CC students wow crowd with STEM Capstone Projects

student Blake Wiley with capstone project
CC student Blake Wiley shows off the radio controlled glider that will be launched to the edge of space in July 2014
This past May students throughout Centralia College came together to present projects and research undertaken at the college’s second annual Capstone Project Presentation. With guidance from professors and instructors, students presented their work to the college and public, and by every account those in attendance were truly impressed by the level of work performed.

One such project from electronics and robotics students provided a local international manufacturing company, Pace Edwards, with a feasibility study for converting part of their manual manufacturing line to robotics manufacturing. Another group of students may have discovered a previously unknown sub-species of fish. And yet another group from the Centralia College Science Club hand-built a helicopter drone and a radio-controlled glider that will be launched 90,000 feet to the edge of space this July.

Spearheading the effort to bring Capstone Project Presentations to Centralia College is assistant professor of chemistry Karen Goodwin. She quickly garnered faculty support to allow students to conduct advanced research and work in a litany of fields, including botany, geology, chemistry, electronics and robotics, environmental studies, and more.

Goodwin says it gives Centralia College students the chance to begin work at the university level, helps prepare them for work they’ll do later in their academic careers, and allows them to stand out in their fields of study and careers of choice.

“The purpose of the Capstone Project Presentation day is to give the students at Centralia College a venue to present their research and projects in a public forum. This is how scientific work is presented at the university level, and having this opportunity early in their academic careers will certainly be a great benefit to our students. I am amazed at how the event has grown in just two years, and the quality of work our students have produced is truly impressive!”

For more information about Capstone Projects and STEM education see STEM at Centralia College or contact assistant professor of chemistry Karen Goodwin at


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  1. Very cool that students’ projects were featured! I had the privilege of participating in the capstone presentations, once as an observer, and the next year developing a project with the rest of my team. It’s a great opportunity for students to get involved with. I feel very prepared to move on to the university after studying at Centralia. I hope that the Capstone projects continue to grow, preparing students for transfer schools and the workplace.

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