3 Magical Designs – that demonstrate WHY you want to be a designer after the IB DP!

Hi all, Sometimes as students it is easy to get wrapped up in the mundanity of completing the IB Diploma, and attempting to gain the highest score possible in your Design Technology course. I have to get a 7, I must get a 7 and so on... However of all courses that you have chosen as an option I believe the Design Technology course, very much has higher aspirations as we want to inspire you to go on past the IBDP into ...

‘Talk nerdy to me’: Delivering a winning IOP

The challenge of standing before your classmates and not just getting, but holding their attention,  is not a small one; in fact, that part of your audience is even more of a challenge than--yes--the attention of your teacher.  It's true that she or he is going to write down three marks, that this is your IB assessment, that it represents 15% of your overall grade.  But, let's look at it in larger terms. Here is a chance to try out your ...

Practical applications: Vectors

Are vectors just a mathematical idea, or are they of any practical use? Every time you fly anywhere, it's because of vectors that you end up in the right place! Here's why. What is a vector? A vector represents any quantity that has both magnitude and direction. So, vectors can be used to represent displacement (ie change of position), velocity, force - but nor distance, speed or energy. For example, if the distance between two towns along a winding road is 120km, ...

How Does Facebook Make Its Money?

Facebook is the most popular social network in the world, with 1.94 billion monthly active users as of the first quarter of 2017. And the best part of it is that this way of keeping in touch with friends and families comes for free for the users. But then how does Facebook make its money? We all know that this is from advertising but exactly how advertising helps generate the huge amount of revenue of the fastest growing tech company ...

100 EXHIBITION HOURS (the conundrum of time and quality)

Lawrence is one of my visual arts students. He has repeatedly asked how much time each he should devote to each of the course components. (Hi Lawrence, I know you read my blog!) Of course, the course is taught holistically and there is no ‘hours per component’ recommendation in the visual arts guide. Visual Arts guide page 16: “Although the core syllabus is identified in this guide through subdivided segments, teachers are encouraged to approach the teaching of the visual arts course in a ...

Limiting reagents

Limiting reagents is a concept that is easy to understand in one context... but tricky to understand in another. Before I expand on this statement, what do I mean by limiting reagents? Well, unless you have some super precise mass balances, when carrying out a chemical reaction you will always add too many atoms / molecules / particles of one substance and not enough of the other. The one that you have added too much of is the reagent that is ...

Theatre for change – ‘Disorder contained’

Many of you will know about Brecht and Boal, and will probably have come across some other theorists or theatre companies that create theatre designed to make a specific impact, and hopefully bring about some change in ways of thinking, behaviour or spur people on to take action to bring about some sort of change in their environment or society. Brecht work for us deals with history, so we can look at this issues from a distance, and relate safely ...

The contiguous worlds of Philosophy and Science

In an article published on June 1 2017 in the ‘Times Literary Supplement’, David Papineau addresses the question: ‘Is philosophy simply harder than science?’ Described as ‘the route to truth’, philosophy is described not only as the handmaiden of science but as its original foundation since all scientific theories originate from some form of philosophical position, such as, for instance, ancient natural thinkers like Democritus, Epicurus or Lucretius. Through their denial of any divine intervention in the universe, these ancient ...

‘War and Peace’: why not?

If you may have found that summer and all its anticipated pleasures are sometimes not quite meeting your expectations, why not do something daring?  People, not just your peers, but just about everyone who reads at all, probably looks at a novel of the length of Tolstoi's War and Peace as a challenge they just might not want to take on. But, you, on the other hand, might just like to join that club of people with real guts and strong wills ...

Soil and water pollution in China

Soil and water pollution is an increasing problem in China. Soil contamination occurs in most countries with a lot of farmland, heavy industry and mining. In Ukraine, for example, which has all three, about 8% of the land is contaminated. However, China is the world’s largest producer of food and of heavy industrial commodities such as steel and cement. China’s soil contamination is so great that it is impossible to remove all the contaminants. The country has many brownfield sites (contaminated ...