The Group IV Project

Deborah Yee, Editor

Around the middle of the school year for those lucky IB students, the Group IV projects begin their migration into MAC. For those of you who have just finished your Group IV projects, good luck on your marks! Everyone wishes you all the best on the slew of diplomas in you’ll have in May (and then later again in June). For those of you considering continuing on in an IB science, here are some tips and information you may want to know.

What is Group IV? It’s an interdisciplinary initiative that connects the three sciences (biology, chemistry, and physics) into one experiment, which is based on a given theme. This year, the theme was “It’s getting hot in here”; last year, the theme was insulation. The project is less focused on the lab component and more concerned with teamwork and cooperation. The primary aims are directed towards use of technology, awareness of societal issues connected with science and technology, and the relationship between the sciences.

Who is in Group IV? You will have 4-5 group members, with at least one member in each of the science disciplines.

When does the Group IV take place? Dates and teams are determined at the end of December. Afterwards, you are given a month of planning and preparation. During exam week in January, a list of materials must be handed in. Tip: Ensure that all the necessary materials are on the list and consider the best usage of the materials to complete the experiment. No new materials are given during the experiment. Lab time is given during the exam conflict days. In mid-February, the presentation of the project takes place in front of three teachers.

What is involved in the Group IV project? The project will include planning, research, experimentation, a partial lab write-up (a.k.a. the summary page), a presentation using any types of technology or design, and a short question period. Questions may be asked about clarification on aspects the presentation or the process of the project.

Do you have any tips for future students? Yes!

  • Don’t procrastinate with this project: it involves a lot of time. Make introductions and get organized quickly with group members. Take the initiative to be the leader or facilitator of the group.
  • Write up a procedure before the experiment occurs.
  • After the experiment, check the data with all group members and record/save it to multiple locations.
  • Ensure all three sciences are discussed during the presentation.
  • Read and edit everyone’s work, even if you are not in that specific science. Spelling mistakes, poor word choices, and confusing sentences happen to the best of us.
  • Don’t use fancy scientific language or complicated concepts. When the question period arrives, you don’t want to dig your own grave.
  • Bring water for the presentation. If you get nervous, take a sip.

Good job all you grade twelves who completed the project and are finally done after months of planning, experimentation, and preparation. For the tenth and eleventh graders thinking about IB and the Group IV project, take into account (beyond the short-term time loss) the long-term benefits of having these chances before starting university. Although this project takes a lot of time and energy, it is definitely a rewarding learning experience and worth all the effort. Ultimately, you have to decide what is best for you. Good luck!

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