Portrait of an AP CapstoneTM Graduate 

Coastal Virginia’s inaugural class of AP Capstone™ diploma candidates graduated from Norfolk Collegiate on May 26, 2017. Since then, the program has seen more than 20 students graduate as AP Capstone™ diploma candidates.  

The AP Capstone™ Diploma program was introduced by the College Board to engage high school students  in college-level independent research, communication and teamwork. The program is built on two foundational courses, AP Seminar and AP Research, that emphasize inquiry-based independent research, collaboration, and  communication  as students investigate contemporary issues and problems from multiple perspectives. Students who successfully complete written theses and oral presentations and defenses of their research  receive either the AP Capstone Diploma™ or the AP Seminar and Research Certificate™.

Here is a look at what our AP Research students have delved into for their independent research projects:

William Addison '17

  • Identified energy usage issues caused by a one-to-one iPad program and sought to mitigate the excessive energy consumption through solar-powered iPad chargers. This study analyzed different characteristics of 3D-printed, solar-powered iPad chargers using content analysis and design-based research to redesign a new 3D-printed model. View project here

Austin Beale '17

  • Performed a case study on The TIDE light rail system to determine the economic and social impact of light rail transit through the collection of quantitative and qualitative data.  View project here

Cameron Brown '17

  • Investigated concussions in female youth soccer players to design an improved protective headgear that could decrease the number of concussions that players experience. View project here                     

Dylan Cheek ’18

  • Investigates the filtrative abilities of the eastern oyster in respect to orthophosphate concentrations. Through a quasi-experimental approach, samples were taken over a 5-hour period to determine the rates of phosphate filtration for three different age groups.

Madison Coakley '17

  • Analyzed quantitative and qualitative data gathered during the first 10 months that the Fruits N’ Veggies campaign in Hampton Roads to determine the program’s efficacy. In partnership with a local farm market, the Five Points Community Farm Market, Partnership for a Healthier America sponsored the launch of a mobile-market in the area, which was designed to increase accessibility to fresh fruits and vegetables for families throughout Hampton Roads, more specifically for those residing in low-income areas and food deserts within the community.  View project here

Grant Campion '17

  • Surveyed historic homeowners in West Freemason to determine retrofitting history, opinions about the financial impact of retrofits, use and knowledge of tax incentives, and opinions about how all levels of government provide information to citizens about tax incentives.  View project here

Victoria Cherry '17

  • Explored the effect of different music genres on the selective attention of high school students, which was then tested via the Stroop Color Word Test.  View project here

Princess’ Kayla Dawson ’18

  • Explored the underlying causes of the social media marketing success of the “Humans of New York” and its impact on fundraising efforts. Through content analysis, Humans of New York series “Refugee Stories” and “Pediatric Cancer” were analyzed for visual and linguistic emotional appeal.

Taylor Dews ’18

  • Analyzed the Disney film, “The Princess and the Frog.” She coded the characters Tiana and Charlotte La Bouff separately for the presence of overarching static characterizations adapted from a study done by Kinga Varga-Doba and substantiated in the work of Stuart Hall. The results of each analysis were then compared to ascertain whether Tiana and Charlotte display characteristics of binary oppositions.

Miles Edmond ’18

  • Implemented a quasi-experimental method to analyze the effects of various levels of dehydration on cognition in high school wrestlers using urinalysis and the Stroop Test.

Hannah Garcia '17

  • Examined the benefits of school gardens and the potential they have to address hunger and childhood obesity in the United States by increasing the quantity of fresh food donations at food pantries.  View project here

Rimsha Haque '17

  • Studied the effects of exercise on the cognition of high school baseball players to find that exercise does improve cognition.  View project here

Amir Horton '17

  • Constructed a drip irrigation system to test the effectiveness of an agricultural irrigation method at the garden level.  View project here

Joshua Hutson ’18

  • Performed a comparative analysis to analyze helmets and mouthguards with concussion sensing software. Three questions were designed based on those in previously published studies to find the optimal combination of a helmet and a mouthguard with the ability to measure concussive forces.

Cecilia Innis ’18

  • Performed a content analysis to determine the relevance of the concept of racial aliteracy to ABC’s television show “Scandal” with respect to media representation of African American women. Both qualitative and quantitative data were generated through coding the characters’ roles, relationships, and behavioral characteristics, as well as the Matriarch, Lady and Jezebel tropes as they applied to the show’s black, female lead, Olivia Pope.

Ashby Larkin ’18

  • Used a quasi-experimental method to determine the perceived effectiveness of CHO+Pro recovery drinks on female high school soccer players’ muscle soreness and lactic acid build-up. In this experiment, the athletes were given either a Muscle Milk or a Pure Protein recovery beverage following a soccer practice and game and then were asked to fill out a perceived soreness scale to determine which recovery drink had the better perceived effect.

Maria Leondaridis '17

  • Examined characteristics of nanotechnology for potential treatment of pediatric Crohn's Disease and Psoriasis due to inefficient current treatments. A comparative analysis was conducted among nanotechnology treatments for adult Crohn's Disease, Psoriasis and pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia to identify characteristics of possible nanotechnology treatments for pediatric Crohn's Disease and Psoriasis.  View project here

Danyan Li '17

  • Explored of the differences between America and China in treating paediatric Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) with sildenafil, bosentan, and inhaled nitric oxide.  View project here

Laura Marin-Lopez '17

  • Investigated the effects of social media distractions on high school juniors and seniors.  View project here

Ellie Maus ’18

  • Identified flaws in oyster restoration systems used in the Chesapeake Bay.  A design research method was used to mitigate the flaws in current restoration structures to create a new oyster restoration structure suitable for the waterways of Tidewater Virginia. The new 3D-printed design was then tested by introducing oyster larvae to determine their rate of settlement.

Ashley Obermeyer ’18

  • Analyzed the effects of chemical pesticides on pollinators and attempted to develop a blend of essential oils that would be safe for honeybees but also effective in exterminating pests. This blend consisted of spearmint oil, thyme oil, and lemon oil. The solution was tested on the Winter Red Holly to treat the Southern Red Mite.

Sarah Smallets '17

  • Investigated safe alternatives to synthetic pesticides and specifically focused on those used on Cabbage Looper.  View project here

Brooke Walthall ’18

  • Performed a statistical analysis of Cognitive Processing Therapy and Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy through a two sample mean test to determine whether one treatment was more effective in treating symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder  (PTSD) in military veterans.  PTSD is a mental illness caused when a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event.

Jack Wentworth '17

  • Analyzed the effects of foreign exchange trading on historical downward trends of the U.S. dollar compared to international currencies to determine whether or not Forex trading affected those trends.  View project here