NKCHS IB Happenings

March 2023

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Living the IB Mission

Over the past couple of months, we've had multiple opportunities for our Grade 11 and 12 IB students to share their experiences with students interested in the program, whether it be during a visit to a middle school or a family night for potential IB students entering high school. Time and time again, their comments reiterate that the IB Program at NKCHS is bringing the IB Mission Statement to life. Students have talked about how the IB program has lifted their thinking and curiosity about the world around them to levels they never thought possible. Others have talked about how the "team" or "family" feel of IB has brought about a compassion for their classmates as they go through rigorous study together. Finally, many have reiterated how the IB Program experience has allowed them the opportunity to discuss big issues with peers who may not think the same way as them, but they've learned how to disagree civilly and better understand one another, even develop empathy for others.

Important Upcoming Events for Seniors

As we get deeper into second semester, some very important dates for seniors are getting closer and closer. We wanted to keep you informed of some important events in the life of your IB Senior.

  • March 28-31 - IB Spanish/French Oral Exams
  • March 31 - IB Visual Art Exhibition (Black Box)
  • April 14 - Service Learning Portfolio Due (CP)
  • April 26- IB Senior Celebration
  • April 28 - CAS Portfolio Due (DP)
  • April 28 - Language Development Project Due (CP)
  • May 2-19 - IB Exams (Norclay Building)
  • May 11 - Last Day for Seniors
  • May 17 - NKCHS Graduation

There are many other important dates viewable on the IB Calendar and details on a couple of the celebrations below.

IB Senior Dinner

We will honor all IBDP and IBCP seniors on Wednesday, April 26, at our annual IB Dinner. The event will begin with dinner in the NKCHS cafeteria at 6:00pm and end with a recognition program in the auditorium. We expect to finish by 8:30pm. Each IB student will be individually recognized and is invited to bring up to two family members with them.
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The IB Senior Celebration

As tradition holds, we celebrated the incredible work of our IBCP and IBDP students on Thursday, March 1. At this time, many of their big core components have been submitted. For DP students, they've turned in their extended essays and their TOK essays. Our CP students have submitted their reflective projects. This represents countless hours of work and thousands of words on the page! They're not quite done but we are so proud of their accomplishments thus far. Below are a few pictures of the ice cream sundae bar we hosted in their honor.

Group 2 Courses - Language Acquisition

This is our final highlight of the year for the Diploma Program courses. Some would say we've saved the best for last. This month we will highlight the IB Languages offered at NKCHS ... IB Spanish and IB French.

In Language B courses, IB Spanish and IB French, students develop the ability to communicate through the study of language, themes and texts. In doing so, they also develop conceptual understandings of how language works. The language B syllabus is organized into five prescribed themes: identities, experiences, human ingenuity, social organization and sharing the planet. Students study authentic texts in the target language, as well as produce a variety of oral and written texts for differing audiences and contexts. In addition, HL students are required to study two literary works originally written in the target language, and are expected to extend the range and complexity of the language they use and understand in order to communicate.

SL 2 and HL2 Spanish students are spending the month of March preparing for the internal assessment (oral exam). They will also continue developing reading comprehension, writing, and listening skills. SL and HL1 Spanish are currently working on their fourth unit of the year, Sharing the Planet, focusing on equality. In this unit, students will discuss women’s rights, fair trade considering the influences of globalization, and peace and conflict (all in Spanish!). Finally, Spanish 3 students are studying famous Spanish-speaking artists and reading a novel about the Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo.

Just as in Spanish SL 2, IB French SL 2 students are gearing up for the IB oral internal assessment that will take place after spring break. The students will practice speaking in French, describing photos pertaining to these IB themes: Identity, Sharing the Planet, Experiences, and Social Organization. They will also be discussing the themes with the teacher. In IB French SL 1, students will be studying a new unit related to the theme of Identity: “Addictions Among Adolescents.” During this unit, students will read articles (in French) about the problems of addiction in French-speaking societies, as they learn to express their opinions in writing and speaking about this topic. Pre-IB French 3 students will spend upcoming class periods working on stating opinions in French about what can be done to better protect the environment.

For a better understanding of the sequence of Language B courses, please see the image below.

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Meet the Group 2 Teachers!

IB Career-related Study - Computer Science

It's time to dig into the final of our 6 career-related studies. This month the focus turns to Computer Science, one of our three Project Lead the Way (PLTW) sequences. PLTW Computer Science engages students in activities that not only build knowledge and skills in computer science, but also empower students to develop essential skills such as problem solving, critical and creative thinking, communication, collaboration, and perseverance. The program’s courses, which focus on topics including coding, app development, simulation and cybersecurity, empowers students with in-demand knowledge and skills they will use in high school and for the rest of their lives, on any career path they choose. Throughout the courses, students collaborate to design solutions to real-world challenges, while practicing ethical reasoning.

Computer Science Essentials (CSE) - This course introduces students to coding fundamentals through an approachable, block-based programming language where they will have early success in creating usable apps. As students sharpen their computational thinking skills, they will transition to programming and text-based programming side-by-side. Finally, students learn the power of text-based programming as they are introduced to the Python® programming language.

CSE students are getting ready to jump into text-based programming using Python. This is a huge change from dragging blocks around the screen to manipulate a program. Things are getting exciting!

Computer Science Principles (CSP) - Students in CSP learn computational thinking and coding fundamentals and are introduced to computational tools that foster creativity. This course aims to build students’ awareness of the tremendous demand for computer scientists and those who have computational thinking skills. At the same time, it engages students to consider issues raised by the impact of computing on society, as each unit focuses on one or more computer science-specific career paths.

CSP students are deeply invested in creating their program for the AP CSP Performance Task. This individually created program makes up a large portion of the test score and gives students an opportunity to express themselves with coding.

Computer Science A - Computer Science A (CSA) is an introductory college-level computer science course. Students cultivate their understanding of coding through analyzing, writing, and testing code as they explore concepts like modularity, variables, and control structures. Fundamental topics in this course include the design of solutions to problems, the use of data structures to organize large sets of data, the development and implementation of algorithms to process data and discover new information, the analysis of potential solutions, and the ethical and social implications of computing systems. The course emphasizes object-oriented programming and design using the Java programming language.

CSA students are in the midst of creating their own classes, objects, and methods to interact with other class and object files.

Cybersecurity - This course introduces the tools and concepts of cybersecurity and encourages students to create solutions that allow people to share computing resources while protecting privacy. Nationally, computational resources are vulnerable and frequently attacked; in Cybersecurity, students solve problems by understanding and closing these vulnerabilities. This course raises students’ knowledge of and commitment to ethical computing behavior. It also aims to contribute to communities with a dependable cyber-infrastructure that moves and processes information safely.

Cybersecurity students are currently analyzing computer network traffic looking for discrepancies and odd, possibly harmful, access to sites and computers.

Meet the Computer Science Teachers!

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