Article by Justin Shin

Many freshmen and sophomores are bombarded with stereotypes regarding IB– a brutal monster of chronic sleep deprivation, for instance. However, what many of us fail to realize is that the program does offer activities that allow students some respite in terms of their otherwise busy workload. One example of these activities is the Group 4 Project that the juniors just completed Wednesday last week.

Several juniors, including Yanpeng Y. and Ashwin B., remarked that the Group 4 Project “was a good way to forget about normal classroom stuff and to express [themselves] creatively.”

This year’s Group 4 Project had the theme of Zombie Apocalypse in which students, drawing from their many different pools of scientific knowledge, were tasked with making fun and engaging activities pertaining to surviving a zombie apocalypse.

Ashwin B. commented that the teachers were “pretty vague with instructions” and did not even provide a concrete task outline which, on a more positive note, may suggest how this project allows students to greatly capitalize on freedom and exercise creative exploration.

The projects this year ranged from simple board games to treasure hunts around the school and PowerPoint decision games where your choices may lead to survival or death. The exciting yet informative format of these activities demonstrates how the students are able to achieve the perfect synergy between deep scientific understanding and entertainment.

In the end, a project’s virtue is largely determined by its real-life consequences and the skills that it nurtures within each student. While the Group 4 Project’s thematic focus on surviving a zombie apocalypse may initially sound quite unscientific in the general scheme of things, Mr. Mawer – one of the Group 4 Project science advisors – pointed to how the experience and information gained from these presentations could prove to be quite valuable for a student.

For one, he claimed that such presentations helped its creators develop “analytical skills and problem solving,” which are vital skills in a real-life context. He also added that the informational content of these presentations shed some light on the process of gaining “access to water, shelter, and food” and other life-sustaining fundamentals in an inhospitable environment, which are skills not only relevant during a zombie apocalypse but also “applicable in natural disaster situations”.

In conclusion, the Group 4 Project is a testament to how the union of cold, scientific knowledge and fun, lively activities can produce something really grand.

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