Seventh Graders are Getting Passionate About Passion Project

Seventh+grade%2C+Megan+Helge+is+working+on+her+Passion+Project.+Passion+Project+requires+lots+of+time+and+effort.
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Seventh Graders are Getting Passionate About Passion Project

Seventh grade, Megan Helge is working on her Passion Project. Passion Project requires lots of time and effort.

Seventh grade, Megan Helge is working on her Passion Project. Passion Project requires lots of time and effort.

Emily Kittelson

Seventh grade, Megan Helge is working on her Passion Project. Passion Project requires lots of time and effort.

Emily Kittelson

Emily Kittelson

Seventh grade, Megan Helge is working on her Passion Project. Passion Project requires lots of time and effort.

Megan Helge, Emily Kittelson

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Imagine a project where you could choose anything you want, but you don’t need to! In seventh grade history, students are doing a choice project called Passion Project.

Students have been working on their Passion Projects since September and lots of time has been put into each project. Students had to choose a topic, create a thick question (A thick question is your projects main topic), research their topic and finish off their project by making a final assignment that reflects on what each students project was about. The final project could be a video, a slide show, a poster, a website or whatever else the student wants!

Passion Project is a new addition to seventh grade history this year, and many people enjoy it!

Megan Helge
These students are woking on their Passion Project. Their projects will be at an exhibition in June.

Seventh grader, Megan Simanowith enjoys Passion Project. She enjoys it because it is different and it has never happened before. “I like the level of choice and autonomy it gives students.” Says seventh grade History teacher, Carter Grant. “Kids are free to pick whatever topic they wish and explore pretty much any resource available to them. I was thrilled with the diversity of topics that students chose. I was also pleased that we gave students the opportunity to research topics outside of the curriculum.”

Seventh grade History teacher, Leisha Lucente enjoys the creativity involved with passion project. “I love that students have the opportunity to explore topics they are interested in.  In school, students are forced to learn the standards, or what teachers deem important. It is important that students have a voice in their learning and the opportunity to learn for themselves.” Seventh grader Max Pusloskie likes the learning part of Passion Project. “I really like passion project. I like that it gives people a time to build on something new.”

Since Passion Project was new this year, there were some kinks that need to be worked out.

Mrs Lucente is going to be changing many things to make Passion Project work smoothly. “We want to introduce students to the databases and learn how to research earlier in the year.  We want to finish the projects closer to February/March. That way there is less pressure at the end of the year during SOL times. (And then we can spend some more time on fun topics in the spring, like WWII, and Cold War.).”

Mr Grant has multiple things that he is going to work out. “We have learned so much through our experience this year and I have tried to reflect as much as possible as we go. Next year I would like to have the entire year mapped out before we begin. This year it was difficult to explain to students what to expect later on because we weren’t exactly sure what the outcome would be. Hopefully we can create more of a syllabus to hand out on the first day. I would also like all of the content and student work to remain digital. I envision creating passion project folders on the first day and keeping everything there throughout the year.” Seventh grader Patrick Devine would change the amount of time given. “I would have more days to work on it.”

Megan Helge
This is one of the many Passion Project days. There were a total of 19 days to work on Passion Project

The students in seventh grade have put lots of time in work into their projects and many students work long and hard on their projects. For Megan Simanowith, the hardest part of her Passion Project was finding the right information. “There isn’t much about what I am trying to look for. I am trying to find information that comes from travel bloggers and if I can’t get to them or they can’t reach me, there is no way I can get information from them.” But for others, making the final project is the hardest part. Seventh grader Natalie Coppola says “The hardest part for me is making my website.” Patrick Devine has a hard time finding time for his passion project. “Fitting it all into my schedule. I don’t know when I am going to do the 10 Miler, I just have a hard time fitting it into my schedule.” For Max Pusloskie, the hardest part is making the final project. “The hardest part of my Passion Project is making everything perfect. I have to draw a perfect circle or I have to make all of the lines perfectly straight.”

No matter what each students project is about, the end product will have provided great learning experiences.

Megan Helge, Editor

Megan Helge is a 7th grader here at Trailside Middle School. She is a competitive swimmer and swims four days a week. Megan is also apart of Girl Scouts...

Emily Kittelson, News Writer

Emily Kittelson is a 7th grader at Trailside Middle School. Emily is athletic, plays soccer, is on a competitive cheerleading team and swims during the...

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