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Pursuing Passions Through the IB MYP Personal Project

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From the arts to health science to mechanical pursuits, you wouldn’t believe the diversity of Personal Projects the Grade 10s are planning, researching, and executing! A capstone experience in the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP), this student-led project is a key stepping stone to the Internal Assessments and Extended Essay of the IB Diploma Programme in Grades 11 and 12. It provides students an opportunity to demonstrate and put into practice the skills they have developed over their time in the MYP.

Even more than that, however, it is a chance to have fun and pursue a passion! If you had the chance, would you paint miniatures or create a computer search engine? Would you choose to handcraft a guitar or a paddle? Would you improve your cooking skills, or maybe create a home-workout space? Students are currently researching their topics—from debate backgrounders to the field of positive psychology, to motorcycle maintenance—and are beginning to create a product from their learning. 

Although this is an independent project, our Grade 10s have a strong community supporting them every step of the way. Recently, they met with Grade 11s for a mentorship session so that they could get the real scoop on how to be successful in presenting their work at Exhibition and in writing the final report. They have worked all along with a faculty supervisor, and with peer pods who have been instrumental in providing early feedback on their plans. The whole GNS community is getting excited about visiting each project booth at the Personal Project Exhibition on February 24, 2023—a chance for Grade 10s to showcase their products and the incredible learning they did along the way. Read on for a taste of what you can expect to see in February:

Katharine Morley is learning about “how ethanol can be used to protect and promote the growth of plants against drought conditions”, and her product will “develop an effective ethanol-based fertilizer and document/present it with a process logbook.”

I am doing a scientific project looking at the efficacy of ethanol on the drought resistance of home garden plants, and I am going to create an ethanol-based fertilizer as my final product. I was inspired by the intense droughts that BC/Canada faced over the course of this past year. So far, one of the most exciting parts of my project was planting and growing my plants. After some troubleshooting with the grow chamber (which turned out to be partially malfunctioning), combined with the effects of my questionable gardening skills, I was slightly surprised but thrilled to see them sprouting out of the soil!


[At the Grade 11 Mentorship Session,] I learnt how the Grade 11s managed (or didn’t manage) their time, as well as about the tools that helped them succeed in the report writing process. [Looking forward to Exhibition,] I am of course super excited to see all of my peers’ projects. Because Personal Project is something that is completed outside of our school timetable I have had no way of seeing what everyone else has been doing. Exhibition will be the first time I will see the other Grade 10s hard, thorough work!

Erin Plecas is learning about “the history and evolution of menstruation products and their accessibility”, and her product will “create a fundraiser for period products to donate to a local organization whose aim is to help end period poverty in Victoria.”

My project is to raise money to donate to the Victoria Period Project to combat Period Poverty. I have really loved so far learning about this cause that affects so many, and raising awareness for it at our school. [When we met with the Grade 11s,] I learned to make sure we choose a topic we are really interested in and won’t get bored of and also try and do a project that we wouldn’t do outside of this opportunity. I also learned the importance of planning and making sure you are keeping up with your deadlines. I am looking forward to continuing to raise awareness about Period Poverty in our school community. I am also looking forward to reaching my goal and being able to say that I was successful. 

Owen Krigolson is learning about “podcast creation and positive psychology”, and for his product will “create a multi-episode podcast about positive psychology.”

My project is to learn about and understand positive psychology, and the implications it has on your day-to-day life. I am then creating a podcast and providing advice and information about positive psychology, and how you can become happier in your day-to-day life, with little effort, or change to the status quo of your everyday life.

During the Grade 11 Mentorship Monday, we were provided with some more “unbiased” perspectives from students who have really done the project, and they provided advice and guidelines for time management and showed us examples of their research documents, and organization methods to help us with our own projects.

At the Exhibition, I will be creating a trifold board along with having my laptop, and headphones for people to listen to my podcast. I’ll most likely also have a second display showing the audio recording software on my iPad, and then a third display showing the audio editing software I used for my podcast.

Zoe Carroll is learning about “the history and conventions of spoken word/slam poetry”, and for her product will “create a collection of three to five spoken word poems and perform one at an open mic.”

I have researched the conventions and history of slam poetry, and am currently working on a collection of three to five poems, some of which I will perform. Slam is a genre of spoken word poetry. This is a topic that has interested me for a while, so researching was very entertaining. Writing is also a great learning process with lots of trial and error. 

In February I will be presenting my collection of poems and performing one or two if I get the opportunity. I’m extremely excited but also nervous, as my work is very personal to me, but I love sharing what I’ve created and hope it will resonate with others.