What do “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses, Guatemalan cuisine, snowboarding, Baroque painting, and baking cookies have in common?
They were each the subject of a personal project created by a 10th grade student, which were showcased at the annual personal project celebration at Fridley High School on Wednesday, January 17. Families, friends and faculty crowded the high school’s media center and hallways to see the projects displaying the diverse interests and independent research skills of the more than 200 students that participated.
The personal project is the culminating milestone of the Middle Years Programme for the International Baccalaureate curriculum. Each 10th grade student begins working on the assignment at the start of the school year. It allows them to pick a topic they are passionate about, set an achievable goal related to their topic, and then use their Approaches-to-Learning skills – communication, thinking skills, self-management, social skills, and research – in creating and presenting the project.
Some students took the opportunity to dive deeper into a topic related to their culture, like Shahnaaz Omer with her “Learning hijab styles” project, through which she discovered five distinct hijab styles.
“I chose this because I am committed to wearing the hijab for the rest of my life,” Omer said. Therefore, she wanted to see how she could make her hijab more unique and, as she put it, give it some “pizzazz.”
Other students decided to explore possible career interests through their project. For Beglad Kasongoma, who braids her own hair, “How to braid hair” was a natural choice.
“I talked to a few people and asked if I could braid their hair, and I gave step-by-step tutorials on how to braid their hair,” Kasongoma explained. “It helped me learn a lot about myself and what I want to do in the future, you know? Like maybe starting a hair business.”
No matter what motivated them, each student took pride in completing and showcasing their personal projects. Congratulations, scholars!