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PERSONAL PROJECTS HIGHLIGHT BENEFITS OF EAST’S IB CURRICULUM
The International Baccalaureate curriculum is designed to open global doors by developing inquiring, knowledgeable, confident, and caring young people.
The IB Program empowers scholars to take ownership in their own learning and help them develop future-ready skills to make a difference and thrive in an ever-changing world.
For scholars between the ages of 11 and 16, the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program is intended to prepare students for the two-year IB Diploma program. A foundational aspect of MYP is the Personal Project, which allows MYP students in their final year to explore an area of personal interest over an extended period, culminating with the creation of a project.
The project is complemented by an oral presentation and inquiries from “supervisors” – administrators, educators, parapros, security personnel, and others – designed to explore a scholars’ depth of knowledge about his or her creation.
On an academic level, the Personal Project formally assesses scholars’ approaches to self-management, research, communication, critical and creative thinking, and collaboration.
At East High School, the District’s IB hub at the high school level, MYP sophomores recently unveiled their Personal Projects.
Whether made-from-scratch food dishes, art projects, research endeavors, musical presentations and how-to guides, the Personal Projects combined creativity with research, analytical thinking and oral presentation.
“The Personal Projects Showcase happens at the very end of the MYP program, which initially starts at Corwin,” explained East Principal Andy Clementi. “Every freshman and sophomore in this building is an MYP student, so the Showcase allows them to choose a topic they are passionate about, or that means something to them, and over a course of a few months, prepare the Project for presentation.”
The endeavor culminated with the displays being set up in the halls of East, with the creators explaining their works to Eagle colleagues.
For his project, Dominic Benavides, a multi-sport athlete, tried his hand at family recipes for green chili and tortillas.
“This has been in my family’s history for a while and I wanted to continue the tradition,” Dominic said. “The hardest part for me was getting the right amount of flour and salt. Although I’m active in sports, I’m also able to cook.
“I do it all.”
Darrel Ponce employed digital software to craft an original song.
“Writing a song is however you want it to be. It’s based on your own creativity,” Darrel explained. “For this one, I started with guitars and added bass and drums. I’d like to make music my career.”
With an interest in dog training, Nathan Samora explored that arena for his project while visually documenting the process.
“I used two different methods: positive reinforcement and clicker training,” he explained. “I did the training with Colorado State University Pueblo’s mascot dog, and what I learned is that one of the keys is the tone of your voice and your word choice. It’s important to use words that aren’t a common part of human dialogue.”
Saxophonist Jack Valenzuela’s project centered on the “jazz experience.”
“Basically, it’s about improvising over a song of your choosing,” he said. “The song I selected is ‘Boplicity’ by Miles Davis, because I felt it’s a challenging one. To know what notes to hit during improvisation, you have to know the theory part of it.”
A Halloween tradition at East is Tuffy’s Trick or Treat, which served as the subject of Mary Tafoya’s project.
“I helped organized the event this year,” Mary said. “And I picked it as a project because it’s a good opportunity to enlighten the community about it and spread the word so that we get more people involved next Halloween.”