Advice On The Personal Project

What is it? How is it done? Advice and a basic run-down on the MYP PP!

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Starting grade 10 doesn’t just come with a lot of homework, since  the Personal Project is very much on the minds of the current 10th graders. The 5-month long project is an exciting yet equally daunting task for the grade 10’s. Although we know a lot more after attending the enlightening personal project workshop, there still remain many questions about what the process entails. 

To give advice on the journey ahead, Ms Openshaw the personal project coordinator ,has given her number one piece of advice. She says ‘For the topic of your project, pick something you are genuinely interested in and want to do. You will be doing it in your own time/study periods for 5 months, on top of your other work, so it needs to be something you look forward to and enjoy doing or learning about.’ 

Regarding how  Covid-19 could affect the way students conduct their  projects, she had mentioned three minor changes that could influence the personal project this year:

  1. Students cannot physically enter the library – However, you are still able to access all sources using the Marymount library online catalogue!
  2. The difficulties of carrying out interviews face to face. However, you can just as easily interview someone via Teams or Zoom.
  3. The live events for products being online – this method could possibly increase the size of your audience!

Overall, Ms. Openshaw does not believe that the pandemic and the new measurements would make a great deal of difference. She states that “All the projects are different and so all students will go through a different process. The learning and skills development are what matter. These can take place anywhere, in any situation. If you do find the pandemic throws an unexpected hurdle, embrace it with positivity, use your creative thinking to come up with possible solutions and your critical thinking to evaluate them and decide on the best solution.Have fun and good luck!”

After talking to some previous Grade 10s who have successfully completed the personal project, one student has shared how she learnt that ‘planning is key.’ She explained her realisation that starting the planning process from the very beginning of the project proved to be a beneficial tactic. Furthermore she stated ’I’ve also applied this to my other projects and assignments,’. Another student states, that ‘the most important lesson I learnt from the personal project was to be more independent and realised how  important time management and organisation skills are.” Subsequently she outlined the importance of how it is the students responsibility to become an ‘expert’ in their topics.

Although the current grade 10’s are nervous about the long-term assignment, students are also excited about different aspects of the project. A Grade 10 student stated that ‘everyone chose a different topic and made it very personal to them.’ She is most excited to learn about the topics chosen by her classmates. Another grade 10 student has stated, ‘I am looking forward to learning more about my topic and creating my final product!’ These students have additionally noted that the workshop which took place on the 24th and 25th of September has helped them understand the process and concept of the project in more depth. One Grade 10 student explained that “the possibility of ‘bouncing’ ideas with my friends and exchanging feedback was something that definitely helped me get started with my Personal Project and was very enjoyable.”

A very important aspect of the personal project is a supervisor! A supervisor is a teacher who watches over your process and makes sure you’re staying in control of all the different parts of the project. When asked about how she feels being a first-time supervisor this year, Ms. Lau says that she is excited to be a personal project supervisor. She also states that “I will also have the pleasure in being part of my supervise’s journey in learning about herself through the highs and lows of her unique project.”

Although the workload of the project can seem unmanageable at times, grade 10 students are reminded about the support from the personal project organisers, supervisors, former grade 10 students and fellow peers. Regardless of the circumstances, personal projects provide students with the opportunity to develop various skills which will undoubtedly benefit our futures. Despite many of the difficulties in terms of time-management and planning, we as Grade 10 students are very excited to embark on this wonderful experience, and we cannot wait to see ourselves improving and growing over the course of the year!