Jenny made a structured comic about the journey of artistic creation. Kennedy created a short film about the effect of social media on teenagers’ body image. Daria coded an app to assist children with autism. Kimiko designed and created a kimono!
The field of inquiry is wide open when Grade 10 students celebrate the culmination of their Middle Years Programme (MYP) with the annual Personal Project Showcase, a milestone achievement shared each year by International Baccalaureate (IB) students worldwide. It opened virtually on January 25 in an interactive, simulated gallery space.
“The Personal Project is an incredibly valuable task,” says Emily Malach, Personal Project and Grade 10 Core Coordinator. “Students make use of all of their learning and skills from their MYP years to produce a passion project on any topic that interests them.”
With support from their teachers, students develop goals, success criteria and an action plan, she explains. New this year, the Showcase reflects a few significant and exciting changes by the IB. Now, students develop both a learning goal and a product goal; before the emphasis was only the final outcome.
“This new approach helped students to shift their attention to the value of their research and learning, while still achieving something tangible in the end,” says Malach.
For the second year, circumstances prevent an in-person Showcase, however the interactive, virtual Showcase space allows community members to view and appreciate all the Grade 10 students’ outstanding work.
“We hope that the gallery format will encourage viewers to visit and revisit over the next few weeks,” says Malach.
Thank yous are in order to all the Grade 10 Core teachers: Caley Blyth, Alexia Citak, Maya Contreras, Samhita Gupta and Colleen Ketchum, all the Personal Project supervisors and Owen Williams and Michael Ianni-Palarchio for their behind-the-scenes support.
Here is a snapshot of students’ Personal Project experience in their own words:
Sobee: a series of videos on pathogens, the immune system and treatment and prevention
“I've always been really interested in science, especially biology. Because of the pandemic, I thought it would be interesting to research and learn more about pathogens, specifically viruses and bacteria, and how they interact with the human body. I also wanted to research how vaccines work and other methods of prevention and treatment. This is a subject that is particularly relevant to our current situation, and a lot of people don't actually know how these things work. I created a series of short animated educational videos to promote awareness. Researching this complex topic has allowed me to broaden my knowledge of epidemiology and gave me a snapshot of what medical research entails, something I am considering as a future career. I also find myself wanting to stay a lot more informed about the latest scientific developments, and I now understand a lot of the terminology and concepts related to COVID-19. This has also allowed me to educate others on the importance of listening to scientists.”
Angela: a magazine on the physics of badminton
“When thinking about the potential idea for my Personal Project, I knew I was going to do something physics-related. I hope to pursue physics in the future, so I wanted to use the Personal Project as an opportunity to explore it. I came up with the final decision to learn the physics application in badminton because I always had lots of questions about this sport, for example, "Why does the head of the birdie always point toward the players?" I hoped to conduct research and answer these questions I had, instead of just "wondering" and not taking any actions to learn. Despite my interest and passion for physics and badminton there were inevitable challenges, more specifically, anxiety, during the process, due to a large amount of research that needed to be conducted. But I was very proud that I was able to conquer all challenges by giving myself time and encouragement. Personal Project was a meaningful experience as it helped me develop several essential skills and taught me to take action to pursue my dream.”