Innovation, Novelty and Creativity in the Gr. 10 Personal Project

Innovation, Novelty and Creativity in the Gr. 10 Personal Project
Innovation, Novelty and Creativity in the Gr. 10 Personal Project

Innovation, Novelty and Creativity in the Gr. 10 Personal Project

by Katy-Jean Vance, Literacy and Research Center Leader

The Personal Project is one of the most exciting projects that a student will complete during their time at YIS. It is the culminating project in the Middle Years Program (MYP), an opportunity for the students to showcase their abilities to independently inquire into a topic of their choice. Through this work, they also demonstrate an understanding of different Approaches to Learning skills such as research & information literacy skills, critical thinking skills and communication skills. While much of their education throughout the MYP has allowed them to follow their independent inquiries within their courses, this is their first opportunity since the PYP Exhibition to conduct a completely self-guided inquiry from beginning to end.

Over the course of eight months, with the guidance of a faculty mentor, students

  • Identify a problem, challenge or concern that they want to address
  • Research their chosen topic
  • Determine a product that will help address that topic
  • Develop success criteria for their product
  • Create their product
  • Share & celebrate their product
  • Write/present a report reflecting on their process

One of the things I enjoy most about supporting Grade 10 students through the Personal Project is watching their growth as independent learners and researchers. In the beginning, everything is very exciting because it's all opportunity and possibility! However, for many of our learners, as the research narrows and obstacles in the execution of their product pop up, making sure that their ideas come to fruition can be a challenge. They show persistence and perseverance in the face of mistakes and failures. Research, like life, gets messy, and the Personal Project offers students the opportunity to wade through the muck and come out the other end with something they're proud to share with their community.

Please join us on Thursday, January 25 at the Personal Project Exhibition to celebrate the hard work of our Grade 10 students. This year, students are working on a wide range of projects from developing Mexican recipes for a vegan lifestyle to designing jewelry that incorporates French and Japanese cultural heritage. You can meet Anna, whose project focused on sharing her passion for Iaido, an ancient Japanese sword-based martial art, with Grades 9 and 10 students. As someone who doesn't love public speaking, she spent several months honing her communication and presentation skills. In December, she showed great courage standing up in front of her classmates to educate them about Iaido and to perform in front of more than 100 of her peers.

You could also talk with Kai who researched how outdoor education can benefit individuals with special needs. During the December/January break, he showed empathy, compassion and respect as he took his passion for outdoor adventure and parlayed it into service to others by working as a counselor over a five day ski camp in Yuzawa, Niigata for individuals with special needs.

To get an idea of the influence a Personal Project can have on society, have a look at Kana's video about her project on the illegal trade of the endangered animal, the Slow Loris. Her digital book, Dr. Slow Loris Got It!, is being used by the NGO Little Fireface Project to educate the local population in Indonesia, and by the Japan Wildlife Conservation Society since Japan is the largest market for slow lorises. It tells the story of a kind-hearted doctor named Dr. Slow Loris who goes around the world to help other slow lorises who are in need of help.

This evening is guaranteed to be a special celebration of our students' accomplishments. We hope to see you there.

The Personal Project Exhibition for parents will be held on Thursday, January 25, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm, in the Auditorium. It is open to parents of all students.