Middle Years Program (M.Y.P.) – International Baccalaureate education for 9th and 10th grades
Mt. Rainier is implementing the M.Y.P. to all of our 9th and 10th grade students. As part of this program students will participate in a Personal Project. I.B. states: The MYP organizes teaching and learning through eight subject groups. The program promotes interdisciplinary study that helps students make important connections between academic subjects. Integrated teaching and learning helps students analyze complex issues and develop the habits of mind they need to participate in our increasingly interconnected world. The MYP culminates in an independent learning project. Students complete a significant piece of work over an extended period of time, encouraging them to consolidate their learning and reflect on the outcomes of their work. The independent learning project our students will be engaged in is the Personal Project. It is a required and essential part of the M.Y.P. curriculum and will showcase students’ learning in all areas of the M.Y.P.
What is the Personal Project? The Personal Project is an independent project that allows students to explore an area that is of interest to them. Maybe they have always wanted to learn a foreign language or learn to cook. Perhaps they want to research a global issue or create an original piece of art or music. The Personal Project is an opportunity for students to develop, design and implement a project of their choice. They will showcase their Personal Project in the spring of this year. They will also explore how the Personal Project connects to the 4 learning outcomes for Advisory: Social Development, Personal Development, Academic Development, and College/Career Readiness.
Timeline: Students will begin this project in the spring of their 9th grade year and complete it the spring of their 10th grade year.
Examples of Personal Projects:
- Participate in and help organize a walk for Autism
- Create a scrapbook of mentors and role models for young teens
- Create a website to inform about subliminal messaging
- Paint a mural to depict diversity and respect
- Teach a parent to play the piano who has no prior experience
What do students need to Submit? The Personal Project has three components: the project, the written statement, and the process journal.
- The Product: This is the product they intend to create. It can take a variety of forms depending on what they choose. See examples above.
- The Process Journal: Throughout each of the 4 phases students will be responsible for keeping a process journal. There will be prompts along the way that will help them with their report. Students will be submitting their process journal as part of their project.
- The Report: Students will synthesize their Process Journal entries into written report of 1500- 3500 words. Each of the journal entries will help them build this paper.
Does my student have to do the Personal Project?
Students need to show they have meet all 4 of the Advisory Outcomes in order to earn credit for Advisory. The Personal Project aligns with each of these outcomes and by completing the whole Personal project, they will be demonstrating proficiency in all areas. Without completing a Personal Project students will have a difficult time showing they meet standard in these areas and will have to find a way on their own to show proficiency.
What will my student gain by completing a Personal Project?
*The Personal Project is an opportunity for students to work on something they are truly invested and interested in. The process of investigating, planning, creating, and evaluating a Personal Project encourages students to embark on a voyage of discovery, uncovering what they think is important, and exploring what they might want to do with their lives. By completing the Personal Project, each student:
- Benefits from the rewards of the mentoring process
- Develops creativity
- Creates a unique and tangible product to show a potential employer or college admissions office
- Talks about their interests and strengths with evidence
- Develops writing and presentation skills
How can I help my student be successful?
Students should be working on their Personal Project throughout this year, with the culmination being the exhibition in the spring. Here are some ways you can support your student:
- Ask about their project
- Set aside time for them to work on it
- Help them research credible sources
- Offer to help with putting together their presentation for the Exhibition
- Help proofread and edit written work
- Check in with your student’s Advisor at conferences
- Come to the Exhibition in the spring
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact your student’s advisor or the Personal Project Coordinator, Kari Robins, at 206.631.7142.