What is the Passion Project?
The passion project is an opportunity for our 8th graders at Colegio Maya to pursue their passion and make a positive impact on their community in whatever area they are interested. It is a chance for them to develop a deeper understanding of their community needs and make a difference on a personal, local or global level.
The Passion Project is their project. It is an opportunity for them to deepen their knowledge and understanding in relation to ANY topic or area of interest. They then have a chance to demonstrate and reflect on key concepts, competencies and character traits related to their area of exploration and apply all these to impact their community.
Students have about three quarters of the year to explore their project, ask questions, develop different research techniques related to gathering their data and then taking informed action. Students develop their own goals and action plans and keep track of their learning in their process journal. They have two showcases throughout the year, one preliminary showcase in December and a final showcase in May. Both times they have a chance to demonstrate their learning to an authentic audience made up of all stakeholders at Colegio Maya and people from the outside community.
Students work closely with their classroom teacher and supervisory teacher to help guide them through the Passion Project process. The relationship with their supervisor is crucial for their success and developing this relationship is part of the learning process. Students take full responsibility for the success of their project through being actively engaged in every step of the learning process and developing key character traits like self-management, self-awareness through ongoing reflection, resilience, perseverance, and empathy.
The goal of passion projects at this key stage in their learning journey is that students will develop lifelong knowledge and skills and character traits that will set them up for being key critical thinkers, innovators, and game-changers for the future. Taking what they learn from this experience and expanding on it in high school in order to truly become ‘independent value-driven citizens’ as our vision statement implies.
Ysa is a secondary school student. In a recent school project, Ysa sold cups and various pet-related products to raise funds for AWARE in a weekend market in a Guatemala City shopping mall, where she also gave out information about adopting a pet. Thank you so much Ysa! We need more young helpers like you!