An impact project is a project where each student has the opportunity to decide on what they will learn and then design their course of study accordingly. The students’ teachers will map this learning against the New Zealand Curriculum or NCEA and help them take their learning to a deep level. There are some conditions about the impact project.
- The learning must be able to have an impact on others in our community (ie: someone may benefit from your project).
- Students are required to show what they have learned during the exhibition stage of the project. (They can do this by a video presentation, speech, static display, poster, blog, written report or other approved by their teacher). They will be expected to be able to answer questions about their project that helps show their level of learning.
- All students are involved in undertaking an impact project.
- Students will most likely do two projects during the year; one in Semester A and one in Semester B.
- An impact project is important because:
- It allows students to take control of their learning.
- It can make their learning more meaningful.
- It allows students to take their learning to a deep level.
- It can establish links with possible career paths.
- It focuses on the skills required for 21st century learning.
- It helps develop resilient and independent workers who actively seek, use and create knowledge using faith and reason.
- It promotes the ability to set goals and work towards achieving them.
- It can help promote stewardship of the earth for the good of all.
- It can help promote social justice for all, especially the most poor and vulnerable in society.
- It can help develop leadership skills through service to others.
- It can make a contribution to the community.
Not all students may want to design their own project at this point in time and we have also included some umbrella projects that students could undertake.
Umbrella projects have a greater degree of guided learning.
The umbrella projects on offer are:
- Enviroscience: We have a responsibility to protect our planet and leave it to future generations in at least as good a state as we found it. How can we prevent further pollution of our planet? What will happen with all that plastic? Are our waterways safe? What are the alternatives to fuels? Students will select one project to focus on and target an audience so that we raise awareness or change the way we are doing things for the benefit of future generations.
- Protection of the most poor and vulnerable in our society: We have a responsibility to protect the rights of all other people in our community both local and global. This is especially so for those people who are most vulnerable and do not have a ‘voice’ in society and for those who are on the margins of society due to poverty. Some of the projects developed might reinforce the work done by the St Vincent de Paul Society, Caritas, or the Red Cross. Students will choose one project to focus on and target an audience so that we make a difference in society.
- Robotics and Gaming: In this project students will design their own computer game or learn about coding and programming so that they can design and build a robot. There will also be the opportunity to learning how to make apps.
- The Outlook for Someday: In this project students will create a short film. The film will focus on an identified theme. These themes lend themselves to various competitions including issues of sustainability. Students will learn video production techniques and develop acting skills.
- The Young Enterprise Scheme (Y.E.S): In this project students will form a company and run their own business. They will design and develop a product that they will market. They will be dealing with real money and real profit and loss in their business. Y.E.S is part of a New Zealand wide scheme that has been running for over 30 years.
- Surfing Academy: The surfing academy is designed to develop surfer’s skills to a high level competitively and/or according to the student’s personal goals. As part of the academy students will host an event, develop their leadership skills and analyse skill development. They will be involved in videoing, and look at the science and physiology involved in surfing.
There are four key stages in the Impact Project: developing the proposal, progressing the plan, exhibiting the findings and evaluating the learning.
1. The proposal. Weeks 1-3. Over the last 3 weeks students have been designing their proposal outline. The outline should show that:
- The aim is worthwhile and requires them to take their learning beyond themselves by participating and contributing in the community.
- They have identified how they will measure the quality of their project using success criteria developed with teachers and experts.
- There is substantial learning involved for them.
- Their initial timeline shows the project will maintain momentum and engagement over an extended period of time, (around 12 weeks).
2. Progressing the plan. Weeks 4-12. Students will be guided in developing their project.
3. Exhibition. Weeks 13-14. All students will exhibit their learning at the end of the semester or when outlined in their proposal. Exhibiting the learning is a key part of each project and should engage the audience and clearly show the level of learning achieved. This can be done as a display, a video, a poster, a brochure, a speech etc. It may be a presentation to a community group.
4. Evaluation. Week 14. This involves evaluating the project by staff and the student.
Most students have now completed the proposal stage and we look forward to the detail of their projects.