IB Diploma Program Students Collaborate on Science Projects
Students who are part of the full International Baccalaureate Diploma Program at BHHS spent time at the Nature Center as part of their Group 4 project. This is a collaborative and multidisciplinary activity which encourages science students to appreciate the environmental, social, and ethical implications of science.
BHHS IB Coordinator Amy Merchant said the project is a graduation requirement, but students find the collaboration and exploration of the process itself rewarding. “It is a valuable opportunity for students enabling them to explore an area of their choice and to develop important collaboration, critical thinking, inquiry and research skills,” said Merchant.
IB Science Teachers Angela Bitterman-Wenson, Julie Honkala, and Margie Vasile advised the students with the intent of aligning to the IB goal whereby students develop an understanding of the relationships between scientific disciplines and their influence on other areas of knowledge. Students had a choice of their topic, but had to collaborate with students from across the IB sciences classes, which include IB Biology, IB Chemistry, and IB Sports and Exercise Science.
According to Merchant, the connection to the IB curriculum truly goes full circle in that this endeavor also connects to the Middle Years Program. “The skills the students use for the Group 4 project reflect the Approaches to Learning skills that students use during the Personal Project in grade 10.“ These include planning, action, and evaluation.
“The project is an opportunity for students to engage with exploration and make it their own,” emphasized Merchant. “Personal engagement may be recognized in different attributes and skills. These could include addressing personal interests or showing evidence of independent thinking, creativity or initiative (similar to CAS) in the designing, implementation or presentation of the investigation. Students should feel a sense of personal responsibility for their own learning, accept a degree of ownership, and take pride in their own work.”