Grade 10 Personal Project Showcase proves there’s no obstacle to inquiry
Intellectual curiosity is a powerful tool that can be applied to almost anything. That was abundantly clear this week at Branksome Hall, as the Grade 10 Personal Project Showcase hosted parents and students in the Open U virtual space, January 26 and 27. Virtual visitors enjoyed the opportunity for informal visits to individual “rooms,” with pre-recorded video installations.
This milestone achievement in the Middle Years Programme, shared each year by International Baccalaureate students worldwide, was a cross-section of eclectic interests. Students explored many wellness-related topics this year, including the relaxing power of crocheting and music, sleep improvement and art therapy. They also studied athletic performance and gender equality in sport and, of course, pandemic-related topics such as COVID’s effect on food-supply access, as well as climate-related concerns such as plastic pollution and deforestation.
“This year’s event is even more extraordinary than past Showcases,” said Emily Malach, Personal Project and Grade 10 Core Coordinator, at the January 26 parent evening drop-in. Owing to the virtual format, the Showcase expects an estimated 600 visitors over the next week, double that of previous years, she said.
“As well, testament to the exceptional resilience of our students and community, throughout school disruptions, virtual learning, not to mention the stress of living during this turbulent time, our Grade 10 students persevered to reach their goal. I am so proud of them.”
Grade 10 student Alizah explored in her project the therapeutic effects of art, and hosted several art therapy sessions within the boarding community.
“The art therapy sessions were also really soothing, so I'm glad that I got to share the experience with other people,” she says.
Seungmyoung researched the impact of certain personality types on “metacognition,” i.e. reflecting on one’s thoughts, including obsessive-compulsive disorder and sensitive personalities. She then created Shine Magazine, a wellness journal for youth, incorporating interviews with a South Korean neuropsychologist and Branksome’s Lead Social Worker Joelle Therriault.
“The meaning of my title is for the youths to ‘shine just as you are',” says Seungmyoung. “I loved that I could design a magazine that reflects my own values as an author and editor, and the needs of youths around the world.”
As a result, she discovered her strong passion for child psychology and psychiatry, and plans to pursue this project after the showcase ends, by publishing more magazine issues and blog posts.
Thanks are in order to all the Personal Project Supervisors, MYP Coordinator Owen Williams and the IT team led by Michael Ianni-Palarchio.