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The IBDP Collaborative Sciences Project

With a new syllabus for IBDP Biology, Chemistry & Physics the Group 4 Project is no more... or should I say that it is no longer called the Group 4 Project? It is now the Collaborative Sciences Project (CSP) and while the overall idea is the same there are some changes in the goals of the project. In this post I will clarify some of the changes and share my tentative plan for the first CSP run through this year.

The purpose of the CSP is to give students in the IBDP and Career-related program (IBCP) an opportunity to collaborate in an interdisciplinary team. Tackling a local manifestation of a global issue through the lens of the scientific method. The focus of the CSP is on process rather than product and the collaborative skills students develop over the course of the 10 hours of the project.

The IBO has published a guide on the Collaborative Sciences project which was used, along with my own experience and ideas to write this post. The CSP guide includes five example CSPs over different time periods and with different goals, such as a CAS or TOK connection. Check it out on myIB to get more information.

For experienced IBDP Sciences teachers here is a list of what is the same & one of what has changed that may save you some time:

Same Old, Same Old

  • 10 hours of time allocated for the CSP

  • Students are expected to work in interdisciplinary teams

  • Students are expected to apply their subject knowledge in context

  • Project findings are to be shared with the school community

  • Students must complete a short reflection after the project

That's New!

  • Students have the opportunity to make their CSP also their CAS project

  • The CSP is for Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme students

  • ESS is now officially included in the CSP

  • The CSP is meant to focus on a local manifestation of a global issue

  • Suggested factors to investigate include: environmental, social and ethical implications of science and technology

  • The CSP can be linked to the school's development plan

My Plan for this Year:

At my current school here in Morocco we have traditionally done the Group 4 Project over the course of two school days at the end of Year 1, after exams are done, but before the last day of school. This has traditionally included a field trip, last year to the beach and the year before to a trampoline park. Since this condensed two day model works well at our school it is safe to assume that we will be applying it again.

That being said, there are some changes that I would like to implement this year. The first being the deliberate and purposeful incorporation of TOK &/or CAS into the project. After meeting with the science team I hope to reach out to my TOK teachers and our CAS coordinator to brainstorm ideas; that way we can start the collaborative ball rolling. It may take a year to two before we fully incorporate TOK &/or CAS, but it's a goal worth working towards.

Another change that I would like to implement is regarding the presentations & reflections. In the past we have always asked students to do a Google Slides presentation to share so that they can build it collaboratively and then the students presented to the incoming IB students (10th graders) so that they had an idea what to expect the next year. Afterwards, students would complete their reflections and email them to the head of Science...but many students would forget to send their reflections and this way of collecting reflections became a time consuming task during IB upload season. This year we are thinking of doing a gallery-walk type of presentation which G10 students will attend, but will require more participant engagement. We will also keep students hostage in the lab until they submit their reflections (no reflections = no vacation.... cue maniacal laughter).

The final, and biggest change is to help students find one (or more) local manifestations of a global issue...something that can be examined thematically from each of the sciences we offer and include a wide variety of research questions. My first idea is to look at an environmental issue such as solid waste, which is an issue on the local beaches and city streets in Morocco where I am currently teaching. Then students can analyze the sources, types, disposal and impacts of this waste. This is just one idea, but it could be an excellent starting point and works well for our school since we offer ESS along with Biology, Chemistry & Physics.

I hope to introduce the Collaborative Sciences Project to our Year 1 IBDP students in March or April this year, and when I do so I will be using these slides. They include key information about the project, phases, sample timelines and even the required reflection. You can find the set in my TpT shop along with any other resources I end up making for the CSP. I hope you found this post helpful and that your first CSP is a great one. Remember to have fun and collaborate!

Thanks for reading, teachers, travelers and curious souls of all kinds.

The Roaming Scientist



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I'm the kind of teacher who is always trying something new, new labs, new Apps, new scaffolds and even new countries to live and teach in. I'm looking forward to share what I learn with you all through my weekly blog posts. 

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