NKCHS IB Happenings

October 2022

October in IB World!

Through the first IB newsletter, we hope you gained some good information and a glimpse into your student's IB journey. As promised, these newsletters will continue to provide you updates as to what is taking place in IB classes, upcoming IB events, general IB program news, and other pertinent IB information. Remember, another way to keep up with IB happenings at NKCHS is to follow the hashtag #IBNKC on Twitter.

At the IB Retreat in September, we shared a list of important due dates and events with grade 11 and 12 students. When you look at the documents/calendar, you'll notice the dates are spread throughout the year as to try to avoid overwhelming students with many major assignments at one time. Many of these large projects are also broken up with milestone due dates prior to those listed to help students manage the load. Below are the documents with dates for juniors and seniors. Those dates are also found on a calendar view provided below.

What is the IB Learner Profile?

While one of the primary goals of the International Baccalaureate Program is to prepare students academically for university admission and success, the IB also is intentionally designed to help students develop those "human" skills that ensure their success in a global society and their positive contribution to the community. The almost 3-minute video below helps illustrate the connection of the IB learner profile to the mission of IB. A document that describes each attribute is also linked below. You will see strong connections to the NKC Schools Portrait of a Graduate.
IB Learner Profile

The IB Retreat - September 9

Juniors and Seniors spent half of their day on Friday, September 9, building relationships and learning more about IB. The photos below (clockwise from top left) show different aspects of the day:

1. IB seniors answered the questions of juniors in a "speed dating" style format.

2. Ms. Thomas shared mindfulness strategies with the students to help them cope better under stress.

3. Students played IB charades, acting out silly sentences that highlighted the Learner Profile attributes.

4. Juniors spent time discussing what they've heard, what they're wondering, and what they've figured out about IB.

Big picture
Big picture

Group 4 Courses

IB courses are categorized into six different areas that we will explore throughout the year in this newsletter. This month, because the Group 4 Project has been the center of attention, we will highlight the Group 4 courses, which are the Sciences. These courses can be taken at the standard level (SL) or higher level (HL). Standard level courses are taught at less depth and breadth than higher level courses. All higher level courses require two years of study.

Biology - At NKCHS, we offer standard level and higher level Biology. Using a wide variety of techniques, students in IB Biology explore the living world at all levels, from the molecular workings of the cell to the complex dynamics of an ecosystem.

SL/HL 1 Biology students are currently wrapping up an ecology unit where they created self-sustaining mesocosms. Students are also beginning to work on the internal assessment (IA) for biology. Ask your student what they plan to investigate! In HL 2 Biology, students are moving their focus to the highly detailed processes of cellular respiration and photosynthesis, the importance of each, and the connections between the two.

Chemistry - Also offered at both standard and higher levels, IB Chemistry provides students with academic study and practical and investigational skills as they deepen their understanding of a wide variety of areas, including atomic structure and bonding, thermodynamics, stoichiometry and measurement, and organic chemistry.

Currently in HL 2 Chemistry, students are revising their IAs, as well as reviewing year 1 concepts to develop a better understanding of the higher level concepts of atomic structure and the periodic table. SL and HL 1 Chemistry students are digging into periodic trends and reactions of halogens, which they will explore in a lab on Tuesday!

Environmental Systems and Societies (ESS) - This IB course spans Group 3 (Systems and Societies) and Group 4 (Sciences) as it provides students with a perspective of the interrelationships between environmental systems and societies through investigations of pressing environmental issues. ESS is offered at the standard level only.

ESS students at NKCHS have been learning a variety of population data collection techniques, including mark-capture and quadrant sampling. They will now work on creating dichotomous keys. The KC Water Department will be coming on Tuesday to speak to the students on water quality and macroinvertebrate sensitivity while giving them more techniques to determine water quality to guide them in their IA.

Sports, Exercise, and Health Science (SEHS) - This IB course, currently offered at standard level only, is brand new to NKCHS this year. SEHS incorporates the disciplines of anatomy and physiology, biomechanics, psychology, and nutrition, all studied in the context of sports, exercise and health.

After learning basic musculoskeletal anatomy, students in SEHS are analyzing how the body moves during physical activity.

Meet the Group 4 Teachers!

The Group 4 Project Was a SUCCESS!

All students enrolled in a Group 4 course traveled to Line Creek on September 16, to carry out their Group 4 Project investigation. Students looked at a variety of features indicative of stream health. The focus of studies included, but were not limited to, pH levels, macroinvertebrate populations, fecal coliform presence, phosphate levels, and dissolved oxygen. Now that students have collected their data, they are working collaboratively to present their findings. The final Group 4 presentation is due on Friday, October 14.

IBCP - Biomedicine Pathway

Students pursuing the IB Career-related Program Certificate have a choice between six different career-related studies ... Biomedical Science, Computer Science, Culinary Arts, Engineering, Journalism, and Teaching. This month will give you a closer look at the PLTW Biomedical courses and instructors.

The Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Biomedical Science course sequence gives students interested in the medical profession an opportunity to explore real-world scenarios. Using an investigative approach, students work with topics such as disease, DNA analysis, and public health. Students also learn techniques used by medical professionals in hospitals and clinics today.

Principles of Biomedical Science (Year 1) - In this course, students explore concepts of biology and medicine as they take on roles of different medical professionals and collaborate to solve real-world problems, including a crime scene, diagnosing and proposing treatment to patients, tracking down and containing an outbreak in a hospital, and stabilizing a patient during an emergency.

Currently, students in PBS are carrying out a DNA extraction lab and gel electrophoresis to determine whose blood was left at the crime scene.

Human Body Systems (Year 2) - In HBS, students examine the interactions of human body systems as they explore their various functions. Students have the opportunity to build organs and tissues, use data collection software to monitor body functions, and take on the roles of biomedical professionals to collaboratively solve real-world cases.

Students in HBS are currently learning the skills to process skeletal remains in a missing person's case.

Medical Interventions (Year 3) - In MI, students explore how to detect and fight infection, screen and evaluate the code of human DNA, evaluate cancer treatment options, and prevail when body organs begin to fail ... all as they follow the life of a fictitious family and their real-world cases.

Currently, MI students are exploring antibiotics and their effect on different types of bacteria, including antibiotic resistance in the bacteria.

Biomedical Innovation (Year 4) - In this final course of the PLTW Biomedical Science sequence, students build on the knowledge and skills they've gained in previous courses to design innovative solutions for the most pressing health challenges of the 21st century. Students address topics ranging from public health and biomedical engineering to clinical medicine and physiology.

Students in BI are working on carrying out an experimental design for a human physiology problem.

Meet the PLTW Biomedical Science Teachers

Who's Here to Help You?

And Introducing ...

Madelynn Zimmerman (formerly Madelynn Kaster)

Madelynn Zimmerman (madelynn.zimmerman@nkcschools.org) joined the NKCHS team on September 12. She is replacing Mr. Carlock as our school's College Adviser. Madelynn is a graduate of Winnetonka HS and the University of MO at Kansas City, where she double-majored in psychology and political science and minored in English. As the College Advisor, she will work with seniors to better understand all the details of their college planning journey, including the application process, completion of the FAFSA, and various forms of financial aid.

Please follow her on Twitter - @nkccounseling, and on Instagram - @nkchscounseling

Newsletter Feedback

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