, Advanced Integrated Studies Faculty
“AIS gives students the chance to explore their unique passions in an environment that encourages failing as much as it encourages success.” — Chloe F. ’19
This semester seniors who are in the capstone project course Advanced Integrated Studies (AIS) are writing the first drafts of their research papers. By Christmas, they’ll have answered their driving research questions as part of a year-long exploration of a topic of special personal interest. Students started last spring as juniors with a project proposal, refined and researched over the summer and into the fall at Forest Ridge and the UW libraries.
Motivated by her passion for science, culture, theater, or social change, each girl has chosen an essential question that matters to her. Half of our senior class is tackling an AIS topic. This year’s topics range from bacteriophages to the effect of China’s one-child policy and include producing live theater, the orcas of the Salish Sea, blood donation, and malware threats.
In the second semester, each student will create a work product—a website, data visualization, marketing plan, or even a series of podcasts—to address her essential topic question. The capstone experience culminates with her presentation to the Forest Ridge community.
I am fortunate to be the coordinator for the AIS program this year. I am learning so much from these girls as they step bravely into the many challenges of writing, speaking, researching, planning, and synthesizing knowledge. They will enter college with project management skills, experience motivating themselves, and the confidence that only comes from real achievement. I know a bit about software development, mathematics, writing, and research—but I know very little about historical bias, zoonotic diseases, and the sociology of Chinese soap operas. I am so excited to learn from students who are sharing their passion with our school community!
“The pride you feel at the end of the experience is very hard to describe—you have worked an entire year and put your heart and soul into something you’re passionate about. And, for many of us, the end of AIS is not the end of our project; we are still working and honing the skills we learn.” — Cierra N. ’19
- Forest Ridge Blog