The MYP Personal Project is a major component for grade 10 students. It's an opportunity for them to delve into and research an area of their choice, and develop something that showcases their journey, knowledge, and understanding. It's a challenging project that depends on sustained motivation for it to be successful.
More and more of students girls are electing to do their personal project in a design-related area: coding, product design, or media. While the projects should be student-driven, we wanted to make sure they could have a team to lean on to help guide, motivate and support each other. The Design Incubator for Personal Project was born.
Lead by a small team of teachers, we've created several clusters. Students are grouped according to their design area (digital, industrial, or media); they are also grouped in mixed groups. Each group arranges meet-ups where they check in about their progress, discuss problems, and support each other. These meet-ups are student organized and led, and follow the grow-coaching model. As a teacher, it's been great to stumble across a meeting in the library or design room, and students are collaborating and supporting each other authentically on their personal projects.
Recently, some Grade 11's have taken over the incubator project and are leading it. It's now fully student-lead, with recent graduates of the MYP (the Grade 11s) mentoring and supporting the Grades 10s. So far, the feedback from the students is that they feel more in control of their project, and that they are using each other for inspiration.