The Capstone Experience 

The Freedom Jack: A student at another school created a jack that would allow a wheelchair to tip back so it could go up and over a small stair or curb. The student was inspired by her uncle who was wheelchair bound and was often restricted from going places due to minor accessibility.

The junior year Capstone Experience is an opportunity for interested, motivated juniors to personalize their learning and explore an area of personal passion. Students involved in the program identify a real-world problem or opportunity and develop a unique solution to address the problem or fill a void. Solutions can take the form of prototypes, lesson plans, awareness campaigns, documentary films, art or music performances, or another creative final product. Students will work on these projects under the guidance of a teacher but will do much of the work independently. They will make decisions and drive their own learning as well as conquer roadblocks and problems that arise. During the prototyping and development phases of their projects, students will seek out expert mentors who can provide expertise on projects. These mentors may be members of the faculty or of the extended Marvelwood and/or local community. All students will create a website and blog to document their process, market their final product, and demonstrate their research. As a culminating experience, students will showcase their projects for the Marvelwood community and, depending on the end-of-year schedule, may be able to participate in the statewide Exposition in late May. 

The Capstone Experience has launched as a pilot program for juniors in the winter and spring terms of the 2018-2019 school year.




EdAdvance is a Regional Education Service Center(RESC) located in Litchfield.  The RESC serves the Litchfield Hills area of Connecticut and provides a wide array of educational services to area schools including educator professional development, adult education, transportation, and special education support services.  The Skills21 team at EdAdvance works with schools across Connecticut to deliver high quality curriculum that supports students in challenge based learning activities.  Through hands-on educational challenges, students design and create solutions to real world problems and have opportunities to display and promote their work to the public at the nationally recognized Expo Fest.  The Skills21 model has been recognized by the US Department of Education and the National Science Foundation as an exemplary education model.  Students grow key 21st century skills including creativity, communication, grit, managing ambiguity, time management and business skills through their work on challenge projects. Skills21 partners with over 40 different districts in the state to deliver their program each year and over 1000 students attend Expo Fest annually.   

Elizabeth Radday, EdD spent sixteen years as a classroom teacher, ten of them at The Marvelwood School. During her time at Marvelwood she was the Director of Learning Support and also taught math and Spanish, lived on campus with her family and was an advisor to many students.  While at Marvelwood Dr. Radday was awarded a Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching and spent six months living and doing research in Jyvaskyla, Finland.  She was able to bring some of Finland's best practices back to Marvelwood and used the lessons she learned in her classroom.  She also serves on the Board of Directors for the NorthEast Association of Learning Specialists and is a mentor to new Learning Specialists at private schools throughout New England.  Dr. Radday is currently the Research Specialist at EdAdvance and manages the implementation of three National Science Foundation grants on Challenge Based Learning in different subjects.

For more information about the Capstone Experience, contact Senior Dean for Academics Blythe Everett P'14, '16