WIP Project Changes To Resemble QUEST

By Medha Acharya | Staff Writer

Irvington’s sophomore class faces a completely restructured World Issues Project this year designed to better prepare students for the senior QUEST project.

Although all the details have not been worked out yet, one confirmed addition is a letter to an expert on the topic, which is a key part of the QUEST project. WIP students will also be learning methods such as Socratic questioning which are key to the final presentation, which has been changed from a group presentation to a multiple-group discussion.

Previously, students picked a nation from a large list of options to focus on, and found a specific problem that they wanted to research. In the new system, the list of nations will be shortened to between 15 and 20 countries. Several major issues that are common to all the nations on the list, such as gender inequality and poor education, are put on a new list of world issues that students can pick. Therefore, when students pick a country, they don’t have to find a problem to research on their own. Mr. Vucurevich, history teacher and head of the WIP Project, said that this makes it “easier for students, guaranteeing that the nation they pick and the issues they choose are current and relevant.”

Another major reason for this change is the total recreation of the final project. Students have long complained about the final WIP project, which consists of a PowerPoint presentation similar to the CHANGE project. This year, there will be Socratic discussion and debate by groups that researched the same world issue for different nations. For instance, all groups that are researching gender inequality, regardless of nation, will have a discussion together. Each group will contribute their solution to this problem relative to the nation they focused on. At the end, all members of the discussion will vote on and decide the best solution to the problem. This system is more likely to appeal to students because it allows them to learn and interact with different solutions instead of just hearing others talk about them. Sophomore Owen Shen says, “I feel like most [PowerPoint] presentations are a little inhuman, because there isn’t any interaction, just a person shoving information at you. With some real discussion, students will have to work harder and will be able to really understand the issues.”

Overall, the changes to the WIP Project are almost fundamentally altering the way it works. While the research work and writing assignments will not change drastically, the topic selection process as well as the final presentation/discussion definitely will. “It might be a challenging start,” Mr. Vucurevich says, “but over time, it will get better and better.”