Semester Reflection: Our learner profile

As we end our first semester of IB Chemistry I can’t help but reflect on the quality of thinking demonstrated by the new owners of Chemical Paradigms. They had a strong act to follow, but you have to be impressed by the way they have stepped up to the challenge.

As a class, you are definitely becoming a community of independent thinkers, but you each have your own unique voice. You have tackled some complex science topics, and worked hard to deepen your knowledge and application of science to the real world, your world. Most importantly you have been open to sharing your new ideas and different ways of thinking.

To celebrate your work nominate the blog/s that you think best demonstrate the characteristics, we value most. A blog could be nominated for one or more of these categories.

  • Curiosity: Their research shows a love and enjoyment of learning.
  • Knowledge: Explored concepts, ideas and issues that have local and/or global significance.
  • Thinking: Use their thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex ideas and issues in Science.
  • Communication: Understand and express ideas and information confidently and clearly.
  • Open-mindedness: They seek out points of view that are different to their own. For example different academic traditions, cultures, and experiences.
  • Risk Taking: They approach unfamiliar or challenging topics with an independent spirit.
  • Reflective: They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations.
  • TOK Talk: Integrated TOK and Science thinking skills
  • Connections: Able to make strong connections between science and other area of knowledge.

So, spend a moment reflecting, and with strong justification (of course) nominate a blog you think best represents the spirit of that category.

Nominations due by Sunday December 18th

20 thoughts on “Semester Reflection: Our learner profile

  1. I nominate Kevin Zhu’s “Soap, An Overlooked Friend” for TOK section.Just like its title, the post explores one of the most “taken-for-granted” objects of our lives. The author clearly shows his interest in learning by questioning our common understanding instead of blindly accepting what is told. One of the main objectives in TOK is to question our knowledge and ask our selves whether what we know is right or wrong. Therefore I nominate Kevin Zhu’s post for the TOK section.

  2. I am nominating Tina Choi’s post for the ‘Knowledge’ category. Her topic ties into the Chilean miners’ rescue, an ordeal that arose global concerns. In her post, she ties this issue to a scientific and technical standpoint, bringing up perspective from different areas. The impact of the situation was also expressed on both a local and global scale, creating links that show depth in her thought process.

  3. I nominate Ravi’s “Geo-Engineering, AKA Plan B” because his blog post relates to world issue and other courses that he takes. The blog post also shows his understanding on ToK. Since he approaches to the issue from different point of views, from economic point of view and environmental point of view. Like in ToK writing, he uses great counter point in the blog post and show different sides of the issue. Also, it is easy to follow his path of thinking throughout the post.

  4. I nominate Ji Young’s blog posting: “Why Does Ice Float?” for both the TOK and Connections section. This is because her post is making a strong connection to what we learn in class about bonding and permanent dipole forces. Furthermore, she’s relating the blog post to what she herself has experienced in real life, that is her mom telling her not to fill a water bottle to the top when freezing it. In addition, the author has also shown her interest in learning by not just accepting the fact that you shouldn’t fill a water bottle to the max when freezing it, but instead finds out the reason as to why one shouldn’t fill a water bottle to the brink when putting it in the freezer. Since one of the primary objectives in TOK is not just to accept what you’re told but to also understand and question the validity of what you’re being told, the author has done a splendid job of understanding the reason behind why you shouldn’t fill a bottle to the brink when freezing water in a bottle. Hence, I am nominating Ji Young’s blog post for both the TOK and Connections section.

  5. I nominate Zara’s post, “The Physics of Basketball” for the ‘Connections’ category. Her blog post used scientific research to connect the fundamental ideas of basketball with physics. The writing showed a clear enjoyment of learning, while still providing relevant and understandable parallels with the dribbling, passing, and shooting concepts of basketball. One of the best connections was in her second-to-last paragraph, where she discussed how she “decided to apply the physics to [her] own game…Now that I know the reasoning behind why I should spin the ball or pass higher, it seems logical and I do it on instinct.”

  6. I vote Eddy’s blog post “Will drinking alcohol keep you warm?” for the “Curiousity” category (though it could count as the ‘Connections’ category as well). Through Eddy’s blog post, his curiousity of the claim that drinking alcohol in sub-zero temperatures was clear as he explored the misconception that alcohol will make one warm. Eddy also adds an implication to tie in his learning to what it means, which also shows a love of learning and understanding of its importance.

  7. I nominate Nate’s post on the Jabulani football for the knowledge category. The post showed great insight on how the physics of the ball had a devastating impact on the World Cup games. The post efficiently demonstrated the level of influence the actual football has on the game, as well as how the technical aspects of the Jabulani ball made it ‘appalling, horrible, and very sad.’ Overall the author made certain that he not only brought forth the issue but also told the readers the significance of the issue on a global scale.

  8. I nominate Frank’s post that is about the Wolverine’s claw for curiosity and communication category. The post clearly showed how he could come up with the curiosity how the Wolverine’s claw, which is made up of adamantium has been made and whether it actually can exist or not. Also, during the course of explaining substitute substance, liquidmetal, I could definitely see that he had enjoyed researching it from the fact that he has firsthand experience of using tennis racquet that is made with liquidmetal. He appreciated that he could actually use powerful alloy. Also, he explained the concept of liquidmetal clearly so that the readers can understand it easily.

  9. I would nominate Jiyoung’s post for the connections category, as her post displayed very strong connections to both her personal life and the material that we were studying in class. This was exemplified by her stories of her mother’s warnings not to leave a filled water bottle in the freezer, and of course the explanation for this anomaly using material that we learnt in class. Overall, a great post!

  10. I nominate Weisong’s “Shocked by a Dam” post for three categories: curiosity, communication, and open-mindedness. His post demonstrates curiosity because almost every one of us have probably worked with circuits in our lives before; however, how many of us actually try to expand our learning from in the classroom to application in the real world? Weisong’s post not only approaches a question about how things actually function in the real world but also portrays a passion for the subject with the apparent research done.
    I also believe that his blog communicates with readers extremely effectively. He conveys his knowledge succinctly, and even uses moving animations to make sure readers understand his topic.
    Lastly, by mentioning and explaining about his own personal bias and then transitioning to another perspective that would not usually be his, Weisong’s post illustrates an open-mindedness aspect. He proves to understand the other perspectives even though they are different from his own.
    Overall, this is a very well written post that consistently engages the reader.

  11. I would like to nominate Wei Song’s post, “Shocked by a Dam” for the following categories of curiosity, knowledge, communication and TOK. As an example of curiosity, this blog post demonstrates the effort he put into researching and thinking about this topic showing a genuine interest in it. For the category of knowledge, this post meets the criteria as he took an idea from a simple circuit in physics class and explored its impact on a larger scale, of how electricity is supplied to everyone in Shanghai. Furthermore, he clearly communicates his ideas, and takes the reader on a journey from the beginning of his post to the end. His initial line of questioning is presented and his progression from his from his idea is clearly shown and the science behind it is effectively explained. Finally, in terms of TOK he did a very thorough job recognizing his own personal bias on the topic and acknowledging different perspectives. The aforementioned justifications I believe this post should be considered for all four categories.

  12. I would like to nominate Zara’s blog of “The Physics of Basketball” for the category of Curiosity. Zara’s posts shows a deep pursuit of the knowledge of something that we don’t usually associate with knowledge, Basketball. Zara’s post also goes into the category of communication because she wrote it in a really clear manner and it was easy to read and fallow because she broke down the sciences to different sections of the sport into the fundamentals. This also shows the deep understanding of the subject she was investigating and it truly shows her curiosity to understand the science behind basketball. This post was very well written and it helps the reader grasp a deeper understanding of what Zara wanted them to grasp about Basketball and how you can apply science to something in your everyday life like the sports you play.

  13. I nominate Richard’s post, “Recovering the Ozone Layer Boosts Global Warming”, for the Knowledge category. His post provides an in-depth analysis of one of the major issues facing the world today: global warming. By investigating a common misconception about how the ozone layer affects the environment, he takes a problem we’ve all heard about and provides an interesting new perspective. Furthermore, he relates the global issue to our everyday lives, drawing upon his experiences in MUN and questioning how we really can live environmentally friendly.

  14. I nominate Amelie’s blog post for curiousity and communication. It shows curiosity and her hirst for knowledge. Based on a simple experience of riding an airplane, Amelie extends this further and investigates why air cabins are pressurized and concludes by emphasizing the necessity of oxygen. The blog post contains drawings of puffed up potato chips. It also contains logical reasonings which flow from one topic to the next through rhetorical questions. Her clarity in communication enhances her blog post as a whole, for it makes it more easier and interesting to read.
    Amelie’s blog post is very interesting and informative. (:

  15. I nominate Kevin J’s blog posting: ” The “Journey” of Music to Your Ears”. for curiosity and communication. It shows his curiosity for the science behind the daily activities such as listening to music on the way to home and school. He expended his curiosity into how digital file can be transformed into audible noise. The language used in the passage is very clear and through. He first provides the reader with a question and basic informations how MP3 files work. It helps the reader to develop greater understanding and to keep their interest to the passage. Therefore I nominate Kevin J’s posting for curiousity and communication.

  16. I nominate Kim’s reply on the article”‘Dying” Your Hair for the risk taking category. Her very first blog was a response to anther student’s chosen topic, which demostrates risk taking because it requires digging deeper into the subject or expanding in another direction so as broaden thinking and actively reflect. In replying to a post one must not repeat themselves and represent ideas and thoughts in an more orginal manner so as to avoid merely copying the original author. Kim’s reply did a very good job of this, not only did she expand sucessfully upon the previous author’s topic she also incoporated and clarified the science behind it all. Kim sucessfully adds her own voice and perspective to the issue of “dying hair,” her “risky” albeit sucessful reply is the reason for my nomination for her post in the risk taking category.

  17. I nominate Zara’s post “The Physics of Basketball” as being the post that best reflects “connections”. I felt that Zara did a pretty good job of linking physics to the different fundamental aspects of basketball, helping to show how the game of basketball is made possible. The post helped make me see that scientific concepts have a much more influential role in things in our everyday lives than I had previously thought, as shown by the way she uses physics to explain dribbling, passing and shooting. The fact that she also mentions an intention to use the things discovered in her research to improve her game just shows how well she made the connections between science and everyday life, as it shows evidence of an intention to apply the things she learned to further benefit her in everyday life.

  18. I nominate Jiyoung’s post for the connections category. Her post not only connected to the topic we were learning in class: bonding, but also connected to her personal life where her mother told her not to freeze a full bottle of water. The connection between bonding and a real life experience demonstrates how a complex theory in science is present in everyday life . This is why I nominate Jiyoung’s post for the connections category.

  19. I nominate Emily’s post “The Pursuit of Happiness” for thinking category. Emily talked about her childhood experience about “happiness” and approached complex ideas of Science. We repeatedly say “happy” but didn’t actually know how and why we feel happy. In Emily’s post, Emily mentioned that dopamine acts like “reward system” to make us feel happy. She did very nice job with relating her childhood memories with commonly used word “happy” to the world of Science. After reading this post, I notice the release of dopamine whenever I feel happy.

  20. I nominate Nataly’s post “Fight or Flight” under the category of curiosity. The post contains a tone that demonstrated love and enjoyment of learning. Through the post it became very apparent, that the subject in which Nataly was presenting she had interest in. Her connection to the emotions that she is feeling, with the physical and scientific response the human body has, demonstrates a true curiosity, and willingness to learn. In my psychology class we had just learn about the topic of stress and through the reading of Nataly’s post I was able to understand the scientific connect to stress.

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