Last month we got to celebrate the class of 2022. Every year, it is humbling to see the endurance, energy, and reflection that each senior class brings to our community. At Denver Christian, our hope is for students to grow academically, spiritually, and personally throughout their experience. Every spring, our seniors create a senior synthesis project with creatively portrays their growth.
Thirty-One Unique Synthesis Projects
Each of our 31 seniors created a unique project. Some constructed trees, compiled collections of creative writing, or a collage over three skateboards. Students work for several months, reflecting on their growth. In order to pass this project, students have to critically consider their growth as a whole person. Here are just a few examples of the many incredible projects that our seniors put together this year.
Just Keep Swimming
Since he was seven, Evan has admired underwater life and found tranquility and learning through aquariums. For this project, Evan Kaemingk used three aquariums to represent his past, present, and future.
Evan reflects, “I was surprised to see how well the fish and the decorations served as a metaphor for my journey. I think this is especially true for the aquarium symbolizing the present.” For his aquarium showing his past, Evan featured a school of fish to show him following the “school” through the world, not yet becoming his own person.
He says, “Featuring colorful plastic plants and generic gravel with marbles sprinkled about, I wanted this tank’s design to convey innocence, consistency, and simplicity.” For Evan’s aquarium to represent his present, he decided to make it vibrant to show how he has grown into his own and flourishes in this stage of life. Each fish represents something different, ranging from ones that like being in groups but don’t need to (like the schooling fish before), to more independent ones, and ones that clean to show the constant need to maintain growth.
For his final tank representing the future, Evan left it mostly empty. This represents how much of his future is yet to be determined. He writes, “In the future, I hope that I will meet new people, find new passions, learn more about our world, and strengthen my faith. It won’t always be easy, but I know that I have the potential to do great things and make the most of the opportunities I’m given.”
The greens, blues, and double black diamonds of my life.
For his synthesis project, Xander Neu chose skis, each with carefully chosen symbols representing his past, present, and future. Note how Xander builds, breaks, and rebuilds the cross throughout this project, representing his faith becoming tedious before truly embracing it as his own. He includes important parts of his high school experience, like basketball, becoming an Eagle Scout, etc. Like most recent graduates, Xander doesn’t know quite what his future holds. He says, “That is why there are chalkboards around my academic part of my future ski that are empty right now in case I think of what I want to do. I know that whatever I do I want to flourish in it, hence the flowers at the top of my academic dowels.”
Xander says that this project was an encouraging reflection on who he is. “The past has also shown how much I’ve grown, all the struggles I’ve surpassed, and every challenge I overcame. I see now that I am not the same as when I was a boy; I’m not the same as I was last year. I love how I’ve changed.I love how I’ve grown.”
Xander’s project is a great example of how students pick objects that are unique to them. No two synthesis projects are the same.
Bloom Where You’re Planted
Sophie has always loved flowers. She says, “Many flowers may seem simple at first glance, but have a beautiful complexity to them that can be seen when looking a little bit closer. I think that’s often true for our lives, too, which is why I decided to make my project revolve around flowers.” Sophie crafted flowers out of different materials from her life. They are separated into three vases for her past, present, and future. Each flower was carefully chosen to symbolize a different part of Sophie’s growth.
While Sophie’s vases held more than a dozen flowers, here are a couple of examples of her creative storytelling.
“Camellia flowers symbolize endurance. I made this flower out of my cross country bib from the 2020 state championships. One day I made the spontaneous decision to join the cross country team and I’ve never looked back. Because of cross country, I met amazing new people and coaches that have had a big impact on me. This sport has taught me so much about competing, but also about life.
Sophie used a variety of notes from parents, coaches, and friends for some of her flowers. For example, she crafted a lily out of notes from her parents and family for each petal. (Lilies symbolize love and devotion.) Her lavender was crafted out of her old driving records from her permit days. She also used her acceptance letter, her team’s playbook, and pages from kindergarten!
These three synthesis projects are just a small sampling. Our students demonstrate creativity, vulnerability, and wisdom in their synthesis projects. These projects beautifully show how our students are growing. During graduation, we don’t just celebrate academic skills, but into the unique individuals that God has created them to be. We are excited to follow their journeys as alumni this fall and beyond.