This year, three SLA seniors were each rewarded with a $500 scholarship to assist them in creating their capstone projects.
Wynn Geary’s Capstone was to start the first “Smart Beehive in the City.” The project involves sensors and a camera to track the health of a bee colony. Geary is a 3rd year beekeeper and will soon have a Buzzfeed article written about him and his hive.
Geary purchased a camera, $200 worth of sensors (including an optical dust sensor and weight sensors) and bee boxes. The sensors are used to determine the temperature, humidity, noise levels, and pollen levels inside the hive. For example, when there is an absence of a Queen Bee, the bees get louder. Using the noise sensors, you can better identify the cycles and patterns within a hive.
“There’s been a lot of talk about Smart Beehives, and I wanted to start one and see if I could make one better than other people out there creating them and create one that’s more tailored to bees. One that’s actually created by a beekeeper,” Geary said about the project
“There are some out there, but they’re done by sensory experts, they don’t know what’s going to actually help people understand what’s happening in the hive.”
Klarissa Hudson’s Capstone involved raising money for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, through bake sales. She also raised funds for her project by buying brownies and cookies from the many bake sales held throughout the school year.
Hudson didn’t use the grant, due to complications about submitting a receipt, but nonetheless her project was successful, raising almost $1000 through fundraising.
Hudson would have used the Grant to help pay for the supplies and snacks, because she acquired the supplies through money provided by her parents.
“I kinda changed the process of my whole project. My idea at the beginning was to make stuffed animals and cards for the kids themselves, hand-make them, and give them to the kids.” Unfortunately, CHOP denied hand-made things, so she had to buy individually wrapped gifts. Ultimately, she decided on donating the money she raised.
I asked Geary and Hudson if they thought that receiving the Capstone Grant allowed them to create a better Capstone Project.
Geary was emphatic in his response: “100%. I went to TFI and I asked them for a grant, they wouldn’t give it to me, I went to Whole Foods and I asked them for a grant, but it’s SLA that’s really been able to fund it. Without them, I couldn’t buy 500 dollars worth of sensors and cameras.”
Geary, who initially didn’t know about the program, first turned to other companies looking for grant money
By contrast, Hudson regrets missing the requirements to get her grant.
“[The Capstone Grant] would have been really helpful, because my parents had to basically get a loan to help get me money to go buy things from the store.” Hudson said.
Naihema Powell’s Capstone was a fashion show, held at SLA. Unlike Geary and Hudson, she was able to return the Grant provided to her by SLA, through ticket sales for the fashion show. She only needed the money to start the project.
“My beehive is going to be the most technologically advanced beehive in the world.” Geary stated with a laugh. He followed up with, “I think it’s going to be really awesome to be able to give a shout out to SLA as my capstone. To be able to say thank you to SLA, to say thanks you guys for a great 4 years.”
Hudson said, “Personally, I had a boyfriend who was at CHOP and the hospital really helped him recover, and get healthy and so I was really thankful to the hospital. I’ve gone there before, and so I wanted to give back to the hospital and I know that by doing this capstone, it was my way of doing something that was within my limitations that I could do to help them.”
Wynn Geary, Klarissa Hudson and Naihema Powell are set to present their Capstones on June 8th.
The money for the Capstone Grant was provided by the book sales from SLA English and Journalism teacher, Ms. Pahomov. While this is the first year SLA has provided Capstone Grants, when you become a senior, and if this opportunity is still available, make sure to apply! And then you might have a buzzfeed (or an slamedia) article written about you and your project!