As a culminating project for the Middle Years Program, students will engage in an independent exploration where they will inquire, act, and reflect on a goal of their developing. Students will demonstrate important Approaches to Learning skills (ATL) as they explore an area that motivates them. Students create their own success criteria in which to measure their success on and reflect on at the end of the experience.
What is the Personal Project?
The personal project is a student-driven, inquiry-based project that takes place over an extended period of time. When it is complete, it should represent a significant body of work and should showcase the skills students have developed over the past several years.
Student Driven: students get to choose the topic of their personal project, and they get to decide what they want the outcome to be. This project should be 100% based on their interests. Teachers may guide students in narrowing the focus of their projects, but students are the ones responsible for their own progress.
Inquiry-based: there is a research requirement to the personal project. Students must select a variety of sources and evaluate them to ensure their validity. Teachers may help direct students toward certain resources, and may help students understand what makes a source appropriate or not, but the research is ultimately student driven.
Extended Period of Time: this project stretches across students’ entire sophomore year. There will be grades associated with it (applied to the advisory class) in each semester. Teachers may remind students of deadlines; however, students are responsible for managing their time.
Significant Body of Work: because so much time is devoted to the personal project, the expectation is that the outcome will be ambitious, and of superior quality. Teachers should encourage students to push their boundaries, though the students themselves must take the initiative on this project.
What do students actually have to produce for this project?
There are four main components to the personal project:
The Process Journal is where students document their work as they do it. In their process journal, they should record their ideas, planning, discussions, clippings of readings and concepts, photographs, diary excerpts, meeting schedules and outcomes with their supervisor – whatever they do that is part of the process should be kept in this document.
The Product is the actual project students produce. It is how they show other people what they have investigated. They need to have some way of showing what they produced or achieved for their goal. This might be an actual product (model, electronic article, artwork), or it might be visuals of the outcome (such as photographs of an event they organized).
The Paper is a technical report students produce following the completion of their project. It is a detailed analysis of their entire project and the process of development. It explains how, why, and what they did, in a well-structured and organized manner.
The Presentation is a display of students’ projects, along with a 3-4 minute oral explanation. Students must come up with a way of visually presenting their project (think about tri-folds, photographs, models, etc.) and students must prepare a brief talk about their goals and process. *
*This presentation/exhibition will take place in March 10th, 2022.
Inquire (Investigating and Planning) WHAT THE PROJECT WILL ENTAIL
Explore an interest or passion that is personally meaningful to you
Take ownership of your learning through a self-selected, long-term project
Act (Taking Action) HOW ATL SKILLS CONTRIBUTE TO LEARNING AND PRODUCT
Transfer and apply skills in pursuit of a learning goal and the creation of a product
Develop a deeper understanding
Develop self-management skills
Develop communication skills
Reflect (Demonstrating) WHY THEY DID THEIR PROJECT
Recognize and produce evidence of personal growth and development
Appreciate the learning process
Take pride in your accomplishments
Students will accomplish three primary objectives during the course of the Personal Project:
State a learning goal for the project and explain how a personal interest led to that goal
State an intended product and develop appropriate success criteria for the product
Present a clear, detailed plan for achieving the product and its associated success criteria
Advisory: Announcements and introductions
College Readiness: Roll out, Check ins, Checklist and Timelines
Librarian: Consult for sources and investigating and planning
Supervisors: Periodic meetings
Celebration: Showcase event with the Exhibition on March 10th, the Thursday before Spring Break!
25 hours minimum
Meet with supervisors as needed, advocate for help
Establish learning and product goals
Develop action plan
Independent learning through research, planning, development, and completion of the project
Reporting the project
Maintain process journal to document and collect evidence of ATL skills
Evaluate your success on achieving their goal and impact of their project
Students prepare and submit report
Expectations of Supervisors
Provide guidance to students in the process
Appropriate legal and ethical standards
Timetable with deadlines
Review of assessment criteria
Advice to curate evidence of process
Provide formative feedback
Ensure academic integrity
Assessing the project
Participating in standardization of the assessment process
Role of the Library and Community
The librarian can be a key resource for students to assist with research skills and locating and sourcing resources and completing the referencing and bibliographies (Works Cited page).
Students can seek out specialists within the community that connect to their interests in order to research or learn skills about a particular topic.
A community member can guide and support the student throughout the process, but cannot assess the project.
Students are still required to work with a supervisor at school through all stages of the process.
Specific policies apply for student safety.
Connection to Approaches to Learning (ATL) Skills
Reflection: reflect on the learning process
Social: collaborating with others
Communication: speaking and listening, reading and writing
Research: information and media literacy
Transfer: ability to transfer learning across disciplines
Affective skills (mindfulness, perseverance, emotional management, self-motivation, resilience)
See https://www.mrsmacfarland.com/skills for more information.
Connect to a global context that is compelling
Continue building on an action of service
A unit of inquiry that they want to explore further
Action Plan and Applying ATL Skills Explaining the Impact of the Personal Project
Learning goal impacts
Develops specific ATL skills
Extends knowledge about an area of interest
Gains confidence by completing an independent project
Maximum Length of Student Submission
Document File Types: .doc, .pdf. rtf
Recording File Types: .mp3, .m4a., .mp4, .mov, .m4v
15 pages, No recording
14 pages, 1 minute recording
13 pages, 2 minutes recording
12 pages, 3 minutes recording
11 pages, 4 minutes recording
10 pages, 5 minutes recording
9 pages, 6 minutes recording
8 pages, 7 minutes recording
7 pages, 8 minutes recording
6 pages, 9 minutes recording
Between 1,500-3,500 words
Written work should be 11 point font size
One inch margins
Visuals need to be clearly visual
Audio and video must be recorded and submitted in real time
Visual aids may be used to support spoken reports. However, evidence and examples presented in the visual aids should be submitted as documents.
Visual aids presented only in video format will not be considered for assessment.
The bibliography is uploaded separately and is not included in the page limit.
DO NOT include a title page; if included, it will count towards the page limit.
Project is assessed and internally standardized by the supervisors
IB will require so many projects to check how closely they meet the standards
Criterion A: Planning, 8 marks
Criterion B: Applying Skills, 8 marks
Criterion C: Reflecting, 8 marks
One page rubric of personal project
Detailed rubric of personal project
Students will explore the natural world and its laws; the interaction between people and the natural world; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on communities and environments; the impact of environments on human activity; how humans adapt environments to their needs.Students will explore the natural world and its laws; the interaction between people and the natural world; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on communities and environments; the impact of environments on human activity; how humans adapt environments to their needs.
Sample Lines of Inquiry:
What exercises help with what physical and mental medical issues?
What are some important things to consider for building a reliable kayak or canoe?
What are the different major configurations of remote control planes, and what techniques are necessary to be able to build them?
How can a robot be built and programmed to avoid obstacles using distance readings from an ultrasonic sensor?
What traits /tendencies do advanced AI systems, basic AI systems, and people have in common?
How can maker spaces that promote hands on learning influence the way people learn through their senses?
Students will explore identity; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities and cultures; what it means to be human.Students will explore identity; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities and cultures; what it means to be human.Students will explore identity; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities and cultures; what it means to be human.
Sample Lines of Inquiry:
Will calisthenics increase my coordination with my body and help me control my movements through muscle mass and coordination exercises?
How did Norse mythology shape the lives and culture of the Vikings?
How can learning how to swim different strokes help contribute to my overall physical health? What changes will occur in my body through learning new skills?
How can I create a workout video that really focuses on building my upper strength using household items?
Students will explore personal histories; homes and journeys; turning points in humankind; discoveries; explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships between, and the interconnectedness of, individuals and civilizations, from personal, local and global perspectives.
Sample Lines of Inquiry:
How can I create an accessible, informational platform about languages that will serve its purpose of educating of those who read it and will gain a large following?
What is the value of documenting migrations of immigrants? How can immigrating reveal different perspectives of cultures?
Students will explore the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.
Sample Lines of Inquiry:
What are the best techniques for assembling a Work Desk with a size that suits your client’s needs for everyday use at their jobs?
Where can I find inspiration for a song and how can I improve my guitar playing and singing?
How has the innovation and culture of the sport of basketball developed into becoming such a common form of personal expression?
How did Indian cuisine come to be and connect to the country’s culture?
How do modern/social media artists express themselves and their mental health through their art in these different and troubled times?
How does the cadence of different instruments correlate with one another to provide one with a cohesive music piece?
Students will explore the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the relationship between local and global processes; how local experiences mediate the global; the opportunities and tensions provided by world-interconnectedness; the impact of decision-making on humankind and the environment.
Sample Lines of Inquiry:
What is a creative way to reduce the amount of plastic grocery bags in the environment so that they can be reused?
Can a teen make enough money to live and sustain themselves?
How can creating a sustainable and environmentally friendly way to be protected from this pandemic affect my community, and help decrease the amount of unsustainable disposable PPE?
Students will explore rights and responsibilities; the relationship between communities; sharing finite resources with other people and with other living things; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.Students will explore rights and responsibilities; the relationship between communities; sharing finite resources with other people and with other living things; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.Students will explore rights and responsibilities; the relationship between communities; sharing finite resources with other people and with other living things; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.
Sample Lines of Inquiry:
How can I help patients through an online platform?
How can sales from local handicraft businesses in India help to solve poverty in the Austin area?
Can a business be successful without damaging the environment?