Huron sophomores to present a wide range of Personal Projects to parents tonight

The Personal Project is the culminating experience of the Middle Years Programme (MYP) in the 10th grade and showcases individual student inquiry learning

By Jo Mathis/AAPS District News

Huron High School sophomores nearing the end of the semester-long IB MYP Personal Project class will have the opportunity tonight to show off their projects to family and friends.

The Personal Project is the culminating experience of the Middle Years Programme (MYP) in the 10th grade and showcases individual student inquiry learning.  During the Personal Project, students pursue a personal interest while applying the skills developed through the MYP Approaches to Learning including skills of research, thinking, self-management, communication and social. 

IB Facilitator (MYP) Todd Newell says the community will be impressed tonight by the wide range of student projects, from cookbooks to a student-built 12-foot-canoe, to electronics and computer builds to performances on instruments students learned to play just for the project.

“It really is a whole wide gamut, and we get the benefit because we actually let the students pick what their project is going to be,” he said, noting that while much of the projects are completed at home, they have a dedicated class period to work on some of the features, particularly the research and writing their reflections and reports.

Livvy Carlson’s project, for instance, involved learning landscape photography and creating a small business—Blue Waves—and website to sell her images.

As she explains on her site: “The business’ name comes from two things: the waves of the Great Lakes, which surround the state the project was focused on, and the well-known slogan of the University of Michigan – Go Blue! Since the main theme behind all of the photos taken for Personal Project is that they are all local places that have some sort of special meaning related to me, I figured it was only right to have the name of the business represent my hometown and state.”

With a few exceptions, all 10th graders take the one-semester course.

“It’s an important class to take because it promotes active engagement in your own learning,” said Newell. “And it helps kids learn skills to be independent learners because they’re going to then use those skills in 11th and 12th grade and then after high school.”

Huron English teacher Kristie King-Freyre has been involved with the Personal Project class from the very beginning when it was a pilot.

“So it’s been fun to kind of see the evolution of the class,” she said. “We are always responsive to what our students are providing us in the way of feedback. So we’re going to ask them for feedback on Friday, and we ask our teachers for feedback as well. And then we always take those suggestions into the design cycle for the following year. “

Teachers of various subject areas teach the class, and she is one of two teachers who, with Todd Newell, are on the design team and write the curriculum for the course every year.

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