October 8, 2012

Science

Aims

The aims of the teaching and study of MYP sciences are to encourage and enable students to:

  • Develop curiosity, interest and enjoyment towards science and its methods of inquiry
  • Acquire scientific knowledge and understanding
  • Communicate scientific ideas, arguments and practical experiences effectively in a variety of ways
  • Develop experimental and investigative skills to design and carry out scientific investigations and to evaluate evidence to draw a conclusion
  • Develop critical, creative and inquiring minds that pose questions, solve problems, construct explanations, judge arguments and make informed decisions in scientific and other contexts
  • Develop awareness of the possibilities and limitations of science and appreciate that scientific knowledge is evolving through collaborative activity locally and internationally
  • Appreciate the relationship between science and technology and their role in society
  • Develop awareness of the moral, ethical, social, economic, political, cultural and environmental implications of the practice and use of science and technology
  • Observe safety rules and practices to ensure a safe working environment during scientific activities
  • Engender an awareness of the need for and the value of effective collaboration during scientific activities

Objectives

One world

One world should provide students with the opportunity to critically assess the implications of scientific developments and their applications to local and/or global issues.

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Explain the ways in which science is applied and used to address specific problems or issues
  • Discuss the effectiveness of science and its application in solving problems or issues
  • Discuss and evaluate the moral, ethical, social, economic, political, cultural and environmental implications of the use of science and its application in solving specific problems or issues

Communication in science

This objective refers to enabling students to become competent and confident when communicating information in science. Students should be able to use scientific language correctly and a variety of communication modes and formats as appropriate. Students should be aware of the importance of acknowledging and appropriately referencing the work of others when communicating in science.

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Use scientific language correctly
  • Use appropriate communication modes such as verbal (oral, written), visual (graphic, symbolic) and communication formats (laboratory reports, essays, presentations) to effectively communicate theories, ideas and findings in science
  • Acknowledge the work of others and the sources of information used by appropriately documenting them using a recognized referencing system

Knowledge and understanding of science

This objective refers to enabling students to understand scientific knowledge (facts, ideas, concepts, processes, laws, principles, models and theories) and to apply it to construct scientific explanations, solve problems and formulate scientifically supported arguments.

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Recall scientific knowledge and use scientific understanding to construct scientific explanations
  • Apply scientific knowledge and understanding to solve problems set in familiar and unfamiliar situations
  • Critically analyse and evaluate information to make judgments supported by scientific understanding

Scientific inquiry

This objective refers to enabling students to develop intellectual and practical skills to design and carry out scientific investigations independently and to evaluate the experimental design (method).

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • State a focused problem or research question to be tested by a scientific investigation
  • Formulate a testable hypothesis and explain it using scientific reasoning
  • Design and carry out scientific investigations that include variables and controls, material and/or equipment needed, a method to be followed and the way in which the data is to be collected and processed
  • Evaluate the validity and reliability of the method
  • Judge the validity of a hypothesis based on the outcome of the investigation
  • Suggest improvements to the method or further inquiry, when relevant.

Processing data

This objective refers to enabling students to collect, process and interpret sufficient qualitative and/or quantitative data to draw appropriate conclusions. Students are expected to develop analytical thinking skills to interpret data and judge the reliability of the data.

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Collect and record data using units of measurement as and when appropriate
  • Organize, transform and present data using numerical and visual forms
  • Analyse and interpret data
  • Draw conclusions consistent with the data and supported by scientific reasoning.

Attitudes in science

This objective refers to encouraging students to develop safe, responsible and collaborative working practices in practical science.

During the course, students should be able to:

  • Work safely and use material and equipment competently
  • Work responsibly with regards to the living and non-living environment
  • Work effectively as individuals and as part of a group by collaborating with others

From: Middle Years Programme Science Guide, International Baccalaureate Organization, 2010