The personal project, explained

MYP Personal Project Logo and link to intro video

Fernanda Molina, Editor-in-Chief

Are you ready, freshmen? We all have to do a “personal project” next year. Build a boat. Interpretive dance. Write a novel. Whatever topic you choose, you will be working on this project until next year.

The Middle Years Program (MYP) Project is a project in which students work to complete a project that is significant to them for the duration of one year. This project may seem like extra work for students, but it is done for the sole purpose of allowing students to extend their knowledge and understanding of an activity or skill that interests them.

So how will it affect GM students? The MYP Project can serve as an achievement that the students can show off. As Middle Years Program (MYP) Coordinator Laura Lane explained, the project that the students complete this year puts them on track for their CAS project or extended essay if they choose to do the IB diploma.

“It definitely prepares for [the CAS project] and it prepares for a lot of things… it gives you a sort of springboard for the extended essay as well,” said Lane. “If you do something that is a real passion of yours, you can extend that into your extended essay or your CAS project.”

There are a couple of really important dates for the project:

  • March 15, 2017 – the day of the MYP Launch
  • April 19, 2017  – the due date for the entry
  • May 11, 2017 – MYP Project Advisors assigned
  • Feb 28, 2018 – MYP Project Fair
  • March 7, 2018 – MYP Project Fair

According to an MYP Subject Brief, “[MYP] provides a framework of learning that emphasizes intellectual challenge and encourages connections between studies in traditional subjects and the real world.” But, as Lane says, it pretty much focuses on “learning how to learn.”

Another frequently asked question is, “What if the project is not completed?” If this does happen, do not stress.

“On the transcript, it will say that they successfully completed the project. If they don’t complete the project, then the transcript will have nothing about it on there,” Lane said.

Even though the project is not a requirement, the students of GMHS have strong opinions.

Some students such as freshman Ciara Curtin had a positive attitude about the project and believed that the project was a great way to work on something you are really interested in.

“While we can do that at school, now you’re not restricted, now you have practically no limits and you are surrounded by support staff and every peers; to create something truly incredible, hopefully that you can showcase, while at the same time being really passionate about,” freshman Ciara Curtin said.

Some students liked the idea about having the opportunity to complete the project, but believed that the MYP project took too much time and the way in which it should be done should be improved.

“I think that the MYP project is a good way of looking at what we like, but I think it’s just a waste of time and it takes up too much of our personal space. It’s just more stress and I don’t like that, but I think it’s a good idea that can be improved,” freshman Yasemin Rees said.

However, when Mr. Kelly, MYP personal project coordinator, was asked about his thoughts on the project, he believed that this project had great meaning and value. He believed it was a great way for the students to create something that was outside the curriculum.

“I wouldn’t have asked to be a part of it if I didn’t think that it had real value, or the potential to have real value,” Mr. Farrell Kelly, 8th grade teacher and MYP personal project coordinator said. “I think we spend a lot of time on the curriculum, but giving the students a chance to do something meaningful, with official sanction and official time, theoretically is good and I’d like to see it be good in actuality as well.”