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 ...

And the results are in!

...Well, they were in a month ago. As teachers, more than anything we are most interested in the grade boundaries for each paper. For two years we were flying blind, trying to guide our students to passing, or in some instance, the elusive 7. And now that information is freely available, and from this point forward, our work will be authentic and based on experience rather than conjecture. So, without further ado, here is the assessment-by-assessment breakdown: IA (the moderated, final mark ...

‘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 ...

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 ...

Video Resources – Are we defined by the objects we create?

Simply some great video resources linked below that can be used to inspire students and teachers either by viewing clips in the classroom, or alternatively doing as flipped classroom tasks and questions outside of the classroom : - A great video looking at why designers are so inspired to create and innovative with new products - with some great quotes regarding why they do what they do - "To Ive, it's an illness." "To others, it's desire." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09OeQayBGCY A fabulous Youtube channel for ...

Japan’s changing demography

Japan’s ageing population is having a number of impacts – some demographic, some social and economic and even some technological! Japan has entered a vicious cycle of low fertility and low spending that has led to a huge decline in lost GDP and a population decline of 1 million people, all since 2012. One commentator has suggested that it is death of the Japanese family. A 2016 study conducted by a Japanese research firm found that even though nearly 70% of ...

Some websites to prevent mathematical cobwebs

If you have a long break this (Northern hemisphere) summer, it's important to keep your brain ticking over mathematically so that you don't have to start up from cold when you go back to school next term. I've been on the lookout for some recreational mathematical activity on the web: even just a few minutes each day will be beneficial. I've included a partial screenshot from each site. Pattern recognition Enlarge any one of these 240 patterns. You have to work out ...

Two stories of innovation – the Bread Clip and the Fidget Spinner

Often stories re innovation only focus on those that have succeeded and even if we have heard the Dyson story a thousand times I believe it is useful to flag with students some of the reasons that the lone innovator/inventor does not succeed. Often this is simply due to bad luck, lack of resources or simply that they give up! A recent story is that of the ubiquitous fidget spinner that has invaded classrooms this year. The inventor Catherine Hettinger tried ...