Category Archives: One World
Reflecting on the Impacts of Science: IMaGE, Global Goals & Connections in MYP Sciences.
I’ve added a new page to i-Biology.net to post resources and ideas for MYP Science Crit. D: Reflecting on the Impacts of Science. Some slides are below, but to see the full page, click here.
[IMaGE = International Mindedness and Global Engagment. To see my dissertation & resources on this, click here.]
Exploring Environments: Science Writers
Building on last year’s Exploring Environments units (G10 Environmental Science), in which students formed groups and designed their own units of inquiry, we have once again taken on the science-writing challenge.
Brief: write a 1,200-1,500 word article for an online audience highlighting a case study connected to your unit’s central ideas. The articles should be aimed at peers and smarter, and should include properly-used media and video where appropriate.
Assessment: One World and Communication in Science
Process: Topics proposed and drafted through GoogleDocs, with students seeking feedback on writing through highlighting and comments in the GoogleDocs. In the final sessions they put the articles together in WordPress and gave peer-feedback for quality of presentation, flow and message. We aimed to use images found through CreativeCommons Search and through Getty’s free Images (though the embed widget went squiffy on some of their wordpress editors).
Teacher note: this kind of task is a great way to realise that we are all language teachers. Managing workflow through GoogleDocs/Hapara makes commenting on drafts easier, though students need to keep their work there in order to show progression.
Some highlights (with a range of scores) are posted below. Please click-through, read them and leave some encouraging comments!
- Bottom-trawling: destroying centuries of growth, by Polina
- Nozomi asks “Should we eat bugs?“
- “The ocean is turning to blue vinegar,” according to Jay
- Saumil explores George Monbiot’s articles on “how wolves change rivers” and how rewilding might help us return nature to some semblance of its former glory.
- Nyeong-Min asks us to “protect our UV protector“
- Seung-Cheol tells a bee story, exploring colony collapse disorder
- Luke coughs his way through the Beijing air pollution and places our demand for cheap goods at the root
- Lucas gives an explainer of PM2.5 pollution and thinks about what we can do about it.
- Andy gets concerned about the effect of CO2 on our beach time
- Koh asks if fish farming is a viable alternative to overfishing
Think Global, Act Local: Give One World a Chance.
The One World criterion in MYP Sciences can get a bad rap and I think it is because it has been misinterpreted as being unscientific or too ‘soft’ for a science class. Sure, you don’t want to spend the whole semester doing One World essays, but we can make much better use of its potential. It can be a good showcase of student writing and ethical discussion, as well as an authentic connection between research and real world.
Here are a few pieces of recent work from students that give some idea of how engaging it can be. All are from the same class, with the prompt “Think Global, Act Local“.
- Aili’s investigation into the one-to-one programme and paper use.
- Sanam also uncovered some shocking facts on paper use and printing.
- Maggie’s post, “Make your meals healthier, even after you’ve finished.“
- Joanna’s post on e-waste and if we really need that new phone.
- Kyoko on balancing paper towels with hand dryers.
- Parina’s idea for a vegetarian challenge to reduce our meat consumption.
I think for One World to be successful it needs to have the following elements:
- An audience. I hate that students write for me alone, so the more that we can blog, the better: especially when it is community-related. The blogs allow us to include images, videos, links and mirror more closely the work of real science writers. I do need to get better at getting students and others to comment on their work.
- An authentic purpose. In the examples above, part of the purpose was to highlight that our own actions as a school have consequences, but also to give some inspiration for CAS projects. Connecting One World to other subjects or global issues might help students see the purpose of their research and writing.
- Differentiation. Of course it’s boring when 20 students write the same response to the same question. A good unit question might be all the stimulus it takes to get many different ideas, all connected to the significant concepts. We should help students pick questions of personal interest.
- Enough guidance to help those in need, but not enough to stifle the students’ voice. The criterion is complex, and it is easy to break it into a checklist or paragraph-by-paragraph pro-forma. For students that need this level of support, that is fine, but for some it is like a straitjacket. I like to give students the guidance, but encourage them to take their own path, if they can.
- Time. It is very easy to set these kinds of tasks as homework and be done with it, but that doesn’t do the students or the task justice. If it is a summative assessment task, it should be mostly completed in school; if it is valuable to count in the report, it is valuable to… value with time.
- Feedback and self-assessment. Drafting in GoogleDocs makes for easy, timely and directed feedback to students during the process.
What other suggestions do you have for successful One World work?Do you have examples of great student One World work you’d like to share? If so, please do so in the comments.
Here’s a little presentation that might be useful for a formative or introductory task:
One World: Formative Assessment Video Discussion Task
In this one or two-lesson task, students watch one of the videos below as an introduction to science as a solution to a problem in a global context. They then work together to produce a mind-map poster of the issue and its solution, covering the main ideas of the One World criterion.
Here are the videos:
United Nations University Our World 2.0: Plastic to Oil Fantastic
TED Talk: Michael Pritchard’s Lifesaver Bottle
One World: Coversheet, Submission Checklist and Research/ Writing Frame
This is for my MYP 4-5 classes in Chemistry, Physics and Environmental Science. The aim here is to encourage self-assessment at all stages of the research and writing process.
The front page is a standard submission coversheet, which is attached to work before it is submitted to Turnitin. Students need to self-assess their work by highlighting the statements which they feel best fit. The second page is a checklist to help them structure and present the essay or article, in 7 sections. The final two pages is something which could be given digitally or printed and blown up to A3 and used as a research/ writing frame.
The Missing Link to Renewable Energy? Donald Sadoway at TED2012
“We need to think big, we need to think cheap… Let’s invent to the price point of the electricity market. If you want to make something dirt cheap – make it out of dirt. Preferably dirt which is locally sourced!”
This is an entertaining and erudite TED Talk from MIT’s Materials Engineer Donald Sadoway which outlines our current problem of grid-level electricity storage, describes how batteries work and goes on to explain where we could go with molten metal batteries. He describes his passion as science and service to society, which is a great sentiment.
This is a good link to our units on Chemistry, Physics and Environmental Science and would make a fine starting point for a One World project. How can science positively impact the world?