The Personal Project
Have you lost your handbook? Use the 2014-2015 Student Handbook
to make your project a success!
Need a proposal sheet? Proposal sheets are due in September! (Pages 35-40 of the Student Handbook)
The personal project is a significant body of work produced over an extended period. It is a product of your own initiative and should reflect your experience of the MYP. The personal project holds a very important place in the programme. It provides an excellent opportunity for you to produce a truly creative piece of work of your choice and to demonstrate the skills you have learned in approaches to learning.
It provides an opportunity for you to select a topic or theme about which you are enthusiastic, and to show commitment to the completion of your own project. It is designed to assess your ability to organize and create.
The aims of the personal project are to:
- understand and apply the methods, techniques, and strategies contained in the area of interaction known as approaches to learning (ATL)
- address one of the other areas of interaction in depth (community and service, health and social education, environments and human ingenuity)
- demonstrate the personal abilities and skills required to produce an extended piece of work.
What is a Personal Project?
Have you ever wanted to build a guitar? Do you have a secret passion to write a play? Now is your chance! The personal project is your project to do what you want to do, to show the skills you have developed over the years in your subjects and through approaches to learning, and to apply them to an area or topic on which you decide.
The personal project holds a place of special importance in the MYP, and thus it should be closely linked to the areas of interaction. Remember, you will be working on this project for an extended period of time, and your grade for the personal project is as important as any subject grade, so it needs to be something you really want to do.
There are a wide variety of choices you could consider, such as:
- an original work of art (visual, dramatic, performance, etc.)
- a written piece of work on a special topic (literary, social, psychological, anthropological, etc.)
- a piece of literary fiction (creative writing)
- an original science experiment or career investigation (FBI training)
- an invention or specially-designed object or system (computer game)
- the presentation of a developed business, management, or organizational plan, i.e. for an entrepreneurial business or project, a special event, or the development of a new student or community organization.
Your personal project should include a process journal, a product and a personal statement in the form of a structured piece of writing.
Whatever form you decide on, your personal project should:
be directly linked to an area of interaction
allow you to express a truly personal message
be the result of your initiative, creativity and ability to organize and create
reflect your special interests, hobbies, special abilities, or concerns about particular issues
deal with a topic or area to which you are committed.
Your personal project must not:
be something completed at the last minute.
destroy your personal and social life, nor interfere with your studies, even though it will involve many hours of work.
be bound by any specific subject.
The personal statement should contain:
- information on your choice of product and the production steps
- the inspiration, research and influences guiding your work
- a description of the various characteristics, aspects or components of your work
- an account of the special challenges or difficulties you encountered and solutions you chose
- your own assessment of both the process and the product with regard to the initial goal(s).
Your project may involve others (for example, directing a play, organizing an exhibition, or starting a new student/community organization); remember, however, that your own contribution must be central to the event, and clearly visible. It is your work which will be assessed. Any project that involves a group of people must be approved during the abstract proposal (before summer vacation).
When you have your idea, you will be matched with a supervisor to assist you throughout the project, meet you on a regular basis and make sure you complete the various stages of the project according to the deadlines set by the school. Your supervisor need not necessarily be an expert in what you want to do, but will be able to guide and help you as needed. You may decide with your supervisor to have another person from outside who can give you more expert help.