Four new IB Study Guides Available!

By Wednesday, October 11, 2017 No tags 1

We are pleased to announce the release of four new titles to the OSC IB Study Guide range. Biology Internal Assessment, 3rd ed. SL & HL Ashby Merson-Davies This Guide provides practical support for the Internal Assessment for IBDP Biology, covering all the essential tools and skills, including guidance on statistics. It offers clear insights into interpreting the assessment criteria, using common software, and structuring the write-up. Chemistry Internal Assessment, 1st ed. SL & HL Dave Allen This Guide offers an up-to-date and practical approach to planning, writing, ...

Become a Future Science Leader!

No matter whether you’re an aspiring Biologist, Physicist, Chemist, or inventor, the IB Diploma is a fantastic stepping stone to studying your subject at university. However, an ambitious student can be left directionless with so many choices and questions – which subject should I follow? How do I break in to the science industry? With that question in mind our academics set about creating the perfect course for aspirant scientists - “Future Science Leader”. What is it? Future Science Leaders is a new ...

OSC Biology guides

This blog was written by Ashby Merson-Davis, an experienced IB teacher and author of a range of OSC Biology guides. When the IB started to expand in the UK it quickly became clear that there was a dearth of textbooks. HL could get by with A Level texts but there was nothing for SL. I decided to write an SL text and then wrote to a number of schools in Europe to see if they would be interested. It was basic, photocopied, ...

Hydrogen bonding and the forming of a snowflake

Water molecules are polar molecules, the electronegative  oxygen with two pairs of lone electrons providing a 'slightly' negative charge that acts with the 'slightly' positive hydrogen atoms to form the incredibly important hydrogen bonds, as illustrated here. It is the dipolarity of water molecules that give rise to the cohesive, adhesive, thermal and solvent properties that you need to learn [Topic 2.2 Water] The video provides a little seasonal focus to the nature of a water molecule and illustrates how its chemical properties give rise to the ...

Adaptations of plants in deserts

When we think about plants and how they adapt to deserts what do we think? The video systematically reviews the desert environment and the ways in which plants have found a way to survive such inhospitable climates, together with animals which call it their home. These amazing pictures from the Atacama desert on the west coast of Chile remind us that life occurs all over the surface of the planet and even the most inhospitable places represent ecosystems in which life can flourish given ...

The falling leaves of Autumn

One of the most common questions I am asked when teaching plants is why do the leaves of deciduous trees change colour before they fall off in autumn. To answer that question I have come across this excellent video: Within subtopic 2.9 you will also have opportunity to separate and identify the photosynthetic pigments from the leaves of a plant (spinach leaves are good): carotene, xanthopyll and chlorophyll through paper chromatography (Practical 4). The following is a virtual run through of the experiment ...

D.1 Human nutrition – essential nutrients

Not all nutrients required by the body, are synthesized by the body. An example of these are the essential and non-essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are those that are not synthezied and are therefore "essential" in our diet. FYI - You do NOT need to learn the names of the essential or non-essential amino acids. Vitamins are organic compounds that are required in small amounts in order for effective metabolism. They cannot be synthesized by the body and all have ...

Using a simulation for your IA

There are several options available to you when conducting your Internal Assessment as part of the Biology diploma. These include: 1.Hands-on experiment 2.Use of database for analysis and modelling 3.Extraction and graphical analysis from a database 4.Simulation (interactive/open-ended) 5.Hybrid hands-on + spreadsheet/database 6.(Qualitative and quantitative data are valid). This posting is focussing on computer simulations. To explain what a computer simulation is and how they can be used take a look at the following video from the lawrence Livermore national Laboratory. You may not wish to watch all ...

TED talks / Google Science awards and the COOLing Earth

Biology at the micro level can often feel a conceptual study of processes that have been inferred from abstract data, such as the Kreb's cycle or DNA replication. The following TED video offers a glimpse into the computer generated visualizations of the processes themselves. This video will hopefully provide inspiration as it highlights three young women winning the top prizes at the first Google Science Fair. My third video in the slow month of July is from a favourite website of mine www.labroots.com. I began ...

A2. The Human Brain

The Brain The human brain weighs approximately 1.4 kg (approximately four tubs of butter), is about the size of a grapefruit, is shaped like a walnut and can fit in the palm of your hand. Though it weighs approximately 2 percent of your body weight, it consumes nearly 20% of our calories. Brain metabolism requires a large amount of energy. Different parts of the brain have specific roles Click on the link to check out an interactive website exploring the functions of the different ...