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CAPS Chorts

The ultimate CAPS experience is student driven innovation and connection to a professional community. CAPS students spend their semester becoming quick experts in fields across the STEAM spectrum. During the CAPS Cohort Experience students are given the opportunity to take their expertise outside a topic silo and collaborate with peer experts from divergent fields of study. The end result: innovation.
Researcher Julia Freeland Fisher, author of “Who You Know: Unlocking Innovations that Expand Students’ Networks,” inspired a group of CAPS instructors to provide bigger collaboration opportunities for our students. Freeland Fisher shared that a close relationship with a network of individuals is often more valuable to young people than loose connections, often the kind held via social media. CAPS students gain valuable relationships within their strand, but instructors felt that the opportunity to find a strong connection outside their strand was often hard to do. The CAPS Cohort Experience, in its second year, offers the time and space for students to create closer connections across industries.
During the Spring of 2019, 3 small groups formed to solve problems both close to home and globally focused. This spring, 6 groups have formed. The innovation topics range from reinventing the second semester of senior year to reimagining health care for veterans, from teaching young people how to “adult” to solving the blue light problem on the screens we use every day. Diverse problems being solved by diverse voices.
Although the Cohort Experience just began for the spring 2020 semester, the teams have already taken action on at least one of their ideas: a college spirit day at CAPS. The other ideas and initiatives are currently being researched and solutions are being brainstormed. Each project team will work until the end of April when they are invited to present their work at the CAPS Innovation Celebration on April 30. After, each group will be given the opportunity to continue pursuing their innovative work.