Generating Ideas

Introductory Presentation

Find a topic that appeals to you...

Find inspiration! You will be working on this project for 7 months of your 10th grade year; therefore, you want to find something you are passionate about. Consider one of the following:

  • a global context that interests you

  • a service experience you are interested in

  • a unit of inquiry that you want to explore further

  • a skill you have always wanted to learn

  • a solution to a community problem

Be curious. Find a challenge. Develop a passion. Make an impact.

Consider these question stems:

  • Curiosity: I have been wondering about...

  • Challenge: I have always wanted to try...

  • Passion: I would love to ...

  • Impact: I can make the world a better place by ...

Guiding Questions

Students should ask themselves a few questions:

  1. Is your topic something that you will actually enjoy?

  1. Can you find research about your topic? (Is there something new to learn?)

  2. Can you complete the project in 7 months?

Connect an idea to a Global Context.

What are the Global Contexts and how do they impact the project?

Students must choose one of the six Global Contexts to provide a real-life context for, and a focus to their work. Though a student’s project may apply to more than one Global Context, he/she will have to decide which one works best. The six Global Contexts are:

Global Contexts

  • Science, Technology, & Innovation

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:

  1. What exercises help with what physical and mental medical issues?

  2. What are some important things to consider for building a reliable kayak or canoe?

  3. What are the different major configurations of remote control planes, and what techniques are necessary to be able to build them?

  4. How can a robot be built and programmed to avoid obstacles using distance readings from an ultrasonic sensor?

  5. What traits /tendencies do advanced AI systems, basic AI systems, and people have in common?

  6. How can maker spaces that promote hands on learning influence the way people learn through their senses?

  • Identities and relationships

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?

  • Orientation in space and time

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 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?

  • Personal and cultural expression

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?

  • Globalization and sustainability

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?

  • Fairness and development

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?

What are examples of products?

  • writing and performing a play, dance, or story

  • developing a product --either new or enhanced

  • learning a new skill and demonstrating the skill through a product

  • composing music

  • creating/organizing an event

  • making a product and sharing with community

  • starting a business

  • building something

  • designing an energy efficient house

  • painting/sculpting/drawing

  • learning how to digitally animate

  • shooting a film

  • studying a topic to improve upon what is available

  • helping others in some fashion

  • making a difference in someone’s life

  • building a model

  • building a prototype

  • designing clothing

  • creating a charity

  • teaching a skill

  • training an animal

  • public service awareness campaign

  • raising animals

  • cooking

  • software design

  • engineering

  • woodworking

  • landscape design

  • fitness exploration/journey

What are examples of topics?

This list is from Hilton Schools.

  • Dealing with Alzheimer's Disease

  • Abuse in Factory Farms

  • Learning to crochet baby hats and donating them

  • The Effect of Video Games on a Teenager

  • Beating My Personal Record

  • Promoting Weight Lifting

  • Sustaining the Stability of the Ambulatory Challenged

  • The Impact of the Holocaust on My Family

  • The Sport of Irish Dance

  • Guitar Customization

  • How to Take Care of Ferrets

  • Proper Nutrition

  • How to build a doghouse

  • Ukrainian/Russian Cookbook

  • Free Throw Shooting and Form

  • Tips for Procrastinators

  • How to Increase Your vertical Jump

  • What’s inside a computer?

  • How electricity works

  • Gardening

  • Awareness of Pay Gap in Men versus Women sports

  • Teen Struggles

  • How to be a better singer

  • Digital Electronics

  • Type 1 Diabetes

  • ACL injury prevention

  • Eating Disorders in Athletes

  • Tommy John Surgery Prevention

  • Ways Athletes Prepare for Games

  • Therapy Dogs

  • Creating a Board Game

  • Teaching Others how to do a 45 toss

  • Connecting through an incurable illness

  • Animal Enrichment in Zoos

  • The Decline of the Bass Population in the Finger Lakes

  • Effects of Teen Addiction to Cell Phones

  • Effects of Sleep Deprivation of Teens

  • Fair Market Trade

  • The Benefits of Music for the Brain

  • Athlete Nutrition

  • How to Fly Fish

  • Pollution in Lake Ontario

  • The Impact of Sleep on Academic Achievement

  • How to dunk a basketball

  • Learning to Speak German

  • Importance of Learning an Instrument

  • My Family Heritage

  • Helping the Homeless

  • A Comparison of Cheap v Expensive Hockey Sticks

  • Coaching Styles

  • How do Fan Sections Affect Sporting Events?

  • How exercise and eating right can help someone get in shape

  • Recycling

  • Basic Plumbing

  • Basic Electricity

  • Learning how to weld

  • Car maintenance

  • How to restore an old car

  • Building a doghouse

  • How to make a model airplane

  • Home Construction

  • Helping to renovate my kitchen

  • Learning to be a hairstylist

  • Training my dog

  • Carpentry

  • How to replace a water heater

  • Building a biodiesel engine

  • Chainsaw repair

  • Organize a blood drive to benefit a target cause or group

  • Create a scrapbook of memories for a patient at Hilton East

  • Learn to play an instrument you don’t know already

  • Organize and maintain a meal train for a family in need

  • Develop a training plan to recovering physical condition after an injury

  • Create a YouTube series on a topic

  • Compose and produce 4 songs using “Logic Pro”

  • Holistic medicine benefits on mental health

  • Documentary on how to be a responsible driver

  • Learn a new style of dance and perform it

  • Organize a 5K race

  • How to benefit from re-using plastics

  • Group mentality

  • Modifying different variables in photography

  • Develop a flipped learning series

  • Create a prototype using the 3D printer in the Makerspace room

  • How to create an infographic to impact a target audience

  • Illustrate a song or children’s book using the drawing page

  • Create a coloring book in Adobe Illustrator

  • Make an art exhibit and display in a public place

  • Learn to dive and find and practice techniques to move forward.

  • Improve your asthma status doing exercises

  • Create entertainment for kids in the hospital.

  • Learn sign language

  • Learn about the culture of the deaf community.

  • Improve your physical endurance

  • Using tools in makerspace learn how to do graffiti

  • The harmful effects of the sun when tanning.

  • Design a house that would meet a certain need that an individual might have (wheel chair, walker, overstimulation...)

  • Learn how to weld

  • Train and run a 5k, 10k, half marathon

  • Recording a travel video using the green screen

  • Learn a new language

  • Create a guide to fishing in local waters

  • Learn to tie flies for fly fishing

  • Create a musical piece, record it (Makerspace) and produce it

  • Improve your golf game

  • How horse therapy helps children with difficulties

  • How therapy dogs are beneficial in hospice settings

  • Create a guide on what to wear to best accent body types

  • Skills and values that video games have

  • How lighting in film works

  • How to gain self confidence

  • How to improve scuba diving skills

  • Create and/or grow a new club in Hilton

  • How to improve the environment for people recovering from certain illnesses, physical challenges, chemotherapy

  • Experiment with being a vegetarian and determine if the lifestyle is beneficial for you

  • Develop a choreography that expresses a message

  • Analysis on how advertising affects you

  • Discover the most challenging aspects for a graduate from school and how to face them

  • Develop golf techniques and test out their effectiveness

  • How to learn rhythms from different genres and apply them to music.

  • Inquire into social media and create a blog, twitter, you tube etc detailing which platform is best for a variety of situations or needs.

  • Build an instrument, a bike, a lawn mower……

  • Improve fashion drawing skills and then sewing your creation

  • Weigh the health benefits of organic foods to see if it is worthwhile

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I do the personal project with a partner or group?

    1. No, this is a personal project designed individually by you. :)

  • Do I get to pick my advisor?

    1. No, based on your interest area, the PP Coordinator will work to match you with a staff member.

  • Is the personal project a grade?

    1. Checkpoints and grades will be given in College Readiness to be sure you stay on track with meeting your goals.

    2. The actual assessment of the work is reported to the school and moderated samples are uploaded for calibration.

  • Do we have time to work on it during class?

    1. Yes, some class time will be given in College Readiness to work on your project; however, students are expected to work outside of class to complete the project. IB expects that students spend about 25 hours on the project.

  • When does all of this technically start?

    1. Students will outline ideas at the beginning of their 10th grade year, but are welcome to get started with generating ideas over the summer before entering 10th grade year to get a head start.

Sample Projects

Learn a new skill. One student learned how to fly solo on an aircraft at Georgetown Airport and documented the process.

Provide a service. One student created a little library at Meridian where people could borrow books and donate books.

One student wanted to explore music and created songs using digital technology.

One student was interested in marine life and quality of water and sampled various beaches to record data and shared it with a company that has a mission to save marine life.


Video Examples

(Only Meridian Students have access)

The Art of Emotions

Wooden Surfboard

Children's Book

Archimedes Screw

Examples from IB MYP Personal Projects Northville High School

Example from the IB Personal Project Guide

Develop a Proposal for the Personal Project

Go to to learn how to write your proposal and success criteria.


Learning Goal

Product Goal

Global Context

Inquiry Question


Topic: Housing for Domestic Abuse Victims

Learning Goal: My learning goal is to research what housing options are available in the Austin greater area for women of domestic abuse. I want to learn what services are available to help these women transition to a safer life. I want to understand the needs of these women in order to develop a model for what would be an effective safe house for these women. I will research what already exists for housing and will reach out to two to three Domestic Abuse organizations to better understand my target audience and their needs.

Product Goal: My goal is to design blueprints and create a 3D model of a safe house for domestic abuse victims that will be able to house 20-30 women and children. For my goal, I will consider the function of the safe house, aesthetics to make it appealing, and my target audience along with the budgetary costs for materials and layout/sizes all within the timeframe of the personal project to finish in February.

Global Context: I chose Identities and Relationships since designing a safe house for domestic abuse victims reinforces the beliefs and values in society that everyone deserves to be happy and feel safe. The safe house will focus on providing a home to help women and children connect to each other in a supportive environment and community, stressing the importance of social and mental well being.

Inquiry Question:

What design elements are important to consider when developing a shelter for domestic abuse victims, specially women and children within a specific budget for 25-30 people that will most address the mental and social well being of the audience?

Setting a Goal

The IB's Personal Project Guide has the following information regarding setting a goal:

The personal project is truly personal because each student sets their own goal based on something that they find interesting. Students may draw inspiration from their prior experience in the MYP, such as:

• a global context that they find particularly compelling

• a service as action experience that they would like to build on

• a unit of inquiry that they would like to explore further.

Similarly, students may set a goal based on an interest or hobby that they pursue (or would like to pursue) outside school. Students should set an overall goal that can be achieved within 25 hours.

The following articles and websites might also help the students when selecting their goal: