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Tzu Chi Secondary School Science

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Tuesday August 21st, 2018

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  The photographs above show one group focusing on the research question, “How do carbon dioxide concentration, light intensity and soil composition affect biodiversity?”

One of the many highlights of a busy year for the Science Department was our Year 11 Science students’ visit to Leebong Island in Belitung Regency, as part of the Environmental Systems and Societies Field Research and Group 4 Sciences Project.

As can be seen from the photographs below, the Environmental Systems and Societies students kick-off their field research entitled “Determination of Plant Species Abundance and Distribution in Leebong Island” using line transect and quadrat methods.

The purpose of the Group 4 Project is to introduce students to the idea that science is a group activity performed by teams and that those groups do not always comprise of just physicists or chemists but a mixture of scientists from different disciplines. The project gives the students a chance to improve their collaborative and communication skills. The Group 4 Project isn’t formally assessed but is a mandatory component of the IB Diploma Programme and students have to write reflective statements about their involvement.

Their choice for the Group 4 theme influenced their decision of where to carry out the project because they wanted to study a place with limited human impact on the local environment, which ruled out Taman Wisata Mangrove adjacent to Tzu Chi School, and the Thousand Islands. They alsoconsidered the latter two possible destinations as being too close to their homes!

The photographs below show the students who study Biology, Chemistry and Physics exploring the richness and vastness of the island. The central theme for this year’s Group 4 Project is “Biodiversity, Sustainability and Survival”.

The photographs above show one group focusing on the research question, “How do carbon dioxide concentration, light intensity and soil composition affect biodiversity?”

A third group working on reinforced concrete using sand and seashells; they made use of the chitin and calcium carbonate found in the seashells as soil fertilizer additive.

By all accounts they had an exciting time, honing their communication skills by collaborating with each other in small teams on aspects of biodiversity.

The students gave an interesting presentation of their work on the island to Year 10 students and Year 11 parents on June 6, 2018 and hopefully the Year 10 students were inspired to start thinking about possible ideas for the Group 4 Project that they will be involved in next year.

This Group 4 Project/ESS Field Research trip could not have been successful without the combined effort from the Science teachers namely, Mr. Angus, Mr. Theo, Mr. Edmundo and Mr. Joseph with the guidance of Ms Yaru and Mr Auriga.

We look forward to reading the students’ reflective statements about their experiences.

Elsewhere across the grades the students studying science have had an interesting and productive year. Every student has been challenged to raise the standard of their work, to expand their knowledge and succeed in their tasks and exams. We are rightfully proud of the students as many rose to the challenge and have done extremely well. We look forward to the next school year and anticipate even greater success amongst our students!

By Tzu Chi Secondary School Science Department