Reflecting on 10th-Grade Independent Projects

The Independent Projects 10 (IP10) Symposium, a beloved Grace tradition transpired on Wednesday, May 3 at the school, enabling parents and peers to finally get a sense of the yearlong efforts put into each 10th grader’s final concept. These projects ranged from investigations into soccer fields to murder mysteries to the best diet for senior citizens! 

Colin Todd, the IP10 curriculum coordinator, fueled the magic behind this whole night. In an interview with a Grace Gazette reporter, he explained how the students began the IP10 process in the first quarter of their sophomore year. The process starts by narrowing down a topic of their choice, using collaborative work, and conversing with others to ensure that their guiding question is of significant interest. 

In the second quarter, using the knowledge of experts and personal research, students delve into the specificities of their topic. In the third quarter, 10th graders start to put their projects together and make their websites. Eventually, they present these finalized pieces during the symposium. 

Mr. Todd, who is also Grace’s visual art coordinator, described the night, “It was a really good turnout, we had a packed house, and we got to see everyone’s hard work over the course of the year.” 

He also explained the variety of projects, saying how “there were projects that were physical and tangible, there were websites, there were app designs, there were films….” 

Finn H. ‘25 used this opportunity to travel around Manhattan reviewing the soccer fields. He created a ranking system examining the turf, lining, goals, lighting, and fencing of each field. This information was published on a website splitting up the reviews based on each field’s neighborhood. At the beginning of the year, he knew he wanted to create a project based on his passion for soccer, but his project endured many changes as the research process continued. 

In an interview, Finn shared, “My project changed a lot. It was completely different from what I imagined it being in the fall.” 

The IP10 program allowed students to explore their interests and grow as the process progressed. 

Christina J. ‘25 spent the school year challenging herself to analyze and attempt to solve Cain’s Jawbone murder mystery puzzle, written by Edward Powys Mathers. This puzzle required her to read through the 100-page book and reorder the pages of the book in order for the reader to identify six victims and six killers. Christina analyzed parts of the book and created a cork board (see image above) displaying the sub-stories within the puzzle. In the end, she identifiedwho killed whom, but she is still working towards determining the exact order of the book. 

While reflecting on the process, Christina shared in an interview: “I learned about time management, … and I learned about patience.” 

She had to tackle many challenges throughout her process, yet ultimately created an impressive outcome reflective of her determination. 

Milo P. ‘25 was curious about his grandmother and her eating habits, which transformed into a project that explored how nutrition affects happiness. He ended up critiquing diet culture and evaluating the extent to which diets are effective. 

“Diets are more made by celebrities,” Milo explained. “A lot of them have no value, make zero sense, and are very unhealthy.” 

He interviewed a nutritionist, elderly people, and numerous chefs. For his project, Milo visited Inspīr Elderly Center. An elderly person at the center Milo visited remarked, “If I was forced to go on these diets, I would be very unhappy.” 

He concluded that the best diet was moderation: “Eat things that make you happy,” he preached, “but that are also healthy.”  

The IP10 program allowed 10th graders to explore their passions in their chosen subjects. After a successful night of IP10 presentations, the Class of 2025 is officially done with this process, although many students will continue to explore these interests in the future. This tradition is something that the entire Grace community looks forward to every year. 

The Gazette congratulates the Class of 2025 for their exemplary work!
Clara Propp ’25 and Ana Vorderwuelbecke ‘25, the authors, are staff writers for The Gazette.