You may have noticed that the Grade 11 chemists were particularly stressed at the start of April this year. They were gearing up for the start of the practical phase of the IB Individual Investigation in Chemistry.
This is a ‘high stakes’ task for them as they have to design a protocol for a unique investigation and carry out 10 hours of practical work where they collect the experimental data that they need. They then write up a report that is submitted to the IB and this will count towards 20% of the final IB grade in Chemistry.
This is real research. Results are not guaranteed! Many students found that the first version of their experimental protocol did not work. This meant that they had to quickly work out how to adapt their protocol in order to ensure that they were able to collect enough data to support a valid conclusion to their research question.
As is often the case in life, the most stressful events lead to the greatest growth. By the end of the practical phase the levels of focus and efficiency in the lab were impressive. Students had learned to rely on themselves, make informed decisions and act on them for success. They are well along the road towards developing the skills that they need to become professional chemists. We invite you to watch a short video of the students in action.