This week kicked off Senior Project season at the High School, our annual ritual and rite of passage for the soon-to-be graduating class.  

As we say in our Curriculum Guide, the Project is intended to provide all St. Francis seniors with the opportunity to devote concentrated effort and time to a project focused on that which interests them most, to develop those independent research skills which are more and more being expected of college-bound students, to experience the tensions and rewards of a public presentation of their work, and to demonstrate that their years at St. Francis have culminated in the maturation of the integrated and confident intelligence which it is the school’s Mission to encourage and affirm.

The Senior Project begins each spring of 11th grade with a proposal process. Students can choose essentially any topic they like and must propose how they will research it, write about it, and present it. They begin researching over the summer before 12th grade, work on it throughout the fall, and present in the spring semester. Each senior is assigned an advisor, and the Project is ultimately graded by a committee of three. Students must pass to graduate, and can earn Honors or High Pass accolades for particularly strong work. 

The topics are always varied and fascinating. This year, students are making clothing lines, building computers, creating podcasts and TED talks, devising algorithms, designing buildings, producing cookbooks, analyzing photographysics, exploring writing, music, and art in various ways, and more.

The first two Projects have been presented, with 46 more to go! If you’re interested, check out our SFS Facebook and Instagram, as they will feature each senior’s Project on a different day throughout the spring. 

Photo: Mackenzie Kirchner-Smith ’09’s Senior Project of creating a “Wyvern skeleton” still hangs in the halls of the High School today!