Now that we’re physically back at school for face-to-face lessons, our Year 13 IB students can finally get stuck into the practical work for their Science IAs in earnest. In a usual academic year, we aim for IB students to complete their IA, or Internal Assessment, during their last week of Year 12. But due to COVID-19 we had to rearrange the teaching schedule so they’re now completing their IAs at the beginning of Year 13.
For the Science IA students are tasked with the research, design, experimental investigation, analysis, evaluation and conclusion of their own, unique Research Question. Currently most students are working on the experimental phase, both during normal class time and also during additional after school sessions.
Examples of some of the challenging Research Questions that our Year 13s are investigating in their Chemistry IAs are “How to suppress the freezing point of cyclohexane using various linear hydrocarbons” and “Using microscale chemistry to explore the kinetics of the iodination of acetone via colorimetry”.
After students have completed the experimental phase they will start writing a formal lab report which is worth approximately 20 percent of their overall assessment grades for the IB Sciences.
The IA is a big part of the IBDP. They require a lot of independent work by the students, thereby giving them a taste of university style study.