Q:  What does a completed personal project look like?
A:   A personal project will reflect the student’s progression through the four stages of the process: investigation, planning, taking action, and reflection. The student’s investigation and planning will lead to the creation of a product or outcome. Each student will document his or her progress in the process journal on Managebac. Once the product or outcome is completed, the student will report the project in a written paper or in another format, such as a website, blog, or oral presentation. A completed personal project includes all three components: the process journal, a product/outcome, and a presentation.

Q:   Is it permissible for students to collaborate on a personal project?
A:   Students are allowed to work together toward completion of a project; however, each student must be responsible for a distinct aspect of the project. For example, students could work together to create a short film. Each student would need to be in charge of a different aspect of the process, such as script writing, costume/make-up, lighting/special effects, directing, or editing. Each of these areas of focus would require its own investigation and planning; students’ process journals would be completed independently. On a cautionary note, too often we have seen conflicting student schedules derail a project; therefore, we recommend that you work independently. However, this is merely a recommendation; it is not a requirement.

Q:  Where can I get help when I have questions?
A:   You have many people available as resources. You will be assigned a supervisor who will work with you to refine your topic, provide feedback on your progress, help you meet deadlines, and evaluate your work. You will meet with this supervisor a few times a month during Directed Studies. Directed Studies will also be a time when the personal project coordinator and your Directed Studies teacher can meet with you to provide information about the personal project and review skills related to goal-setting, research, and presentation. In addition to these school-based resources, you should have a mentor. This mentor should be someone who is knowledgeable in the topic that you have chosen and who is available to answer questions and provide guidance as you work toward your goal.

Q:  What is a global context . . . and why do I need one?
A:   There are six global contexts: identities and relationshipsorientation in time and spacepersonal and cultural expressionscientific and technical innovationglobalization and sustainability, and fairness and development.  According to the MYP Personal Project Guide, the purpose of these global contexts is to “direct learning towards independent and shared inquiry into our common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet” (20). These contexts answer the question “So what?” in relation to the project. Why does this project matter to people? Why does this project matter to us as caretakers of this earth? You may choose only ONE global context. See pages 31-32 in the MYP Personal Project Guide to read more about global contexts and see examples of project topics related to each context. 

Q:  How can my supervisor help me through this? 
A:  Communication with your supervisor is essential to your success! Your supervisor’s job is to ensure that you have chosen an appropriate topic, goal, and global context AND to provide guidance as you work. In addition, your supervisor will sign-off on the authenticity of your work and asses your project.  Help your supervisor help you! To do this, you must communicate with your supervisor throughout the process. Informal meetings can be through Managebac, email, or face-to-face. Formal meetings, however, must take place in person and be documented on the MYP projects academic honesty form. You are required to have three formal meetings with your supervisor: one at the beginning of the project, one midway through the project, and one at the conclusion of the project. It is your responsibility to initiate or schedule these meetings.

Q:   Do I have to do the personal project? 
A:  As the culminating experience of the Middle Years, the personal project is a requirement for all 10th-grade students. While the completed project itself is not tied to any one class, components of the project will be assessed in your classes. 
There are many reasons to complete a personal project. To begin with, it can set you apart as a strong candidate during the college admissions process. In addition, if you are planing to take any Diploma Program classes, you must complete a personal project as a prerequisite. The personal project also gives you experience planning and working on a long-term project, skills that you need in higher education and in your future careers. Finally, completing the personal project allows you to learn about a topic that you find engaging and to create a product or outcome that is a source of pride for you.

Q:   What do I have to do in order to earn parking and junior lunch?
A:   Students are eligible to receive the rewards of preferred parking their junior year and off-campus lunch during the second semester of their junior year if they have: an initial supervisor assessed score of at least a 10 (parking spot) or an 18 (parking spot + lunch); four documented meetings with the supervisor on the Academic Honesty Form; a minimum of 12 substantive journals in the process journal; submitted the report on time; included a works cited page in the report (not the annotated bibliography); a specific goal, global context, and well-defined criteria on their worksheet in MB; and documented evidence of the product (in the process journal and appendices).