Investigating directly knew what my topic will be about.

Investigating

 

Everything
started from the day I started coughing. My dad was smoking right next to me
and I could not take it anymore. When my mom saw me coughing so much, she
started arguing with my dad about how much he smokes and that he should not
smoke next to the children. This is what we call a second-hand smoke.
Second-hand smoke is the tobacco smoke that is exhaled by smokers and inhaled
by people nearby (Merriam-Webster). From that day, whenever my dad wants to
smoke, he leaves the house. After some time, when I grew up and knew how
harmful and dangerous smoking is, I began encouraging my dad to stop smoking
but my dad kept on telling me that he will try to, since it is hard for a
person that smokes from long time ago to stop. Years passed by, and my dad still
did not stop smoking, but what is worse is that my older brother also started
smoking when he was around fifteen years old. I got really interested in smoking
issues such as why people begin smoking and what are the effects of it etc. I
then remembered the quote “Be the change that you wish to see in the world”
(Gandhi) and got inspired by it. From that day, I wanted to help everyone in
the world to stop smoking or prevent it if they did not start yet since smoking
is one of the most harmful things a person can do to himself/herself.

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This year, I had
to do my personal project. As soon as my teachers introduced the project to the
class, I directly knew what my topic will be about. I have decided to do “Encouraging
Teenagers to Stop Smoking”. I chose this topic because smoking is the thing I
am interested in lately, since nowadays a huge number of teenagers smoke so I
wanted to research and get to know even more about smoking. The last reason I
chose this topic is that it covers various interesting areas in biology, which
is my favourite subject.

First of all, I
started brainstorming my ideas for the topic (Appendix 1). Then, I began
researching. For my research, I have used many sources including websites,
videos, interviews and a book. I have used websites to research why teenagers
start smoking and around what age they start. I also researched how to prevent
the non-smokers from starting it and how to encourage the smokers to quit.
Furthermore, I watched some videos of doctors and specialists regarding smoking
where they covered almost everything about smoking for example why they start
smoking, how to prevent them, what the disadvantages of smoking are, what it
can lead to and much more. Another source I used was a book entitled “Tobacco”
where it also explains everything about cigarettes and tobacco in general. However,
I did not use “Wikipedia” as a source since it is definitely not reliable. I
also interviewed a medical worker at the health centre in Copenhagen, a
hypnotherapist, my father and smoking and non-smoking teenagers. I also consulted
a Swedish website called “A non-smoking generation”, Moreover, I made a survey
about smoking which I handed to the students in my school in grades MYP4 and
above (Appendix 2). 

My goal was to
make a 5-minute video shown to classes from MYP4 and above where I show them
how teenagers currently smoke a lot and are not only harming themselves by
doing it but also people around them and the environment. Moreover, the video included
a short talk by me, as a news reporter, where I first explain why teenagers
start smoking and then I convince them to stop by telling them how dangerous it
is to smoke and what it can lead to. The video has to be simple and
understandable and I decided that the video should be maximum 5 minutes so that
the audience would not get bored while watching it. However, I have never shot
my own video before nor edited one. So, making a video will be a new experience
for me. As I have not edited a video before, I started looking up what the best
applications to edit a video are and how to create a professional montage and
some other tips to edit a video such as adding subtitles, effects, background
music etc. During editing the video, I got some help from my brother since he
is good at creating and editing videos.

 I chose identities and relationships as
my global context because I believe that smoking is all about the identities
and relationships of a person since it affects a person’s physical and
mental health by causing depression, headache, tiredness, trouble sleeping and
concentrating (Smoking & Tobacco use). It also affects their relationship
with other people, by not communicating with others, being unsocial and
sometimes smoking can cause the smoker to be closed-minded. So that clearly
relates to identities and relationships.

I am very satisfied with the value of my sources and the way I collected
my data as I checked the reliability of my sources. If the information I took
were correct or not, if they were verified in other sources or not. I checked this
by creating source analysis “OPVL” (Appendix
3).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Planning

I started by developing my criteria for the
product in order to achieve my goal. I made 7 criteria to asses my video. The
criteria were:

·      The time limit
of my short video should be minimum 3 minutes and maximum 5 minutes.

·      The video must
encourage teenagers between the age of 13-19 not to smoke by giving them
surveys, hanging posters on the walls around the school, interviewing and
convincing teenagers. 

·      The video must
include a montage at the beginning which includes scenes of teenagers smoking,
harming people around them and the environment.  

·      At the end of
the video, there will be an interview type talk that includes background
information about smoking, why and when teenagers smoke and also convincing
them by telling them how harmful it is for the environment and what it can lead
to. 

·      The maximum
budget that I will use for the product will be approximately 70 krones. 

·       I must use materials, which do not harm the
person who is acting or anyone around the actor.

·      My end product
must be completed by 1st of January 2018.

Noting those
criteria was essential in order to keep everything going well and on track.
After I made the criteria for my video, I made a timeline to follow (Appendix
4). My timeline consists of 6 main tasks: the research regarding the topic smoking,
creating posters and surveys, creating the product, interviewing people,
analysing the survey and lastly writing the report. I started my whole project
by researching about my topic and using as many sources as I can so that I can
fill my bibliography. Afterwards, I started interviewing experts in this topic
like hypnotherapists and a health centre in Copenhagen that focuses on smokers.
I also interviewed teenagers and parents. After I got done with the interviews,
I hanged up the posters around the school and distributed the survey I created.
Then, I started shooting my short video which is my product. Finally, I began
writing on my report.

Although I was
busy working on my product, research, interviews and surveys. I kept on writing
in my process journal. I wrote down everything I did, experienced and thought
of (Appendix 5).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking action

My goal is to help teenagers stop smoking and prevent the non-smokers
from starting it by creating a short video. However, before working on my
product, I started off by interviewing people including specialists, parents,
teenagers, P.E and Science teachers. After I finished interviewing people, I found
three different posters that I liked from google, printed 30 copies out and
hung them around the school (Appendix 6). Afterwards, I created the survey for
the teenagers in my school from MYP4 and up as I mentioned earlier and distributed
it to them. Furthermore, I had a summative task in Individuals and Societies
where I had to debate against my class. So, I thought that this was the time
where I could start discussing my topic with my classmates and share my
understanding with them. I found an article from the Internet about the smoking
ban and I used it to show them how smoking is so bad and harmful. During the
debate, I was able to see my classmates thoughts on smoking and I also said
things which my classmates did not know before and made them hate smoking and
prevent it. Finally, I started working on my final product. First of all, I
planned the scenes that I shot for my video. While I was planning, I was
informed by my supervisor that I am not allowed to use real cigarettes for my
video. So, I went to the walking street and bought 4 fake cigarettes that cost
me 60 Danish krones. After I had everything ready, the planned scenes and the
fake cigarettes, I started shooting. Before shooting the person for my video, I
kindly introduced them to my topic. Why I want to take a video of them, where
will the scenes go, what it is for and I asked if I was allowed to, so I did
not shoot anything without the permission of the actors. After I was done with
shooting the scenes for my montage, I started working on the second part of my
video which is the talk. First, I searched on the Internet for more information
about smoking including essays, speeches and debates. Then, I collected as many
useful information and facts as I could and wrote my own speech from them. I
practiced my speech and planned where and when I would shoot my talk and asked
two girls from my class to help me with the shooting part. When I finished
shooting the talk and montage. I installed the application “Adobe Premiere Pro”
to edit my video. However, as I mentioned above, I have never edited a video
before. I watched some videos in YouTube on how to use the Adobe Premiere Pro
application for editing a montage but I could not do it. I tried to understand
how to do it but it was so difficult and I struggled with it. Therefore, I
asked my brother to help as his hobby is to edit videos and he has been editing
for so long. He taught me how to use the application and he gave me some tips
to make my video look perfect. Besides, during the process of taking action, I
made some changes in my criteria. As I did not know that I am not allowed to
use real cigarettes for my video, I did not write that I would spend money for
my product. So, I added a maximum budget in my criteria. Another change I made
is that I first wrote that my video will be 10-15 minutes long but then I got
some advice from my teachers and friends and they told me to make it shorter so
that the audience would not get bored while watching it. Thus, I changed the
time limit of my video from 10-15 to 5 minutes. All in all, I am really
satisfied with the outcome of my final product although the second part of my
video where I was delivering a speech was not perfect because there were some
mistakes which I could fix, but in general I liked the video and especially the
montage (Appendix 7).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflecting

The video
successfully passed all the criteria I made. It was no longer than 5 minutes.
It included a speech where teenagers are being convinced to stop smoking and
prevent it. It included a short montage at the beginning which contains scenes of
teenagers smoking and damaging the environment and other people nearby. The maximum
amount of money I spent for the video was not more than 70 kroners. All in all,
I think I did a great job following my criteria.

My favourite
part of the project was shooting the video and editing it. It was a new
experience for me and through it I was able to present and share data that I
have learnt to others as a part of service. Not only from the video but also by
giving out surveys, making interviews and hanging posters around the school. Apart
from sharing the data, I also discovered lots of new techniques in editing
which I did not know before and can be very useful for me in the future. During
this project, my organization skills have improved a lot. For example, before going
through this project, I never organized stuff as following a timeline to accomplish
my work but in this project, I made a plan for everyday that tells me when and
what to do and I increased my abilities in managing and organizing my time. This
project also helped me gain extra knowledge and data than I have expected. Now,
I know more about smoking and I can actually call myself an expert on this
topic.

The
results of the survey show that a huge amount of teenagers from the age of
17-19 smokes. As I mentioned, I distributed the survey to students in MYP4,
MYP5, Dp1 and Dp2. When I evaluated the answers from the MYP classes, I find
out that very few or even no student smokes and they know that it is bad but
most of the students in Dp1 and 2 smokes although they know the harms of it.
However, they believe that smoking is relaxing and helps them to concentrate.
Almost all of the students that smokes said that their friends do smoke too and
most of them said that they got inspired by their friends. Although there are
some who did not get inspired by their friends but instead they said that they
started smoking because they wanted to try it and later they liked it, felt
cool, and got addicted to it.

My understanding of identities
and relationships has also developed in many ways. Now I know more about
how people’s personal, physical, mental and social health becomes after getting
addicted to smoking. Also, why smokers’ relationships with their family,
friends and community changes. I also contacted a phycologist in Denmark to
know how to treat people that have some problems due to smoking.

The IB learner profile which I considered during my project is definitely
Risk taker. Throughout the whole process of this project, I had to take
risks. Most teenagers do not like anyone to talk to them about smoking and to
convince them to stop as I have heard and saw many situations like this for
example my cousin smokes and whenever his parents talk to him about it he gets
easily mad. So, I had to learn how to talk to teenagers and convince them in
the best way possible. I always had to keep on mind and take risks that some
might ignore me or get angry. I also had to take risks while shooting the video
and editing it as I am new to it. I think I also improved my communication skills
through interviewing people and also through my process journal. I have
reflected after the meetings and advices I got from my teachers in my journal,
in addition to everything I think about or/and experience.

I finished my final product and showed it to my teacher before the winter
vacation to see the feedbacks. My friends and teachers who saw my video were
impressed and they said that they really liked it and it looks like a
professional video made by experts in editing and shooting films. They said
that the talk was clear and understandable and that I said many useful
information that my friends who watched the video started hating the cigarettes
and they decided not to smoke in their life. They also liked the idea of
putting the introduction of a breaking news before the talk so that it looks
like I am a news reporter. They also said that the montage was so creative and
perfect, the background music fits the topic and scenes very well. However, since
I wanted the second part of my video to look like an actual breaking news, I had
to follow the exact way it is performed but mine had so many mistakes such as
the room I was sitting in looked like a class room not a news reporter
atmosphere, we could hear the paper flip in the background and also, I could
maybe have changed my clothes to more formal ones. My teacher gave me this
advice and told me that I can re-shoot it so that it looks more professional
but I did not re-shoot as I was busy and I travelled after a couple of days and
did not have the chance to re-shoot it before the deadline of the product. So,
if I were to do this project again, I would consider the feedback that I take
from anyone and apply it. Apart from this, I wanted to add more data in my
appendices but unfortunately, I could not as the new rules from IB have changed
and we are not allowed to use more than 10 pages.

Overall, I believe that I have learned many useful things from the
personal project and it went as well as I imagined. I am so happy and satisfied
with my final outcome although I kept on facing problems while working on my
product but I could get over them quickly and complete. Yes, personal project
is challenging and yes it requires a lot of work and time to succeed in it, but
personally it taught me many lessons. I advise the students to choose a topic
that they actually like and are very interested in because if not, they will
not be able to achieve their project successfully and will not work on it
hardly and give it everything they have.