Ever imagined having Chris Hadfield as a mentor?
For Finn, one hard-working student at Waldorf, a private elementary school in Toronto, Ontario, this is exactly who he had mentor him for his final eighth grade project.
Chris Hadfield is only one of many famous and influential mentors who have generously donated their time to our students in order to support their development.
Many mentors were previously aware of the Waldorf capstone project when asked, but we thought we’d take a moment to fill you in on why it’s so notable and garners so much interest from outside the school.
The Culmination Of A Student’s Time At Waldorf Academy
At Waldorf Academy, we ask our students to do a final project throughout their last year at the school – one that pushes the envelope of what they’re comfortable with and has them learn skills that sets them up for high school and beyond.
Students start their magnum opus during the summer before the start of eighth grade, giving them time to choose a topic that speaks to them, consider how they wish to approach and research their topic, and become inspired from reading up on it.
The final project is the assignment that our alumni tell us was most instrumental in teaching them success, partly due to the perseverance needed to complete it as well as the self-directed nature of it which helped them develop their research abilities.
Their interpersonal skills, critical thinking skills and planning skills are tested during the time it takes to conceive, plan, research and present this study.
Mentorship is a critical and required factor of this capstone project, connecting the students with experts, influencers, professionals and people in positions of authority.
Over the course of the year, the students meet with their mentors in order to get direction, to master their understanding of their topic, or perhaps to refine a skill.
As well, it demands the students be organized, be prepared for these mentor meetings, and be resilient enough to respond to and implement any suggestions they are given.
Having this exposure so young in life can open up possibilities and opportunities in a child’s life, and shows them a glimpse of the big, wild world that is awaiting them.
The end-of-year presentation is where our eighth grade students introduce their classmates, faculty and other classes to the topics they’ve been working on. For many of our students, this is the largest audience they’ve ever spoken in front of, which can be daunting.
The object of the presentation is to teach the audience something, which forces the student to consider their topic from the perspective of an expert or a teacher – it has them step outside their own perspective to consider that of the audience.
Another valuable lesson is the public speaking itself, which is rarely asked of students until university, but which provides graduates with the confidence that they can handle anything asked of them.
Many of our eighth graders are excited to share their projects and their knowledge, and produce professional presentations that can also be extremely creative in how they are delivered.
Contact Waldorf Academy
While most eighth graders aren’t writing letters to famous astronauts for mentorship, at Waldorf we encourage our students to not only strive for the stars, we help them build the experience they need to get there.
Many parents know their kids are capable of greatness and big success, and the Waldorf Academy Torontocapstone project encapsulates that belief perfectly.
If you feel your child could benefit from intensive, curated and supported education such as this, we encourage you to call us to book an appointment with us.
We welcome the opportunity to introduce you to our Toronto Academy and answer any questions you may have about your child’s education and future with us.