Water is an integral and necessary component of life, but not many remember the complex properties that are associated with this molecule. This year’s DP Biology SL I Group challenged their understanding of the application of these properties.
Through practical experience in a laboratory setting, students tested their knowledge and understanding of water, going beyond the standard understanding of evaporation and the words “lake effect”. The rigor of the DP program requires students to not only gain knowledge of the content but to be able to apply this content, question concepts, and explore possibilities in the realm of science. The base understanding of these skills gained in the first year of the DP program allows students to push themselves even further in the second year when they are seniors. During that time, student focus is centered on the application of skills developed in order to complete their own, personalized research. Students were challenged with applying and criticizing the importance of water, both in the evaluation of its effect on their community in the form of bad weather and in regard to their own survival as living organisms.
Junior DP students explored cohesion, adhesion, surface tension, specific heat capacity, and heat of vaporization. They began this intense study with a background investigation, including classroom discussion, clarifying knowledge, use of online simulations, and evaluation of media content befo re transitioning into hands-on experiments. Students were challenged with achieving the strongest surface tension to mass ratio, with discussing the wonderful consequences of water’s specific heat capacity, debating the relationship between singular molecules of H2O, and more.
As juniors continue into the second semester, they will apply what they have learned in this latest unit in the next challenge.