FAQs Regarding IB MYP Personal Project

FAQs Regarding the IB MYP Personal Project

What is the Personal Project?

It’s exactly what it sounds like--a project that is of personal interest to the student.  Students get to choose the topic to explore AND the type of project they will create. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate initiative while exploring something personally meaningful.

Through this process, students will:

• Identify a topic of interest

• Conduct research

• Create a goal & focus

• Produce a product or outcome

• Reflect upon & share the personal project in a creative format

What is an example of a Personal Project?

If a student had a passion for gardening, she could set a goal to grow several herbs and create a family dinner that puts those herbs into each recipe.  The student would investigate to figure out what herbs she wants to grow, what it would take to grow them inside in the winter, and what recipes she wants to make with the chosen herbs.  She would then create a plan for how she is going to get this done—a timeline perhaps—along with self-created criteria for success.  The next step would be to take action—growing the herbs, preparing the meal, and serving it to her family.  Finally, she would reflect by perhaps surveying her family on how the meal turned out or through some kind of self-evaluation.  Reflection is a central component that she would be doing via short written "process journals" (a paragraph or two at a time) throughout the process.  The last step is to write up the final report to summarize what she did at each stage—investigation, planning, taking action, and reflecting.   While the report can feel lengthy, it’s really just the story of the student’s process and many students find that by leaning on their prior written reflections, they are able to write this up pretty easily.

Why are 10th graders completing Personal Projects?

This project is an important part of the IB Middle Years Program (MYP) here at Robinson and at all MYP schools. Students in schools all around the world are doing something similar right now! Along with them, students will likely learn a lot by doing what IB refers to as principled action. These experiences, or principled actions, will help students work independently and navigate obstacles and projects in the future.

Some of these principled actions include:

• Developing an area of personal interest

• Sharing new information and understandings with friends, teachers and family

• Changing behavior in response to learning

• Realizing you can make a difference through decisions and actions

• Reflecting regularly on what you have learned

• Connecting how your learning impacts attitudes, behaviors, questions, actions, and decisions

What must be submitted?

Students will submit three components when projects are due.

1. A product /outcome

2. A process journal (individual process journal entries)

3. A report

What support are students receiving at school to complete the project?

All 10th graders will join a Personal Project Google Classroom, through which students will receive guidance and will be assigned Process Journal entries with prompts that provide direction for moving forward on the project.  In addition, every student will be assigned a teacher or administrator as his/her Personal Project Supervisor.  Students are expected to meet with their Supervisors at least three times during the year so they can ask questions, receive feedback, and share their current status. 

How can parents support students with their projects?

The number one thing is to be an enthusiastic cheerleader for your student and to help them maintain excitement even when they encounter obstacles.  On a practical level, asking to see the Personal Project Google Classroom is a way to stay posted.  Largely, however, projects are student-driven and we want them to learn lessons about time-management, organization, etc. 

What are some examples of products/outcomes?

• Advocate for a cause via a series of podcasts

• Change a behavior within yourself and the community, e.g. creating a Couch to 5K program specifically designed for high school students

• Organize and produce a concert

• Design a website to display art

• Develop a nutritious monthly meal plan for your family

• Document a family tradition, e.g. “What’s the story behind grandma’s sugar cookies?”

• Document your community’s efforts to “go green” through a photography portfolio

• Learn a computer programming language and create a game for your graphing calculator or an app for your phone

• Learn to draw henna designs and open a henna booth at a school event

• Make a short film, documentary, or computer game

• Plan a themed party

• Raise awareness about a dangerous traffic issue in your neighborhood via an organized social media effort

• Teach students about the history of rap

What does the final report entail?

The report is meant to inform and demonstrate students’ engagement with the Personal Project. Through a format of their choosing, they’ll summarize the skills and experiences recorded through process journal entries.  The contents of this report demonstrate the four objectives: investigating, planning, taking action, and reflecting.  Reports tell the story of a student’s path through the project.  While there is an expectation that research is cited primarily in the Investigating section, the report is very personal and reflective and not as heavy for most students as a purely academic report.