Before I started my Personal Project, I had no idea on what topic I should choose. This project was introduced before the summer vacation, but during the summer I did not work a lot on my project because I did not know what I needed to work on and couldn’t completely decide on what I should focus on. Therefore, the main goal was decided after my mentor was decided. I believe goal setting was one of the parts I have struggled during the process of the personal project because I did not know what will be challenging for me but at the same time it is achievable. I have noticed and understood this after going through all the process of the personal project, that the most important thing what topic to choose is depended on what you are interested in and things you want to know more about. This is because since this project goes on for about 6 months, it had to be something that motivates ourselves.
The main topic I have focused on the project was about food allergy. This goal was decided because of the allergic reaction I get from pollen and dust. This is currently affecting me which I have difficulty managing it. Although I chose food as a specific category of allergen was that I wanted to do something that interests me and keeps me motivated. The goal I first decided was very major such as ‘being able to make people ease the reaction that they get from food allergy’. I and my mentor thought it would be too challenging to be achieved. However, after discussing with my mentor and supervisor, I have decided to focus on a goal that was achievable but at the same time challenging which was to ‘create a list of restaurants that show the allergens that are included for people who are having a hard time eating out because of their food allergies’.
At the start of the project, I was struggling with understanding what I needed to do and work on. To be able to understand and go through the steps by managing my time successfully, I have started by creating an action plan as you can see below. To create my action plan, I first chose the format that keeps me on track of the schedule of what I need to complete by a specific date. I was able to do this by creating a digital MYP style plan which helped me follow each step and easier for me to adjust the deadline. While creating this action plan, because I did not know what I needed to do after 5 months (when the final report was due), I had filled in the schedule after I completely knew what I needed to complete. This way it had helped me complete all the tasks by due dates. This action plan really helped me in many areas because I was able to organize and manage my time while I had to work on my school work and extracurricular activities. Furthermore, this action plan had helped me with organizing all the due dates and mentor meeting I had planned.
After creating the action plan, I did a lot of research on Food allergy. Because I first did not know what kind of food allergens exist and what symptoms it can cause, I first had to start by gathering very simple information. These are some of the information I have found out. Once I have found out some information on the internet, I decided to conduct a survey and an interview which was a good chance for me to improve my communication skill. I have collected many data and was able to understand more information that leads me to create a successful product.
As part of the personal project, I also had to write a process journal that reflects on what I did, what ATL skill I used, and also what I discussed with my mentor. I believe keeping process journal was one of the most important things that helped me when I was writing my final report. This is one of the pages from my process journal where I reflected on Global Context.
By going through all the process such as researching and planning (creating success criteria for my product), I was able to make a successful product which was my goal ‘To create a list of restaurants that show the allergens that are included for people who are having a hard time eating out because of their food allergies’.
Here is the product I have made: LINK
Before I had started this project, although I knew there are people who are suffering from the effects they get from an allergic reaction, I did not take any action that would make that reaction ease. However, throughout the process of this project, I think I was able to take action and that can make people have a happier life such as making a list of restaurants that show the allergen. Furthermore, before and during this project, there was no part that I thought it was easy or when I felt I was fully comfortable. I think this has been one of the main big steps of getting outside of my comfort zone. However, with the help of my mentor and experts, I think it had led me a lot in achieving the goal. By experiencing this big project, I think I can transfer the knowledge and skills I gained to future learning experience since there will be always a situation where these skill and knowledge are required.