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Lab Designs: IB's Way of Proving Impossibility?

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Are lab designs for any sciences, required by the IB, ridiculous or not? There is surely no way to be purely original about anything - somehow or another, you would need to use ideas from the web, or books, etc. I think in the next new curriculum, they should destroy this requirement. It's a good practice for us to use our creative brains, but high school isn't about researching! It's about learning - not attempting to make completely original labs from the top of our heads.

Edited by xsandralee

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Will you be attempting a group 4 subject for your extended essay? If so, good luck trying to find the exact protocol in a textbook.

You don't need to be purely original - but you need to know how to control variables and obtain reliable results.

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I'm so with you on this one. Planning labs suck. How can everyone in my class be expected to come up with a different method for testing the effect of pH on enzymes?

And our teacher wants us to go test people's thresholds for sweet stuff for our Group 4. Which will involve standing in the school hallway for several days and giving up my comfy couch in the senior lounge, so that I can stick cotton buds in people's mouths and see exactly what they had for lunch based on what colour their tongues are. Beautiful. This is what I signed up for when I was born.

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It's not really about originality- it's simply about coming up with a question within the designated topic that allows for effective investigation. I don't think they intend that you come up with completely new ideas, but use old ideas and techniques(from wherever you might research them) and figure out how to apply them to the specific topic you are prescribed to investigate. Usually there are pretty clear approaches to take that you will learn simply from the course: for instance, a prac investigating equlibrium would involve varying one of pressure, temperature, concentration and evaluating the effect. A prac on rate of reaction would involve finding an easily measurable specific physical quantity from one of the reactants or products - such as colour of solution changed by one of the products. I don't think the design section is meant to be that daunting, it is simply an excercise in identifying a suitable approach (usually not to dificult to see), and then within that identifying the right variabes. Assuming that you've done 4 years of science with countless practicals beforehand, as well as the relevant theory for the specific topics you'll be investigating, it should not be a superbly challenging task.

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I thought so too in the beginning of IB and just thinking how the hell do they expect us to know right? And I consulted text books and such and my labs looked really bad so I talked to my teacher and he told me just to write what I observed and what I learned. I did so and my labs rock now. Of course I don't get C on everything cause I think it's pretty harsh that making the slightest mistakes can give you a P. (Once I forgot to write the unit which is actually assumed in reality and I got a P just because of that =_=) but you get the point. You don't need to get all the information in the world to include in your CE. Just write you have observed and what you have learned. You can apply the theories you have learned in school (obviously) to demonstrate and justify your comprehension based on your DCP. If you think what scientists do in reality, they observe and study what they investigate and write state their conclusion based on their knowledge and justify their conclusion. That's exactly what IB wants you to do, if I've got it right.

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