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Group 4 Diploma Project

By Kathy Binns HoD Science

Sustainability and Natural Disasters

Many people have had direct experience with the social and economic impact of hurricanes in the Caribbean as well as Wildfires in Australia and California. In addition, Korea has had many experiences with typhoons and the number of these events seem to be increasing. With this in mind the theme of sustainability and natural disasters was chosen as the starting point for the Group 4 project this year.

All Grade 11 students are required to participate in this IBDP assessment where ten hours of curriculum time is allocated to research and create solutions to local or global issues. The aims of the project are to increase the awareness of the ethical, social and environmental implications of using science and technology as well as develop an understanding of how people from different disciplines influence decision-making. A reflection on how they worked with others during this project accompanies students Group 4 internal assessments when required for moderation.

The systems approach used by Environmental Systems and Societies (ESS) and Design Technology (DT) was used to guide the Grade 11 cohort in their inquiry. On Monday a guest speaker explained how climate change is linked to human activities and on Tuesday a second speaker described what solutions were implemented in Australia to decrease the impact of wildfires on the loss of personal property and lives. Guiding questions were used to help students explore their specific real-life situation from environmental, economic and social viewpoints.

To reach the third aim of the project, communication of ideas, students created poster boards and presented their findings orally to a group of Grade 10 students as well as two groups of their peers. Increasing oral presentation skills will help the students prepare for their Group 1 and 2 assessments and the research skills used to formulate their solutions will help with the research component of their extended essay.

The final products were very diverse and ranged from exploring solutions to the rising sea levels on cities like Venice to developing evacuation plans in areas prone to earthquakes and landslides. The poster presentations will be on display in the Science Lab hallway for the month of February.