Learning and doing Science outside the laboratory
Activities beyond the class room and off the College campus are a well-established part of the education at SOS-HGIC. Building on this, ideas for experiential learning have been explored in the Science department for some time. To this end we are making arrangements that will provide IB1 students with learning opportunities that are tailored to meet their needs (and that of the Diploma syllabi) and that will provide learning experiences neither available in Tema nor feasible within the normal school day.
In preparation of a field trip for IB1 Biology students to the Bunso Arboretum, Cocoa College and Atewa Range Forest Reserve Mr Djan, Mr Ahiable, Mr Kley and Mr Schmelz travelled to Bunso on September 21st. Many hours were spent inspecting facilities at the Cocoa College, exploring the Arboretum and nearby locations, and discussing options for ecological field work at and near the Arboretum with the local botanists, who will also work with our students during the field trip.
While some of the IB1 Biology students will spend time in Bunso, others will travel to Slapton, UK, to undertake ecological field work at one of the Field Studies Council’s excellent centres in the southwest of the country where students and teachers will be supported by FSC specialist. Splitting the group of Biology students into two will make it considerably more manageable to give all students an adequate amount of attention. Both trips build on the students’ learning in the classroom and follow more or less the same itinerary. This is geared towards, firstly, developing a high degree of expertise in field ecology through fully immersing students in a range of relevant activities and, secondly, giving them the opportunity to complete the data collection for their Internal Assessment (which represents 20% of the final Biology grade) in a highly stimulating, ecologically unique environment:
|Day 1||Day 2||Day 3||Day 4||Day 5||Day 6|
|Arrival at destination, introduction to location and ecological field work||
ecological field work, e.g.:
+ lab sessions in the evenings
|Wrapping up, return to Tema|
Physics teachers travelled to Kumasi on October 18th to meet with KNUST staff and prepare the Physics trip. Chemistry teachers will be exploring options in Tafo and Accra during the break to select the best possible destinations that will facilitate relevant learning and that lead into adequate Independent Investigations.
All Science teachers and lab technicians are to be thanked for their exceptional commitment to making the IB1 field trips challenging and worthwhile activities that will positively impact on our students’ academic achievement.
Christian Schmelz, Head of Science