Conquering Everest

By Wednesday, July 31, 2019 No tags 0

In recent weeks, there has been a number of concerns raised about the number of climbers on Mount Everest, and the number of deaths, as well as the pollution of the environment by discarded equipment and the number of dead bodies left on the mountain. Everest is an extreme environment, but is proving increasingly popular for tourists. Once the preserve of elite climbers, now it is becoming the focus for many inexperienced climbers who want a thrill, and can afford ...

Combating the globalisation of waste management in south-east Asia

By Monday, July 29, 2019 No tags 0

For a long-time, south-east Asia and other parts of West Africa have accepted waste from the world’s rich nations and recycled, reused or dumped it in their own environment. Even today, there are containers full of unwanted waste sitting in. However, these countries are increasing against the dumping of rich nations’ waste in emerging economies (i.e. their own. Even the UN has called for a control on global plastic dumping in poorer countries (https://www.no-burn.org/brscop). "Collectors' Work" by Ikhlasul Amal is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0  In ...

Helping yourself to a prawn off your boss’s plate

By Friday, July 26, 2019 No tags 0

Having recently started teaching Theory of Knowledge for the first time this academic year, the links between Language A and TOK are even clearer. Recently while working through the language way of knowing, the class of year 1 diploma students and I watched RSA Animate’s 2011 video essay ‘Language as a window into human nature’ with “renowned experimental psychologist Steven Pinker”. In it, he details a useful way of students could categorise verbal communication. Quoting anthropologist Alan Fiske, there are ...

TreeSisters and reforestation

By Wednesday, July 24, 2019 No tags 0

In March 2019 the UN declared a Decade of Ecosystem Restoration and aims to reforests 350 million ha (around 865 million acres) by 2030. The advantages of restored ecosystems are many – slowing down global warming by capturing and storing carbon, increasing rainfall, providing clean water, improving air quality and providing sources of natural capital. It is believed that some eco-system restoration could account for over one-third of the greenhouse gas emissions reduction that are needed to keep global temperature ...

Carmichael coal mine, Queensland, Australia

By Monday, July 22, 2019 No tags 0

The development of the Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin, Queensland, Australia was given the go ahead by the Queensland government in June this year. The mine is controversial for many reasons. First, it is on land that was home to an indigenous Aboriginal population, who have been forced off their land. Second, the Galilee Basin is one of the world’s largest untapped supplies of thermal coal (the type used in power stations). Burning it will release vast amounts ...

Newton and Mechanics

By Friday, July 19, 2019 No tags 0

Isaac Newton is a name that comes up a lot in Physics (an understatement if ever there was one). In Mechanics I tend to lump the SUVAT equations and laws together, teaching them as a small section (effectively) under his name. This blog considers this short section of work. I usually start with a moment to play the YouTube clip from Big Think, where Neil deGrasse Tyson gives his view on who was the greatest physicist of all time. It is ...

Phew – thank goodness that is over!

By Friday, July 19, 2019 No tags 0

By the time this post gets ‘out there’, the IB exams are likely to be finished. And the DP students will be away from school and relaxing … and so they should. But is it all really over? The year 1 students are continuing of course. And also, there are the final year students who are planning to continue into Higher Education in your subject – for me, those aiming at Physics or Engineering – they are waiting for results, but ...

Choices are about to be made?

By Wednesday, July 17, 2019 No tags 0

At this stage of the year, the IB is in the minds of four sets of students … Pre-IB. There will be a collection of students who have just finished MYP or GCSEs/IGCSEs and are planning to start the Diploma around September. Will it be the right thing or not? Will you have a better chance of getting to university if you do the Diploma or the alternative system that is often on offer (in the UK … A-Levels)? Well the ...

Who would be a teacher?

By Monday, July 15, 2019 No tags 0

The results have come out and I feel that my holiday has ended before it began! This is of course, not true … but sometimes, it feels that way. The results are a time for celebration (hopefully!) where I can, and without being patronising, I will often try to contact my students and let them know how well they did. I think it is important to remember that in education, we are helping to shape young people and that is a ...

“Raising awareness of world issues” – The pitfalls (Concepts and Exhibition)

Conceptually speaking, the trouble with 'raising awareness' of world issues in your visual arts exhibition is that in most cases, awareness has already been raised, and examiners will probably have seen your video of ice melting - or a person swimming with plastic bottles, or a collage made of rubbish, or a Photoshopped photo of chimneys belching smoke, or cars polluting with their exhaust fumes, or oil pouring into the ocean etc - many times before. Conceptual qualities mean you ...