For Charles, who joined The York School in Grade 10, the Personal Project not only provided an introduction to the IB process of inquiry but also allowed him to explore his passion for global issues and politics.
“My Personal Project was about the impact of deforestation,” explains Charles. “We already know that deforestation leads to wildfires and land loss through desertification, but I wanted to explore the often overlooked ‘what ifs’. What would happen if we stopped cutting down trees completely? Would our planet even have the ability to recover?”
To begin, Charles worked with his advisor, Mr. Fabio Biagiarelli, to plot out a timeline for his in-depth research and develop a strategy for how best to represent his findings. Charles already had a strong background as a visual artist so he decided to use 3D rendering software to explore the topic. He produced a short film that presented a variety of illustrations and real data to help viewers visualize the scope of loss caused by deforestation, and the possibility of regeneration should appropriate action be taken.
“I chose a software called Blender because I had very little experience with it and I was curious about its capabilities,” says Charles. “I took a risk by trying something that was new to me. I dove in, browsed tutorial videos and played around with all the settings. It was like being a curious toddler again, just experimenting with everything and learning as I went along.”
Reflecting on the Personal Project that allowed him to use his artistic skills to communicate his concern for the environment, Charles believes the experience introduced him to a new medium for creative expression. “My current interest is architecture and the learning I had through the Personal Project was really important to me because it showed me the ways in which software can help us visualize buildings and interiors and even add design elements.”
Canada's first gender-inclusive independent IB World School
The York School is a gender-inclusive JK to Grade 12 independent school located in the heart of Toronto. The York School was founded in 1965 and is the first school in Canada accredited to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) from junior kindergarten (JK) to university entrance. As an IB World School, The York School's motto is Experientia Docet or Experience Teaches.