By Amelia Kimball, 7th grade
There’s always something new going on at our school, whether it’s a service project, a chess tournament, or anything else. But recently, we have been particularly busy: it’s 10th Grade Personal Project time. The 10th graders have been knee-deep in work, and the rest of us? Well, we’ve all been knee-deep in the amazing products.
Personal Project is a year-long project for the 10th graders. This year, there was every topic from building a video game, to transgender awareness, to teaching underprivileged children how to play the violin. But the sailing probably hasn’t been as smooth for these hard workers as it may have appeared from the neat poster board. I interviewed four of the students with three questions: Where did you get the inspiration for your project, what was the process of creating your project like, and what was the most difficult part? Jazmon Malone, my first interviewee, had the project called ‘Advancing the Brain Concert,’ about music while studying; Shaunessy Renker, my second interviewee, did ‘Violinology: Better Futures for Kids,” teaching underprivileged children to play the violin at no cost; Shayden Smith, my third, researched and raised awareness about International Parental Child Abduction; and Sophia Valls started a PYP Environmental Club. Here’s what they all had to say about the projects.
Where did you get the inspiration for your project?
Jazmon: Jazmon combined two passions to create her project. “I want to be a psychologist,” she said, “and I love listening to music.” So, using these two things, she researched and surveyed about music helping your brain.
Shaunessy: Shaunessy was inspired by her own violin teacher. “He teaches violin to underprivileged kids for free, and at one of my recitals those kids were there.” Seeing these kids inspired her to do something similar.
Shayden: Shayden’s project is a personal issue to her. “My cousin Nico was a victim of IPCA (International Parental Child Abduction).” She wanted to raise awareness about something that really mattered to her.
Sophia: Sophia was inspired by her own experiences. She had a great science experience at her own elementary school. “When I saw that we didn’t have something similar in PYP, I wanted to implement it here,” she said.
What was the process of creating your project like?
Jazmon: Jazmon started with extensive research on her topic. “Then, I conducted surveys to finalize my conclusion,” she said.
Shaunessy: “It was a lot harder than I expected!” she said. She created a website, and had a fundraiser so that she could purchase the violins for her students without the parents needing to.
Shayden: “It was a lot of trial and error for me,” she said. She finally got what she needed with her Instagram account.
Sophia: It was much more difficult that Sophia expected. “It took a month just to create the club alone!” she said.
What was the most difficult part?
Jazmon: For Jazmon, the hardest thing was handing out the surveys to people she didn’t know during her research.
Shaunessy: “Controlling the kids during lessons. I have a lot of respect for PYP teachers now!” she said.
Shayden: Shayden said that the hardest thing was getting support. “I could send emails to 100 people,” she said, “but I would probably only get 6 replies.”
Sophia: Sophia had a hard time just getting the project off the ground. Like she said before, “It took a month just to start the club alone!”
Jonathan talks about his experience with ADHD and some of the positive impacts it can have!
David Tinocco-Morales shares his own computer-programming work of genius. He has programmed these machines to take basic vital measurements such as blood pressure and temperature.
Shaunessy Renker projects a documentary video related to her project as well as displays a tri-fold with information about her experience with teaching students in McKinney violin for brighter futures!
Sebastian Chowdhury has an intense conversation with a parent about some of the implications of religion and ethics in medicine.
Sophia Valls’ tri-fold. She started a PYP Environmental Club as part of her Personal Project! Know anyone who’d like to join?
J’lynn Chappa learned about her family tree for her project and shares what she found.
Shayden Smith’s awesome set-up for her project about International Parental Child Abduction.
Caroline Sanfelippo poses in the library next to her tri-fold displaying the effects of hearing loss.
All of the students have different answers to the questions and each project was unique, reflecting each person’s own interests and passions. And even though not all of the projects are covered here, I can guarantee that each one was incredible. Students put months of research and planning into their big Personal Project debuts, and they really reflected the hard work. We applaud your success, 10th graders!