Adventures in Passion Projects! Day 3
As mentioned in my previous posts , my Grade 11 Communications Technology students are working on a passion project in which they must choose something they are passionate about, use their passion to fulfil a need or problem and present their solution using a form of communications technology. To learn about the background of my student passion project, you can click here.
Following submitting their proposals and receiving feedback, students worked on refining their proposals. One of the most challenging aspects of overseeing student passion projects is the variety and scope of their projects. Some of the proposals I received were aloof or unfocused, or not including a justifiable need.
Also, the educational background of my students (some students who previously attended local schools in Hong Kong or in their home countries were used to lecture-based lessons) created vast differences in the level of comfort students had with such an open-ended task. Students were tasked with providing feedback to at least three of their peers to help them in developing a more focused approach to their chosen passion project topic. Furthermore, over the course of a few days I held an in person conference with each students to discuss their topic and provide further guidance.
Once student proposals had been approved students began to conduct research. Depending on the scope of the idea, their research could be conducted in a variety of different ways. Students might reach out to experts via email, develop surveys, research and contact NGOs the possibilities are endless.
I had students create a resource folder in their Passion Project folder on Google Drive which is accessible to myself and their peers. In order help guide my students I provided them each with a few resources to help get them started some of which included podcasts, websites, videos,etc.
One of the primary objectives of such a project is creating authentic learning experiences for my students. As a result, I have encouraged them to reach out to experts in their chosen field of exploration.
Some of the examples of ways students chose to conduct their research:
Example 1: One student is interested in learning more about the hospitality industry. She is interested in exploring which issues hotels in Hong Kong have and based on her findings, will then explore developing a solution. She is developing a survey to send out to major hotel chains in Hong Kong to conduct their
Example 2: One of my students is interested in animal rights. She would like to help promote local animal rights organizations. I got her in contact with the owner of the organization from which my husband and I adopted our two rescue dogs and she is setting up an interview and a time to go and explore the animal shelter.
Example 3: One of my students loves rugby and aspires to play for the national team. For his passion project, he is exploring what the optimal diet and nutrition plan are for a pro rugby player. He is reaching out to coaches and members of competitive rugby teams in Hong Kong to conduct his research.
Example 4: One of my students is interested in raising awareness about suicide rates in youth in the Hong Kong and Asia region. She is contacting and interviewing students and guidance counselors at international schools in Hong Kong.
Once students have conducted their research, they will then start developing multiple solutions for their chosen task.