Study Hut Seniors

May 22nd, 2015

For many students, Study Hut is not just their tutoring center, it’s almost like another home, especially Study Hut Seniors. They have come here for many years, and formed special bonds with their tutors. Their tutors have seen them through their most difficult tests and most impressive triumphs.


One special pair is Laura and her student Kelly. Kelly looks up to Laura like a big sister, and has spent the majority of her high school career as Laura’s student. Together the duo have tackled monstrous English essays for Kelly’s challenging AP Literature classes. Some nights Kelly would come in for hours and Laura would stay late just to make sure that every last line was absolutely perfect.


When it was time to work on test prep, Kelly didn’t want to work with anyone but Laura. This gave her an extra advantage because Laura was already familiar with Kelly’s learning style, so she was able to tailor their sessions so that Kelly could get the most out of them. Laura also knew how to present difficult content and the techniques for mastering the ACT in a way that was easy for Kelly to digest and practice. Working together, they were able to raise Kelly’s score.


Kelly also trusted Laura to help her on her final leg of college apps. From college application essays to the grueling senior capstone project, they have worked on everything together. They are both going to be so heartbroken when Kelly’s days at Study Hut come to an end. However, both of them are incredibly excited for Kelly’s promising future in the highly competitive USC Thornton School of Music.

Capstone Project Tutoring

February 11th, 2015

The Capstone Project is a research paper and project that students attending Palos Verdes High School work on throughout their junior and senior years. The Capstone Project requires students to think critically about a topic of their choice. It manifests with the students giving a presentation on their research and work to a group of teachers and parents.   The Capstone Project helps students narrow down options for a major and find out if they would be passionate working on their topic long term.

Laura helped her student Olivia with her Capstone Project during her junior and senior years. Olivia was having trouble deciding which topic to pursue for her project. After weighing her different options, Laura helped her decide on examining how documentaries affect public perception of issues. They decided to use the film Blackfish and how it changed the public’s view on captive whales as the basis of Olivia’s paper.   She researched the differences between the lives of orca whales in captivity versus in the wild.   She worked in the field scuba diving for research and polling people on how Blackfish changed the way they looked at captive whales.

Once she had all of her research completed and data collected for her project, it was time to put it all into an essay. Laura helped Olivia organize all of her data into paragraphs. There was a lot of research, so it took time to narrow down all the facts so that Olivia could prove her initial thesis while still being concise. Olivia was chosen to be part of Capstone Elite where she competed against other selected students as some of the best Capstone projects of the class.


April 24th, 2014

For many years, our tutors have been helping seniors at Palos Verdes High School complete their senior projects called the Capstone. This project consists of a research paper on a topic the student is interested in or affected by and a corresponding research project or experiment. Study Hut owners Rob and Sean Patrick, together with Redondo Beach manager, Justin, are all industry partners and judge the Capstone projects at the end of the year to decide which students will receive prizes and scholarships. In the past, the entire project has been completed during the course of the student’s senior year, but during the 2013-2014 school year, the school made some changes. Now students are required to finish their entire paper in the last quarter of their junior year, leaving the entire senior year to dedicate to their physical project and research. As the school is aware that this can be a very stressful time for students due to Advanced Placement exams in May, AP students are not required to begin working on their Capstone papers until after they have completed all their AP exams.

Early in the school year, I worked with a senior named Cara whose project analyzed the effectiveness of three different teaching styles. She works as a swim teacher at the South Bay Aquatic Center, which was the perfect place for her to experiment with different teaching styles in her swim classes.  I recently worked with a junior named Halle who studied the societal influence on the evolution of music. While expanding on previously learned academic skills and preparing students for college level papers and projects, the Capstone also provides students an opportunity to pursue further education about a topic of personal interest.