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Wasatch CAPS grows, wraps up semester projects

Ben Lasseter
[FILE] Wasatch High CAPS students and teacher Emili Sweat (right) walk through an "outdoor classroom" area with plants grown by students on the school campus.

As the end of the semester approaches, Wasatch High School CAPS students will soon present this fall's work-study projects.

At Wasatch High School, 120 juniors and seniors are involved with 45 professional development projects in the Center for Advanced Professional Studies program.

CAPS Director Weston Broadbent said many of the students serve roles similar to interns in local businesses. He offered a new marketing partnership this semester with the Heber Valley Railroad as an example.

“Those students might have taken a couple business classes throughout their high school experience,” he said. “They can get not only just a taste of what that real life experience is, but they're also gaining some really critical skills like communication, leadership and some of that stuff.”

Within CAPS, the five disciplines are business, engineering, medicine and health, digital design and software development, and finally, environment and agriculture.

An environmental project that dates back three semesters sends students to the Provo River to sample water quality by catching bugs.

Four graduates of the program in 2022 have a patent pending on a medical device prototype. Their product, called the Right 25, is a smart-technology shoe insole. It senses bone structures to help diagnose foot problems. They showed it off at state and international competitions this year, arguing it could provide cheaper treatment options.

This year, another team of students has taken the reins to make manufacturing and production of the Right 25 a reality.

Meanwhile, Broadbent said the IDEAL Farms project has as much as tripled in size in the past year.

IDEAL stands for Innovate Discovery-based Educational and Agricultural Leadership. It’s a hands-on agriculture learning program wherein students work in campus farming facilities with livestock, crops, birds, trees and more. They sell products to local businesses, which return profits to a scholarship fund for post-secondary learning.

These initiatives by students and dozens more will be on display at the end-of-semester showcase at the CAPS center at the Utah Valley University Wasatch Campus. That’s December 13 at 7 p.m.

More on the CAPS program is available at wasatchcaps.org.

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