A key part of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme is the Personal Project. Our current freshmen, the Class of 2020, will be the first group to work on and complete these self-directed projects. The personal project encourages students to practice and strengthen their Approach to Learning and self-management skills, to connect classroom learning engagements with personal experience, and to develop their own interests for lifelong learning.Maybe your student has always been interested in the idea of running a half-marathon, but hasn’t done anything in terms of preparing for one. Their Personal Project can be designing a plan for running in a half marathon, and then following that plan. This connects to the MYP Global Context of Identities and Relationships, and specifically to fostering motivations, health and well-being and personal efficacy.
Maybe your student is in love with the fashion industry, but they’ve never picked up a needle and thread. Your student’s project can be to design their own outfit, by learning to sew. This connects to the MYP Global Context of Personal and Cultural Expression, and specifically to fostering a craft or creation.
Maybe your student loves to write and dreams to one day write their own book of poetry, or a short story. Why wait? The student can do that for their personal project, and would also be creating something. The options really are almost limitless.
The only limits are that the student does not choose something that they already know how to do, something that requires no work or planning, or something that is virtually impossible. For example, if your student is already a star basketball player, it wouldn’t be a personal project for them to try out for the team. Also, if a student wants to create a cookbook, but only finds recipes online and puts them into a binder, then they aren’t actually creating, or planning for something challenging. Also, while inspiring and noble, a student shouldn’t strive to create world peace in the short length of the project.
A completed personal project will include the following three Project Components:
Process Journal - Throughout the process, students should frequently (1-2 times per week) update their process journals on ManageBac. This is where they should enter their plans, their successes, their struggles, and anything that they are discovering about themselves because of the project.
Product/Outcome - This is the actual project. The half-marathon, or the outfit, or the book of poetry. There should be some physical evidence of completion (video or photos from a live event would suffice if there is no physical project).
Paper/Report - The report can be done in the form of a paper, website, blog, slideshow, podcast, or film. Specific requirements will be detailed in the student project guide, but please note that each report must address their investigation, planning, action, and reflection. They should explain how this project helped them to hone a specific learning skill and how it fits into a larger global context.
More details, and a rubric, will be available to the students when the project is introduced to them. This project will be mandatory and completed during the sophomore year moving forward. Start thinking of ideas, Class of 2021! If you have any questions or concerns about the project, please feel free to reach out to our IB Programme Coordinator, Kate Jones.
Approximate Timeline for the Personal Project
|May 31, 2017||Personal Project will be introduced to the freshmen class during an assembly and students will be given their login information for ManageBac.|
|Summer 2017||Students will think about an idea they would like to work on for the Personal Project after reading their student guide.|
|Summer 2017||Students will come up with a plan for executing the project and begin their process journals on ManageBac|
|September 2017||Students will be assigned a mentor and schedule a meeting with them to discuss their plan and possible project idea. The teacher will help to refine the idea, and ensure that it meets MYP requirements and standards.|
|September 2017- January 2018||Students will continue to meet with mentors while working independently on their project.|
|February 2018||Personal Projects will be due. A completed process journal, product, and paper will be submitted to the student’s mentor.|
|March/April 2018||We will host a Personal Project exhibition for students, family, and friends.|