This year, Grade 10 students brought their passions and creativity to bear on academic subjects for the 2019 Personal Project Exhibition! This year’s theme was ‘Journeys’. After working all year long on their projects, they presented them to the public. Students explored a range of subjects in their projects, including environmentalism, the arts, the cultural influence of media in the modern world, paper quilting and traditional Chinese history in 20th-century popular culture, and more. The breadth of projects introduced at the exhibition blew members of the community away. As our students delve deeper into scholarship, their individual learning journeys are beautifully reflected in this year’s exhibit. Click here to read more.
“After my first visit to Dunhuang in April last year, I became immensely attracted to the artistic and cultural atmosphere of the city of Dunhuang,” said Grade 10 student Shiyu Zhao. “On my return to Beijing, I decided that I must use Dunhuang as the central object, or theme, for my own personal project. Not only because I really liked it, but [also because I] wanted to develop a deeper understanding of Dunhuang.”
Many students at the Academy often rely on their personal interests or past experiences to trigger creative project ideas. For Shiyu Zhao, focusing on China’s northwestern city, Dunhuang, in Gansu Province, was an opportunity to explore the history, culture, and artistic atmosphere of the city beyond its more famous relics, such as its ancient Buddhist sanctuaries and Mogao Caves. During her yearlong exploration of this city, she spent numerous hours photographing and recording critical observations, all of which culminated in her Personal Project, which examined the city in great depth.
For many Grade 10 students, the personal project is a defining moment in their academic journey. Students have the opportunity to use their unique backgrounds, interests, and hobbies to address modern challenges facing China, problems facing the Keystone community, or even utilize the project as an opportunity to delve deeper into academic scholarship. Topics such as environmentalism, world religions, music, gender equality, media, and even the rise of Bitcoin and digital technology, are a few of examples of the vast breadth of topics presented during this year’s exhibit.
For Jessica Wu, her life experience growing up in a region of China marked by stark geographic differences inspired her personal project on environmental protection. “When I was younger, I lived near a tiny village, and there was a there road that separated my home from the beginning of this village, but life on each side was completely different,” Jessica explains. “Each time I went to the village I saw huge mountains of rubbish and plastic bottles everywhere. [When looking at that] it’s hard to imagine that you will see a modern and magnificent city after a few minutes drive. This experience inspired me to expand my knowledge about “plastic pollution” and solutions, and I hope I can do the best I can to help the people surrounding me.”
“I want to continue this project in the future, and I want to keep cooperating with Yingchuang Company, and use their technology to help benefit Keystone student’s life. I want to further explore this topic, and include the elements closer to our life, for example, plastic-made uniforms, the house T-shirt or even the furniture in Keystone. My ultimate goal is to bring a healthier environment to the lives of all at Keystone.”
The yearlong personal project for Grade 10 students not only assists with academic maturity, as students are tasked with a yearlong commitment to investigating a topic but also cultivates holistic maturity, helping students also grow intellectually and emotionally.
Personal project advisor Dorothy Mubweka says, “There are set requirements that students meet as they undertake this 12-month self-discovery journey driven by passion and skill application. As MYP students, they are exposed to certain skills in their entire course. Personal projects require them to apply these skills. Through this journey, students challenge themselves in areas and ways that may be very unfamiliar to them. The reflective nature of the process gives room for intellectual growth as they devise means and ways to reach their project goals.”
From the streets of Dunhuang to the edges of rural villages in China, Keystone students took us all on their personal journeys of self-discovery as they married their passions and academic interests for this year’s powerful, ‘Journeys’ Personal Project Exhibition.