What exactly is a ‘personal project?’
The MYP Personal Project is one of the final and most significant milestones of the IB Middle Years Program that takes place from the spring of freshman year to partway through the second semester of sophomore year. The project draws from five years of experience as an MYP student and serves as a student-centered, culminating task. Through this project, students explore their personal interests, advance their Action Through Learning (ATL) skills, consider various IB Learner Profiles, and thoroughly examine a single global context. In undertaking a project of their choice under the guidance of a supervisor, students achieve a self-identified goal through extensive research and development.
In short, the project goal is to develop a particular skill that can be used to create a product of choice, reflecting what the student has learned. The project itself is expected to be challenging, as students have been allotted a significant amount of time to work on it. For the best results, it should also be a topic that students have cultivated interest in or are passionate about. Many students who attempt to follow through with a project they have no interest in commonly results in the student falling short when it comes to the final result.
Some of the notable activity requirements during this time are the journal entries and reflections. Journal entries require the student to keep a log of the progress made, including what has been learned and updates on the product. In essence, it allows the student to keep a start-to-finish log of the progression of their project. Reflections include the overall implementation of ATL Skills and the chosen Global Context. The project culminates into a final report, in which the student addresses all aspects of the project, including a self-assessment of the success criteria created in the beginning of the project.
A sophomore who completed their personal project this year stated that “It felt great to do [the] Personal Project but also exhausting at the same time. It requires lots of time management as well as making a good schedule so that you don’t fall behind… because that happens to a lot of people.”
Others interviewed also expressed the current pandemic as another factor that affected their Personal Project experience. For example, another sophomore said “A lot changed going into sophomore year from distance learning in freshman year. This was definitely proven in the personal project.” Rather than handling it fully online, students managed it both online and in person, when considering the supervisor meetings and other in-person activities.
This year, 114 sophomores virtually showcased their dedication and perseverance through undertaking the Personal Project in this year’s Personal Project showcase. The categories include: Cooking and Baking, Writing, Health and Wellness, Fabrication and Construction, STEM, Music and Art, Sewing and Crochet, or something other. As one can see, there are a plethora of subject areas to choose from, and even if the above categories do not suit the student’s interest, they can always choose to create something outside of these areas. The link to the 2022 Personal Project Showcase can be found at the bottom of this article.