The Personal Project: Curriculum Culmination

 Role of the Personal Project Year 5 (10th grade)

The personal project is a significant body of work produced over an extended period. It is a product of the student’s own initiative and should reflect his/her experience of the MYP. The personal project holds a very important place in the program. It provides an excellent opportunity for students to produce a truly creative piece of work of their choice and to demonstrate the skills they have developed in approaches to learning. As shown in the MYP curriculum model, the five areas of interaction form the core of the program: they are addressed through the subjects; they bind various disciplines together; they are the basis of varied learning experiences through project work, interdisciplinary activities, and real-life community involvement. Although the areas of interaction are not awarded individual grades, they are central to the experience of the personal project, which is intended to be the culmination of the student’s involvement with the five areas of interaction; the project is therefore normally completed during the last year of the student’s participation in the MYP.

Types of Personal Projects

The personal project may take many forms, for example:

  • an original work of art (visual, dramatic, or performance)
  • a written piece of work on a special topic (literary, social, psychological, or anthropological)
  • a piece of literary fiction (that is, creative writing)
  • an original science experiment
  • an invention or specially designed object or system
  • the presentation of a developed business, management, or organizational plan (that is, for an entrepreneurial business or project), a special event, or the development of a new student or community organization.

The student and the supervisor must agree that, whatever form the personal project takes, the finished product allows the student to investigate and focus on a theme, topic and/or issue closely connected to one area of interaction of the MYP. It must also include a report. Please see the section about the structure of the personal project for more details.

The student needs to choose carefully the type and goal of their project in terms of the skills and techniques that are required to bring it to a successful conclusion. Some projects may be too ambitious, require overly complex procedures or require a lengthy process of learning.