Interdisciplinary Science: The Grade 11 IBDP Group 4 Projects

Last week was a busy time for all of the hard working students in the PGIA. While grade 7-10 were engaged in the Iowa Tests of Educational Development and the grade 12 students were finishing their IBDP Mock Exams, the grade 11 students were completing their "Group 4 Projects", an integral part of the IB Diploma Program.

The group 4 project is a collaborative activity where students from different group 4 subjects work together on a scientific or technological topic, allowing for concepts and perceptions from across the disciplines to be shared. Its aim is to develop an understanding of the relationships between scientific disciplines, their influence on other areas of knowledge and to appreciate the environmental, social and ethical implications of science and technology.
— - International Baccalaureate Organization
This year’s Group 4 project took the form of an interdisciplinary, collaborative investigation into epidemics. Through research and presentations, students demonstrated how biology, physics, chemistry, and environmental systems and societies are required for a full understanding of infectious diseases, including those afflicting both human and animal populations. The final presentations covered viral hemorrhagic fevers (i.e. ebola and dengue fever), HIV/AIDS, polio, and colony collapse disorder.
— Ms. Silva IBDP Biology Instructor
I knew before that Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Environmental Systems and Societies were connected but it amazed me nonetheless. It just further showed me that science is related to many, if not all, aspects of life and it is so crucially important that we understand it because it so important to the way in which we live our lives. The value of the project was much larger than I expected. Collaborating with others and then learning more about the topics presented definitely solidified my decision to minor in a field related to the sciences while in college.
— Leah, Grade 11
Through completing the G4 project I began to better understand that each of the G4 subjects are like puzzle pieces, interconnected to look at through what are similar yet different perspectives to better understand and formulate a whole picture. Physics, Chemistry and Biology are subjects all used to investigate science-related topics in great detail through experiments and calculated data and ES&S interconnects these findings to look at their implications on the environmental systems within a society. Though execution of this project results in an array of learning opportunities, most importantly it further reinforced lessons of the importance of accountability, developing communication skills, remaining open-minded and having the ability to self motivate and independently execute a project.
— Kayla, Grade 11