The Big Day of the Personal Project

Catherine Chiuco

The IB MYP is part of a continuum education; it prepares the students for the Diploma Programme and follows from the primary years' programme. Each one of these educational cycles close with several celebrations of learning achievements.

 

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This was a celebration week for our Grade 10 students. It was the week in which the product of their individual work on a project of their choice was exhibited to the public.

I have had the pleasure to walk around the gallery display on the first floor, several times to witness the excitement and the work involved in composing visually appealing presentations. Their personal touch in expressing their ideas and findings is tangible to anyone who has the opportunity to visit the Personal Project stands.

So, why do we do a Personal Project? What is the purpose of the Personal Project? And Why in Grade 10?

The IB MYP is part of a continuum education; it prepares the students for the Diploma Programme and follows from the primary years' programme. Each one of these educational cycles close with several celebrations of learning achievements. In the PYP our Grade 5 students celebrate their end of the programme with a large PYP Exhibition where teams of students work around common themes, and at Diploma level individual students conduct subject-specific in-depth research leading to a DP Extended Essay which is highly acclaimed by universities around the world. In the middle years, our Grade 10 students work on a project that takes both concepts' best elements. The work is done individually, around a theme of individual interest. The student's supervisor encourages the students to extend their understanding of their selected theme as far as possible, and the MYP coordinator brings it all together in the form of an exhibition where each student has the opportunity to present their new learning to diverse audiences.

The exhibition has multiple purposes; not only does it function as a celebration of achievement, but it also allows our students to communicate their passions in a public arena. Besides, it sets the tone to the new generation of students in Grade 9. The Grade 9 students who have only just started their preparatory work have a chance to see multiple examples of a Personal Project. The younger students have a context in which they engage in meaningful conversations about the display with older students.

 

The Personal Project is one of the most relevant features of the IB MYP. This distinctive approach conflates all the modern learning attributes like self-directed actions, promotes intellectual independence, invites real-world problem-solving activities, gives voices to all of us, promotes the values of a multicultural and multilingual environment, and fosters self-confidence.

 

Both the project and the exhibition liberate one's mind to exercise creative thinking, enable one to sustain extended self-directed inquiry-led research, require an in-depth understanding of the object of investigation, and reward the students with the intellectual and emotional benefits of accomplishing a comprehensive task.

 

Congratulations to Grade 10 students who were not phased out by a mere pandemic. The quality of the projects I have admired is very high, diverse, while some are intriguing and original. Thanks to technology, this exhibition is being reproduced in the digital world, giving a much larger audience a chance to appreciate it.