Another educator just email me asking for my top tips for the personal project. I shared with them my top two. My students hear these a lot!
My big two tips for students starting the personal project project:
1. The project is not only personal
...Yes students are working independently, exploring a topic they love, BUT it should have an impact on others (teaching others, raising awareness of an issue, service, action, etc)
2. The product/outcome is not as important as the topic!
Students should not know what their product/outcome is going to be for at least a few months - they should research first.
If the school has students do a proposal, it could include 1. the topic 2. the global context 3. POSSIBLE products/outcome. For example, if a student wants to learn about plastic in the ocean...their end product could be anything from reusable cutlery through to a social media campaign! Students need to not lock onto the idea of their product/outcome straight away!
Hope that helps!