This year’s event was the most complex one we have ever held and included mini-movie theaters, elaborate installations of art work and architecture, and even a dark room to develop black and white photographs. Such was the complexity of many of the installations that for the first time students had to start setting up the day before.
The process of creating an excellent celebration of learning is lengthy, demanding and can only be done with the help of many people behind the scenes, from the logistical work provided by Coskun Karakas (Facilities Manager) and his team, and the brilliant designs and graphics from Jennifer Gokmen and Sezai Kara (Communications). However, it is the wonderfully dynamic and imaginative grade 10 students who provide the vision and inspiration that makes these events at IICS so memorable.
My sincere thanks to you all.
“If you had 6 months to work on a Personal Project, what would you have chosen?”
This question came from a parent during a conversation in last year’s exhibition and made me better understand that even this is a very difficult choice. Should I develop a skill that I have already to a higher level or learn something completely new? Should I look to solve a particular problem or raise awareness of an issue? Some chose the opportunity to allow themselves to ‘run free’ (as one student put it) to go well beyond the taught curriculum at MYP and even Diploma level. Each and every year the students are asked a very similar question as their starting point through what would then become their journey through the MYP Personal Project.
JUST WHAT UNIVERSITY RECRUITERS WANT TO HEAR
It often helps university recruiters to understand applicants better to hear about their Personal Projects, believe it or not. University Counselor Cherie Mobasheri uses Personal Project titles as an icebreaker when introducing our students to visiting admissions personnel. It often impresses them to listen to the intriguing topics our students select and kick starts deeper conversations about the serious, independent study the Personal Project requires. It gives recruiters something more than grades and test scores to go on when evaluating what kind of value the candidate might add to their university.
SO, HOW DO YOU EVALUATE SUCH DIVERSITY?
The evaluation of the projects ultimately takes place with the teachers or the MYP Examiners by looking at the written work the students produce. The nature of the projects results in such a diversity of what we call products (what you see at the Exhibition) it is actually impossible to standardize assessment across such a range of products. You have someone who has set up a dog shelter in a local area versus someone who has built and is operating a drone copter. There are no criteria that can measure such disparate things. Instead, what the examiners and the evaluation criteria focus on is the process. Every student needs to go through the same process starting with investigating a problem of their choice, designing solutions, creating the product to solve the problem, then reflect on what has taken place over the past six months. Since everyone goes through the same process, the assessment can focus on the process.