Group 4: Experimental Sciences
Use of Information and Communication (ICT) is encouraged throughout the course in both practical
and theory work.
The application of ICT is integral to the practical understanding of the development of the subject, aiming at enabling the students to evaluate data and information critically.
Physics is the most fundamental of the experimental sciences as it seeks to explain the universe itself, from the very smallest particles—quarks (the milestone on this seems to keep on moving)—to the vast distances between galaxies. The IB Physics course gives students a taste of the exciting extremes of modern physics while building a solid foundation. It is a challenging and rewarding course, well-suited to (although not limited to) students who wish to study science or engineering at university.
The theoretical section of the course focuses on developing conceptual understanding and problem-solving skills. Students study six core topics—Physics and Physical Measurement, Mechanics, Thermal Physics, Waves, Electricity and Magnetism, Atomic and Nuclear Physics and two optional topics, Relativity and Optics.
HL students study additional material in each topic, including the optional topics.
Some competency in Mathematics is required as it is the language of Physics. Although not a formal requirement, it is recommended that students taking HL Physics also take Mathematics HL and students taking SL Physics also take Mathematics SL, as the courses complement each other well.
One quarter of the course is experimental work, with students undertaking a variety of investigations linked to different theoretical topics. By planning and evaluating their own investigations, students develop an appreciation of the scientific processes used by working physicists. They also have the opportunity to exhibit creativity in experimental problem-solving while building their manipulative, collaborative and analytical skills.
Chemistry involves studying the properties and behaviour of matter. It is an extremely practical science and has been very influential in its impact on our daily living. It lies at the heart of countless issues from health care to environmental protection. Throughout the IB course, Chemistry is placed in context and our multitudinous encounters with everyday Chemistry are discussed.
IB Chemistry is divided into three sections: Core, Additional Higher Level and two options. The SL students study the core and two options, whereas the HL students study the Core, the Additional Higher Level material and the two options.
The core is made up of 11 topics in Physical, Inorganic and Organic Chemistry. Students study the nature of the atom followed by trends in physical and chemical properties within the Periodic Table. Chemical Bonding, Energetics, Kinetics, Equilibrium, Acids and Bases and Redox reactions also follow. Organic chemistry is introduced through the study of hydrocarbons and extended to look at the interrelationships between significant functional groups.
Both HL and SL students have two options. The options available are: Higher Physical Organic Chemistry
(SL, HL), Chemical Industries (SL and HL), Fuels and Energy (SL and HL), Modern Analytical Chemistry
(HL only) further Organic Chemistry (HL only).
Where an Option is available at both HL and SL, the SL students study the ‘core’ material whereas the HL students study the ‘core’ and ‘extension’ material.
Students are encouraged to read widely, to use the library, and to access available software and the Internet
in order to expose themselves to as much Chemistry as possible.
Biology courses at SL and HL have four basic biological concepts that act as unifying themes. These are Structure and Function, Universality versus Diversity, Equilibrium within Systems and Evolution.
The curriculum offers scope to learn, apply and appreciate within the global context various dimensions
of Biology at:
• Cellular Level
• Biochemical Level
• Genetic Level
There is emphasis on:
• Human Physiology
• Applied Plant and Animal Sciences
• Ecology and Conservation
The syllabus is divided into three parts: the Core, Additional HL Material and the Options. The HL course provides an excellent qualification for entry into universities of Biological Sciences and Medical courses.
The SL course provides a good understanding of these and the implications of science for society.
Global Health The intent of the IB curriculum for Environmental Systems and Societies is to provide a coherent perspective on the environment. The core topics enable a student to understand the fundamental structure and functioning of natural systems and the broad impact of human activities. The options focus on methodologies as well as specific environmental issues that have both local and global significance.
Environmental Systems and Societies Transdisciplinary subject (Group 3 and 4)
Aims of Environmental Systems and Societies:
• Raise awareness of the moral, ethical, social, economic and environmental implications of using
science and technology
• Develop experimental and investigative skills The curriculum offers the ability to understand, imbibe
and apply the principles of:
• Ecosystems • Biodiversity • Conservation • Use of Natural Resources • Pollution Management
Helping the student contribute towards the maintenance of environmental balance is an important objective.
Biostatistics/Biology and Environmental
Systems and Societies
Microbiology and Biotech
A new module has been incorporated with the core topics. This module will improve the scientific evaluation of not only general laboratories, but also help in enhancing data presentation of an extended essay done by the students.
Environmental Systems and Societies
These days one cannot open a newspaper without reading about another man-made disaster or threat to the survival of the globe. Even students who might not have enjoyed traditional experimental sciences at school are therefore often enthralled by the practical experimentation that goes into better understanding such burning issues as waste disposal, soil erosion, the population explosion and many others. At the same time, they pick up the basic scientific skills that they will find useful throughout life.
ESS at HVB Global Academy is firmly based in practical work, but has a sound theoretical underpinning. It is only offered at SL.