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Year 12 IB Students Present Group 4 Projects

10 July 2015

Over three days at the end of term, Year 12 students worked towards their Group 4 Projects tackling big issues like climate change, ethics in science and the properties of light. The project gets its name from one of the six groups from which students must select subjects in the IB course – Group 4 – which includes Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Design Technology.

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All IB Diploma Programme science and technology students must participate and the intention is that students from the different Group 4 subjects analyse a common topic or problem. The exercise is a collaborative experience where the emphasis is on the processes involved, rather than the products of, such an activity.

The students were placed in interdisciplinary groups, and on Monday and Tuesday this week, carried out a genuine research and development project. Each group chose from the following themes:

  • Light; this is the international year of light and scientists all over the world are celebrating research done in the field of Light.
  • The Ethics of Science and Technology; with the recent invention of a 3D printable gun we ask – Should scientists and inventors be ethical in their work?
  • The day after tomorrow; climate change is now accepted by most scientists as a fact – we ask what will life be like the day after tomorrow?

The students took to the challenging questions, producing some excellent and well-researched projects. One group took to pieces a Dell computer and outlined the value of the recyclable components, then looking at the reality of how they are recycled. Another extracted chlorophyll from plant leaves and then were able to show that it fluoresced in order to prove that chlorophyll harvests light from the sun. While another still grew bacteria at different temperatures, showing that bacteria grows more with heat, and then extended this to look at the impact of climate change.

That work culminated today in an exhibition and presentation in the Forum, where students invited parents and teachers to view their work and hear their findings.

Head of Science, Mr Adrian Howell, commended the students on their superb work, and their enthusiasm for science saying, “What really impressed me today is that when the students weren’t speaking with parents and teachers about their research and findings, they were discussing the science among themselves. They were talking like scientists at a science show.”