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AP Research Spotlight: Saanvika Chanda

By: Jaila Prier

Columbus High School offers AP Capstone™, a two-year program featuring two courses, AP Seminar and AP Research, taken during a student’s junior and senior year.  

These courses are designed to engage high school students in a research-based atmosphere that allows them to develop skills that they will continue utilizing throughout college. 

As the 2023 year begins to close, students in AP Research have “married their topics,” meaning they have chosen a topic that will be used for their assessment in May. 

For the AP Research exam, students will have to write an Academic Paper scored by the College Board, and deliver a presentation and oral defense to be scored by their AP Research teacher. 

Saanvika Chanda, a senior blue devil, has designed her AP Research project to discuss the extent to which the two different cultures, Hollywood and Bollywood, depict female stereotypes using the films Barbie and Darlings.

In her research, Saanvika (12) will “not [only be] analyzing feminism but [she will also be] connecting and comparing it to the broader scope of the feminist time period in India and America.”

When asked what inspired and led her to choose this topic, Chanda responded that “the idea of performing research on a topic that connects two cultures” inspires her. 

She continues by explaining that she has “always considered [herself] somewhat of a feminist and cared for the representation of women in film.” 

Saanvika says that the previous course, AP Seminar, prepared her for AP Research by “helping build the basic research skills that are crucial to being successful in the class.”

For Chanda, she says that AP Research “felt daunting at first,” but that to her, “it was the first class that imposed college-level rigor.”

Advice from Saanvika to Capstone students searching for a topic: “Choose a project that has meaning to you. It could be career-oriented or personal to your life, but the one thing the research topic should always be is something interesting to you.”


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