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Lily Yaus

The Behind the Scenes of The PSI program (Problem Solving Incubator), located at the Seminole High School 9th Grade Center, starts their student-based problem solving through designated projects. The PSI program allows students to visually and physically show their creativity in many forms. In the recent and upcoming weeks, students around PSI have started their “Passion Projects”. The Passion Project is a project given to students to explore any topic, subject, or thing to present to their classmates in topics that can range from any subject or history as long as it is appropriate in a school environment, and allows students to create or bring in two artifacts to present along with their project. 

Why does PSI give projects to its students? Like the Passion Project, PSI has allowed students to expose themselves amongst their materials, and team building of students to help grow their understanding of projects to demonstrate a community. The Passion Project has challenged students to be creative in their own ways, to show others an understanding of their work. Taking the first steps to building projects, students have begun the past and following weeks ahead to work on research and essentials to bring their project together. During the week students have set Passion Projects periods, where lectures are taught for the first 30 minutes and the remainder of class is focused on projects. Students are brought down to the Hub, a designated working area for students to allow them to use their time wisely on projects. Students have open materials, such as laptops, 3-D printers, PSI Garage, and AV studio to use in their projects.Many students have started their projects early prior to set deadlines, with their love of set subjects.

Students like Gilbert Perez Sanchez, senior at PSI, express his experience of creating his Passion Project: “PSI allows students to explore subjects/topics they enjoy, and want to support their community in positive ways.” PSI is a project-based school, so students are constantly working on projects to grab the attention of organizations for bigger plans of expansion and student recognition. Sanchez continues: “I wanted to work in the field of technology, and I love video games. I wanted to find out what types of technology have been used for hands-free gaming entertainment.” Sanchez has been working on gathering research and understanding the history of technology and its advancements today. “This topic has been on my mind for 2 years, and I really wanted to gain an understanding of the work behind it. Being a part of the Passion Project, I have the chance to answer the lingering question that has been waiting to be answered.

 During the month of September, following the upcoming months ahead, Students have learned and exposed themselves to new things of their interest. PSI makes sure students are recognized for their hard work by partnering up with organizations and holding open house nights for families to come and see students’ work. As a result, students’ projects are shown to be valuable and dedicated to what the PSI program is all about. In finding ideas and support, teachers and staff have played a significant role. Having the support of teachers and having the opportunity to expand their understanding of something they are passionate about has had a positive impact on students. 

  Passion is something Elijah Black carries. Senior PSI student, explains the benefits of learning about his Passion Project: “I came across my project idea from my love for Combat Sports such as MMA, Boxing, Jujutsu, and Wrestling and I wanted to tie it into something that could benefit the community.” Black wanted to utilize his love for this sport, by tying it into the benefits of students’ mental health. “Students who struggle with expressing their emotions, can express their emotions in a safe learning environment.” Many students struggle with mental health and find sources to combat it. Black continues: “I hope my passion project can give students another option for mental health issues, as well as teach them about combat sports.  

Altogether, students in PSI working on Passion Projects can use this project as a way to get closer to their community and themselves. Students gravitate towards creativity, while also learning new things along the way. Students are still in the work and hope to finish it in the next couple of months. PSI is excited to show what creativity students have.

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