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I'm an SL Chemistry student, and I'm pretty decent in chem so I don't mind doing a difficult experiment (the only reason I'm not doing HL is because I'm hoping to enter a more humanities based field.)  The thing is, because I'm hoping to become a diplomat instead of a scientist, I'm really struggling to come up with a potential personal engagement, however, I found a plausible one.  If I do a database IA focusing on drugs (perhaps illegal drugs like cocaine or opium), then I could connect it to my aspirations to work with people to solve global issues as a  diplomat and drugs are a huge problem in modern society.  I've found a database I can work off of (because I don't think the IB wants me taking crack to school for my IA), but I have no idea what to do as a potential experiment/research question.  Sorry to prattle on, but does anyone have an idea for a drug centered database IA?

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You've clearly put effort into this, but unfortunately we can't give you ideas - we can only help you shape them.

It's an interesting idea, but I'd be wary of them since I've heard (from my school at least) that database questions don't do as well as practicals. However, if it helps, have you thought about using simulations? No idea how you could fit that in with a database but perhaps it might provide some assistance?

I'd also like to point out that it isn't necessarily your desired area of interest that must shape your IA. Did you find any of the experiments you did in class interesting? Have you looked at ways you could expand on that experiment? That counts as personal engagement! Are you interested in the environment? Have you thought about titrations, the Winkler method, something to do with pH then? How about your hobbies - do they have something that you could relate with Chemistry? Baking products, or something like that?

Personal engagement can also be demonstrated in how you do your experiment - if you do an experiment in a manner that's different to how it's normally done and explain it, that also counts! IB isn't (hopefully) trying to be a pain with the personal engagement, but I do presume they want people to be genuinely interested in their topics, and sometimes, it's just a way of finding things that fit your interests and the mark scheme.

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