KIS SPOTLIGHT: Personal Project Exhibition 2022, Part I

The Personal Project Exhibition is an annual event hosted and organised by each year’s current cohort in the tenth grade. This article is the first of two which examines the Personal Project experiences of four students. 

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COVID-19 has been kind to few. Us KIS students, as some of the unfortunate folks that have been learning online for the better (or worse) part of three years, know this too well. Neither has the global pandemic been kind to the planning of events, and the 2022 Personal Project Exhibition is one of them. 

This year, the exhibition format veered a little off the course of a traditional auditorium exhibition that all of us longtime KIS kids are used to. This year, the Personal Project Exhibition was hosted on a platform called Gather Town.

Gather Town is a web-conferencing tool, similar to Google Meets. Unlike Google Meets, however, it allows participants to interact in a virtual space, similar to the map of a video game. To suit participants’ needs, this map can be customised, which is exactly what was done in order to accommodate a virtual personal project exhibition.

This year’s personal project theme is a Japanese summer festival (夏祭り), a reflection of many of our cohorts’ love for Japanese culture and its media. Appropriately, our Gather map has been decorated according to this theme, a feat whose thanks are largely owed to the hard work of Maddi (Madison York). Maddi was also a part of the Leadership Team, which included Nina, Franek, Pam-Pam, Sadie, Pepper, Nuth, Turter, the writer of this article (Fah), and more. 

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The first of the two students whose journeys we will be taking a look at are Jainam Shah (10B) and Sadie Kapp (10A).

In his own words, Jainam describes himself as someone who likes maths, economics, and physics. His personal project was about, in his own words, magic.

“I am a person who has a lot of passions and hobbies, so at the start, choosing was pretty hard and I had to do a lot of brainstorming, make pros and cons tables, and arrange a lot of meetings with my supervisor. Eventually, I was able to come up with this idea of magic,” Jainam told me as we sat on adjacent single-couches in the secondary school library.

The thought process that led him to this final idea of magic came to him through what he thought was its connection with psychology, something which he was also interested in. Jainam had thought it would be a fun way to tackle the subject, and so, his personal project was born. 

Although, he later realised that the two topics, magic tricks and psychology, weren’t as closely interconnected as he thought they were. Instead, it was more about the feeling.

To Jainam, magic tricks are just another way for him to interact with people. It may also end up being something that could help him with managing stress in DP. 

But it wasn’t just about the personal project. To him, it was also about the smiles that he could bring on people’s faces, and the confusion he could make them feel after performing a particularly adept trick.

Sadie, on the other hand, decided to design t-shirts for a cause that she was passionate about as her personal project. 

“That would be combining two things that are out of my comfort zone,” she explained, “which would be design, and service. So, doing something for the greater good.”

She told me that she was quite proud that she had managed to follow through on her personal project, and that she had set up her project in a way that made her efforts mean something—again, for the greater good. I myself am quite in awe of Sadie’s work as well. 

If she could redo the personal project, however, (“Hashtag no regrets!” she had exclaimed, then told me to not put it in the article), she would have tried to focus more on the t-shirt designs themselves, something which she had not been able to do due to her manufacturer’s strict deadlines. 

As for this year’s virtual exhibition format, Sadie told me that she thought the Leadership Team has done well in adapting to change. “Because these are very unprecedented times, so we had to come up with very innovative solutions,” she added. “The Gather Town set-up was definitely a bit different and hard to navigate at first, just ‘cause it kept crashing, but other than that, it was a very cool solution. And, yeah, I’m happy with how it turned out.”

Her advice for incoming Grade 10s is to set yourself up for success. This may mean completing things ahead of deadlines, or just staying on top of things and getting tasks done consistently. If this is done from the beginning, then, once they get to the report, everything will, to quote Sadie directly, be easy for them and they will not have to scramble to get things done. So, time-management and being aware of your deadlines are key.

“Stay on task,” Jainam said. “Pick something like you, you love, and stick with it. And I’ll say: just have fun, you know. It’s not DP yet, so make the most out of it while you still can.”

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The next two interviewees in this mini-series are Angel Chand (10A) and Jean Lie Chabanier (10A). Stay tuned!

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