The MYP personal project serves as an independent application of the student’s learning. It is generally done in the fifth year of the MYP programme, although it can be done earlier. The aim is for a student to complete a long-term project that he/she chooses and conducts independently. It is then assessed, and it must be completed for the student to qualify for the MYP certificate. The student should also get a project advisor at the school (one of the teachers).
The stated method of the project is this:
- The student will investigate a topic of their interest (which they choose)
- The student will apply their learning from school and personal skills to to this project to produce something
- The student will reflect on the project by considering to what extent their goals were achieved and how things could have been done differently
Overall, the idea is to get the student to achieve a personal accomplishment on their own, which they can learn from and be proud of. If you find your child struggling with their MYP Personal Project, it is a good idea to engage in-person or hire online IB tutors to guide your child and support them through the course.
What does my child have to do?
This is the harder part of interpreting the MYP personal project, as, theoretically, the student is given free reign to do a project on more or less whatever they want.
Firstly, the school is likely to give your child some guidance. Sometimes, the MYP project has to be about creating something and then writing a report that details its function, benefits, and process of how it was made (e.g. an app which helps distribute food to food banks).
Sometimes, the school will allow the student to just write a personally researched essay on a topic of interest.
The MYP project should also relate to a ‘global context’. This should be focused on addressing a global issue or problem we face. In the app example above, the issue being addressed is how to distribute food to homeless people or families in need instead of it going to waste.
How does a student know what to do the MYP project on?
Now we get to the heart of the issue. The point of the project is to get the student to think up and develop their own ideas for the project.
Here is some guidance you can give.
- Think of your local community. Example: What are some of the social and environmental issues in Hong Kong?
- If you’re stuck on what social and environmental issues there are, read newspapers to identify themes.
- The task is to think of a project based on issues you have found. It could be an essay exploring one of these issues and proposing solutions to the problem. For example: How can we reduce the mistreatment of pets?
- Alternatively, it could be a product to assist. How about an information guide or app which lists types of dogs, how big they are likely to grow, how much living space, food and exercise they will need, and recommendations of whether it is a good idea to get a big dog?
The general tip would be to think a little outside the box and consider what you actually enjoy and are interested in. In general, reading news, watching documentaries, and learning about current issues in your area are probably good ways to develop ideas for the project.
If you want more help with the MYP or academic tutoring in general, feel free to contact us here and talk to a private tutor in Hong Kong. Both in-person and online IB tutors are available to assist the needs of your child.