International Baccalaureate students presented their personal projects at the school’s first annual Personal Project exhibition on March 21. The class of 2020 are the first IB students to work on and present the projects that are mandatory for the IB program.
Students got to pick a topic they were passionate about at the beginning of the year and pursue it for the remainder. They have been doing things from building go karts, to making a ball gown dress. Other students performed a variety of arts including original piano pieces and dances.
“It felt a little intimidating since we were the first impression, being the first to do it,” sophomore Megan Rubio said. “It was a nice experience to get feedback for what we did and interesting to see what others worked on for 10 months.”
After months of working on the project they finally got to show what they know. Students took on passions that they wanted to further pursue, some even tried something that they had never done before.
“In the very beginning it was very nerve wracking, but after a while when people started to get curious and started asking questions, I started to feel confident,” Sophomore Nica Bautista said.
In school, most of the time students demonstrate their knowledge by tests or quizzes, but the personal project allows the student to take their knowledge to another level.
“It’s cool for us a school, because we get to see students doing stuff we ordinarily,
wouldn’t have a chance to see,” IB Coordinator Tony Gebbia said “Everyday I have kids showing me projects they have done and I’m like oh my god, I had no idea you were even into that.”
Choosing a topic for the personal project also helps students figure out what they want to pursue in the future.
“If a students choses well, something they are interested or passionate about, It will sort of spark or maybe continue to develop an interest they have, that will hopefully continue forever,” Gebbia said. “I’ve seen over the years in my career students will do a personal project that they will end up continuing with it and it becomes a big part of their life.”
Since it was the first time that the students took on the personal project, Gebbia said students and staff will now reflect to make the process even better next year.
“Everything will change, as a standpoint with the mentors we assigned every student a mentor, but they didn’t use them this year, because they weren’t aligned well,” Gebbia stated. “We were also thinking of using upperclassmen as mentors, instead of going to a teacher to go to and talk about, you can go to an 11th grader whose done the project. Small scale.”
The change of mentors is not the only change for the next year of students. This year only English teachers checked on projects. Next year, all classes will play a role in the personal project, according to Gebbia.
“Every year, like the current ninth graders, are gonna see what these 10 graders did and that going to evolve your ideas for next year,” Gebbia said.
“The project naturally gets more sophisticated and better as the years go by. You see the good ones and hear about the good ones and it kind of raises the bar.”