9th Grade Semester Projects
1st Semester: Project Prometheus(ex)peditions Unlimited: A Biogeographical JourneyThe fall project for freshman at I-Poly (usually) starts with a trip to the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, where students will consider how geography and biology interact and change over time. Then, in groups of four or five, students will take a virtual trip to a remote location where they will research biodiversity, vegetation, climate, and environmental changes. The project combines class content from Environmental Biology and Physical Geography while offering the students a chance to improve their skills in researching, writing, presenting, graphing, measuring, scaling, mapping, and collaborating. The project culminates with a formal presentation of the groups’ findings in front of the entire freshman class and other guests.
Essential Question: What is the most significant factor affecting the Earth’s environment?
(The Essential Question is what drives the project, gives it meaning, and focuses the students’ learning. It is an open-ended question - without one correct answer - that could be answered in many different ways.)
Project Component Overview
- Field Journal: Each student will keep their own scientific journal for the duration of the project, in which they will keep notes, research, drawings, diagrams and invented anecdotes about their “journey.”
- Mapping: Student teams will create two poster-sized maps that clearly show their destination and geographical information relevant to their expedition.
- Infographic: Student teams will design a digital poster that includes universal symbols, illustrations, and data visualizations with short-form text to tell a cohesive story.
- Radio (Audio) Field Transmission: Student teams will make an audio recording describing the group’s arrival at their destination and their initial discoveries.
- Video Field Transmission: Student teams will present their destination’s ecological problem in a short, live-feed, interactive video presentation.
- Final Expedition Presentation: In front of the entire freshman class and assorted guests, expedition teams will describe their “expedition” and scientific discoveries in a professional presentation that summarizes the entirety of the project.
Project Component Checklists and Detailed Instructions
Each project component has a checklist that describes all the criteria for the component. Any criterion missing will lower a student’s assessment for that component. Each component checklist will be distributed by the instructors as the project progresses.
2nd Semester: That's Infotainment
Students investigate global issues related to human rights, pandemics, ecology, and environmental technology. Students complete individual research projects about a specific aspect of their global issue and present their findings in an exhibition. Then, students create a marketing campaign and a culminating variety show with the goal of increasing the I-Poly community’s awareness of these critical global issues. The show is completely directed, produced, and performed by students, who compete for jobs in the show by writing résumés and interviewing, auditioning, or producing a sample of the work needed for their desired position.
Essential Question: How can we educate the public and motivate them to take action regarding human rights, global health issues, and the environment?
- Résumé and Chosen Job Interview, Audition, or Sample Submission – After being presented with a list of job descriptions and duties for the semester variety show, students apply for select positions through a résumé that outlines their own unique experiences and relevant abilities. See remainder of packet for job descriptions.
- Global Research Project – Students choose a compelling global issue and research it in order to create a representative quilt patch, informative paper, pamphlet, optional persuasive letter, and tradeshow-style presentation.
- Quilt Patch – Students design a 12”x12” patch of fabric on which they will create a meaningful emblem, pattern, or picture that symbolizes their chosen topic.
- Informative Paper – Students write a paper to inform the I-Poly community concerning their chosen topic.
- Pamphlet – Students create a tri-folded pamphlet that will inform the reader of the main points of their selected topic and include facts, images, statistics, and solutions.
- Persuasive Letter (optional) – Students write a formal letter to a specific person or group appealing for action on behalf of their chosen topic. The students address the problem, back up their ideas with evidence, and suggest a course of action.
- Prop (optional) – Students create a visual that entices I-Poly visitors to engage with them during the Tradeshow-Style Presentation.
- Tradeshow-Style Presentation – Students present on their chosen topic to the I-Poly community as well as invited guests. All previous materials, as well as a tri-fold board, are displayed by the student in order to provide visual interest as well as represent the student’s preparation.
Students are assessed on the quality and effort put forth in their assigned job. All students are responsible for their own learning in the classroom, but the production of a theatrical show is a collaborative effort in which each student needs to do his/her part.
That’s Infotainment! 2021 Variety Show
Students direct, produce, and perform in the culminating educational variety show with the purpose of educating and promoting community awareness of human rights, global health issues, ecology, and environmental technology. Attendance at this final performance is mandatory for all freshmen.