Great Mathematicians 3 – Ada Lovelace

By Monday, January 23, 2017 No tags 0

What an extraordinary woman Ada Lovelace was! She was born in 1815 to the poet Lord Byron and his wife Anne Millbanke, and was Byron's only legitimate child. But her parents separated when she was only a month old and she never saw her father again. She was nonetheless inspired by him, and poetry ran like a thread through her life, in spite of her mother promoting her interest in mathematics "fearing that an interest in poetry would spoil her morals." ...

The Finishing Touches

By Monday, January 23, 2017 , , , 0

This post considers the final parts of the teaching of the IB physics course. Although there is usually still a way to go (especially for HL), the teaching should be in its final stages and the crucial revision process then begins (if it has not already started – earlier blogs). Interestingly, this stage is where as a teacher, I find out about all my mistakes along the way, or the impact the school’s ‘system’ has had on my teaching. This is ...

December 30: the death of Rasputin and the beginning of the Russian Revolution

December 30th is the centennial of the death of Rasputin.  This is the story that you are most likely to remember from Russian history; years from now  you will be able to recount to your friends the death scene in minute detail, and you will be able to provide all of the salacious details regarding his life and hold over the female members of the aristocracy, but will you remember anything about the historical significance of this man?  And, if ...

Instagram – Time to Follow Some Great Designers for Inspiration.

Social media is not just great for following your friends, your favourite media stars or simply your favourite cat videos? It can also be great for following designers - and yes as Design Technology IB students following some interesting and innovative designers should be of interest to you. So for a great start to 20 innovative and interesting product designers sharing their thoughts and ideas on Instagram go to this post and follow as many of them as you like! ...

British ash trees may resist dieback disease

Genetic analysis shows native British ash trees may be more resistant than Danish ones to the deadly fungus that has spread across Europe. The ash is one of Europe’s most common trees. Ash dieback fungus first appeared in the UK in 2012, and has spread rapidly since. It is now found in more than half of the country. It has already affected 90% of trees in Denmark and threatens to all but wipe out ash trees there. The new genetic research ...

Osmium (Os)

By Wednesday, January 18, 2017 , , 0

Osmium (Os), is a metal found in IUPAC group 8, with a relative atomic mass of 190.2. Just over 12 years ago the BBC1 announced that intelligence agents in the UK and USA had foiled a plot to make a 'dirty bomb' that would have involved the explosion of Osmium Oxide (OsO4). What was slightly unusual about this new article was that it did acknowledge that Osmium Oxide was extremely expensive and only really available to research institutions. In other words, ...

OSC Alumni shine in IB Diploma results

By Tuesday, January 17, 2017 No tags 0

This blog was written by Andrew Buxton, General Manager of Oxford Study Courses in Australia. Congratulations to the 2016 Oxford Study Courses Alumni on their outstanding International Baccalaureate Diploma results. Over 300 Australian IB Diploma students in the class of 2016 took at least one OSC exam revision course, along with students from New Zealand and the countries of South-east Asia. Many OSC Alumni featured in the media results releases in recent days, including achievers of the highest possible course score of 45. ...

Devising companies around the world

The last year I have been running month-long online courses for teachers. Part of the work includes sharing devising companies we know of. Here are some that I thought may interest teachers and students like: Chance Theater (Orange County, California) This is a company that produces both original works and established plays. Their mission: Our mission is to contribute to a more compassionate, connected, and creative Orange County. Chance Theater is dedicated to the creation of exciting theatrical experiences, taking artistic risks, and collaborating ...

Socially Aware and Environmental Design Spotlight

When the new year of teaching starts - I always find it is good to do a design spotlight with students to get their brains thinking about the world of design again after a great winter break. Normally I pick one of my favourite areas of design either socially aware or environmental design ideas - often loosely based around the syllabus but hopefully gets them thinking about what design can lead to - and the infinite possibilities it presents. Here ...

Teaching Russia, killing 3 Birds with One Stone and Auld Lang Syne

My last post for the student blog that I finished yesterday, in honor of the centennial of the murder of Rasputin led me to re-examine how to include the Russian Revolutions in the curriculum.  When the World History Topics were 20th century World History Topics, and before Route 1 and Route 2 were ever conceived of, certain topics were taught by most IB History teachers, most notably World War I and the Russian Revolutions.  This was further reinforced by the ...