Students Experience with Project Y

Students Experience with Project Y

Project Y is a year-long personal project that IB 10th grade students are all required to complete in order to move onto either the Diploma Programme (DP) or Career-related  Programme (CP) for their last two years of high school. This year students were introduced to the project in October of first semester, and the due date for their project report was March 11th, but some students were able to ask for an extension to Monday, March 14th. The project was very tedious for all students and they had unique products to show for their learning. 

The report was separated into 3 sections where students had to cover which were planning and researching, ATL skills, and reflection. Students had to describe their product and product progress within the report and any new skills they might have learned. 

“Students have to complete a report with three sections of planning, acting, and reflecting on the process of completing the project,” IB-MYP coordinator, Tiffany Hemberger said. “For some students, depending on the length of the report, they might have to also provide a video showing evidence of completing the project.” 

The personal project is for students to pace themselves and think about their own products that they are interested in. In years before, students have created desserts, arts and even car engines. Students are highly encouraged to base their products on something they enjoy or would like to expand on.

“My project was a research essay which was a case study that focused on the case of Jon Benet Ramsey’s unsolved murder,” sophomore Fabiola Sanchez said. “In my essay I gave readers background information on who the victim was, then I laid out the facts of the case, and I went into unlikely theories of the case.”

“My project was a research essay about instruments and how they affect the brain when taught at a young age which can result in academic achievements when you’re older,” sophomore Richard Echavez said. 

At the beginning of sophomore year, IB English teachers introduced Project Y and started students off with brainstorming their product ideas and let the students pace themselves after. Project Y is a student-self paced project where students work independently and have to reach out to their assigned mentors, IB coordinators, and teachers. In the beginning of third quarter one of the English teachers, Mrs. Yasso, took medical leave due to covid related reasons with her pregnancy, which impacted how students could reach out for guidance from her leading towards the conclusion of the Project Y report. 

“I was expecting some help from Mrs. Yasso or something since she’s my English teacher, and she wouldn’t respond to my emails which isn’t her fault because she is pregnant,” Echavez said. 

“I think a big part of my project was definitely outside feedback,” Sanchez said. “Throughout my process, I had guidance from my English teacher, Mrs. Yasso and also Mr. Gebbia was a big help on how to start my project.” 

Even though the project is self-paced, students have to manage their time diligently with their school work, extracurricular activities, sports, social life, etc; which some students can manage and others cannot. 

“It was pretty difficult to balance my whole life and I definitely struggled because this project was a huge passion of mine which I thoroughly enjoyed, so I was kind of working on my project more than I should have,” Sanchez said. 

What IB hopes for students to learn with the project is to be able to expand their knowledge and express themselves through their passions that can lead them to flourish in the future with any type of career they choose to do. 

“I initially wanted to learn how to play the guitar for my project, but the research essay taught me how children who learn an instrument at a young age learn the skills to achieve in school.”

“This project has helped me a lot in terms of my future legal career, such as, I expanded on my legal analysis skills and especially my writing skills,” Sanchez said. This project will definitely aid me in the future as a peer counselor for my Trial by Peers program when I start to take on juvenile offenders and represent them in an actual court.”

IB students at the end of their sophomore year decide between the diploma programme or the career-related programme to continue their junior and senior years at Spring Valley. The diploma programme is an academic challenging and balanced programme of education consisting of IB level courses and exams that prepare high school students for university and adult life. The career-related programme is an international education programme that teaches the principles of IB with specific courses to develop students that have the passion to participate in career-related learning. 

“I want to go into DP because I really didn’t like the CTE programs because there was none of my interests,” Echavez said.

“I definitely want to go into DP because ever since I found out about IB and how it’s handled at Spring Valley, it’s always been one of my ambitions to graduate from the DP program,” Sanchez said.