The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program kicks off Grade 10 with Personal Projects. Mr. Jared Lee, Senior School Biology and Chemistry Teacher and Personal Project Coordinator explains that the purpose of the Personal Project is to allow students “to explore an area that motivates and interests them. Students choose what they want to focus on, which can be an existing or a new interest, choose how to achieve their goal, and create their own success criteria for the product. The project provides an excellent opportunity for students to produce a truly personal and often creative product and to demonstrate a consolidation of their learning in the MYP”.
Grade 10 student Evelina Gnezdilova chose to publish her first book of poetry for her personal project. Evelina found satisfaction within the freedom Mr. Lee described in the above paragraph: “The process of creating a physical book was very new to me, and allowed for me to grow as a student differently than I would in class because; when learning in school, there is a set curriculum. Though the topics that we learn about are interesting, I’m not necessarily expressing my opinions or emotions like I would in a project I have total control over, like this one.”
Grade 10 students are guided through the process by mentor teachers. The culmination of their work was exhibited at The Personal Project Exhibitions in early November. Grade 10 student artist Victoria Mayer’s included a striking painting inspired by the final scene of the film ‘Nope’. However, Victoria did not just create a single painting for her personal project. Her exhibition highlighted the complexity of her journey through multiple stages and renditions of her work, all of which were executed in painstaking detail. Victoria acknowledges that “the most challenging part about this process was definitely deciding upon the most suitable elements, composition, color palette, and techniques for my final painting. I tried multiple versions and kept changing parts of the painting to really find a version that aligned most perfectly with my vision.”
The IB Personal Project enables students to engage in a practical exploration of whatever inspires them through a cycle of inquiry, action and reflection. The Personal Project helps students to develop the attributes of the IB learner profile and provides students with an essential opportunity to demonstrate approaches to learning (ATL) skills developed throughout the MYP. Projects driven by personal passion and interest foster the development of independent, lifelong learners.
Anea Elmas used the opportunity to showcase her life-long passion for baking and took it to the next level. Anea created a whole recipe book “revolving around the idea of taking a basic recipe like a cookie and giving it new depth by adding unconventional flavours. I knew that this was going to make me stand out from all the other recipe books. I had to go through the design process multiple times: I would develop a recipe, make a prototype, collect feedback; and then with that feedback, make a better version. I tried to make the recipes in a way that everyone would be able to make and enjoy them themselves”.
Collectively, the Personal Project Exhibition was a ‘WOW’! Each grade 10 students displayed an enormous amount of grit, creativity, and investment in their project. From 100% sustainable sweaters to handmade ergonomic keyboards to franchise business proposals, each exhibit was unique and impressive. Mark your calendars for next year because the Grade 10 Personal Project Exhibition is worth the wait.