Group 4 (Experimental Sciences)

 

Courses offered:
Biology (SL, HL)
Chemistry (SL, HL)
Physics (SL, HL)

Through studying any of the Group 4 subjects, students should become aware of how scientists work and communicate with each other. While the “scientific method” may take on a wide variety of forms, it is the emphasis on a practical approach through experimental work that distinguishes the group 4 subjects from other disciplines and characterizes each of the subjects within Group 4.

It is in this context that all the Group 4 Experimental Sciences courses should aim to
Provide opportunities for scientific study and creativity within a global context that will stimulate and challenge students;
Provide a body of knowledge, methods and techniques that characterize science and technology;
Enable students to apply and use a body of knowledge, methods and techniques that characterize science and technology;
Develop an ability to analyse, evaluate and synthesize scientific information;
Engender an awareness of the need for, and the value of, effective collaboration and communication during scientific activities
Develop an ability to analyze, evaluate and synthesize scientific information;
Engender an awareness of the need for, and the value of, effective collaboration and communication during scientific activities
Develop experimental and investigative scientific skills;
Develop and apply the students’ information and communication technology skills in the study of science;
Raise awareness of the moral, ethical, social, economic and environmental implications of using science and technology;
Develop an appreciation of the possibilities and limitations associated with science and scientists;
Encourage an understanding of the relationships between scientific disciplines and the overarching nature of the scientific method.

The objectives for all Group 4 subjects reflect those parts of the aims that will be assessed. Wherever appropriate, the assessment will draw upon environmental and technological contexts and identify the social, moral and economic effects of science. It is the intention of all the Diploma Programme experimental science courses that students achieve the following objectives.

1. Demonstrate an understanding of:
 a. scientific facts and concepts
 b. scientific methods and techniques
 c. scientific terminology
 d. methods of presenting scientific information.
2. Apply and use:
 a. scientific facts and concepts
 b. scientific methods and techniques
 c. scientific terminology to communicate effectively
 d. appropriate methods to present scientific information.
3. Construct, analyse and evaluate:
 a. hypotheses, research questions and predictions
 b. scientific methods and techniques
 c. scientific explanations.
4. Demonstrate the personal skills of cooperation, perseverance and responsibility appropriate for
effective scientific investigation and problem solving.
5. Demonstrate the manipulative skills necessary to carry out scientific investigations with precision and safety.

 

A. Biology (SL, HL)

The syllabus for the Diploma Programme Biology course is divided into three parts: the core, the AHL material and the options. A syllabus overview is provided below.

Core
Topic 1: Statistical analysis
Topic 2: Cells
Topic 3: The chemistry of life
Topic 4: Genetics
Topic 5: Ecology and evolution
Topic 6: Human health and physiology


AHL
Topic 7: Nucleic acids and proteins
Topic 8: Cell respiration and photosynthesis
Topic 9: Plant science
Topic 10: Genetics
Topic 11: Human health and physiology


Options SL
Option A: Human nutrition and health
Option B: Physiology of exercise
Option C: Cells and energy


Options SL and HL
Option D: Evolution
Option E: Neurobiology and behavior
Option F: Microbes and biotechnology
Option G: Ecology and conservation
Options HL


Option H: Further human physiology
Students at SL are required to study any two options from A-G. The duration of each option is 15 hours.
Students at HL are required to study any two options from D-H. The duration of each option is 22 hours.


B. Chemistry (SL, HL)


The syllabus for the Diploma Programme Chemistry course is divided into three parts: the core, the options and the AHL material. The Chemistry data booklet is an integral part of the syllabus and should be used in conjunction with the syllabus. Students should use the data booklet during the course, and they should be issued with clean copies of it for the paper 2 and paper 3 examinations.

Core
Topic 1: Quantitative chemistry: This topic contains a lot of Mathematics and is regarded as difficult by many
students. In order to try and keep up student motivation level, it is usually taught after Topics 2, 3, and 4.
Topic 2: Atomic structure
Topic 3: Periodicity
Topic 4: Bonding
Topic 5: Energetics: Another topic with a considerable amount of Mathematics.
Topic 6: Kinetics
Topic 7: Equilibrium
Topic 8: Acids and bases
Topic 9: Oxidation and reduction
Topic 10: Organic chemistry: This topic is a long topic that is evaluated with two quizzes (first half and second
half) to make it more accessible to students.
Topic 11: Measurement and data processing: This topic is short but extremely important, especially for
laboratory reports that include numerical calculations. Therefore, it is usually taught right after Topic
1 and reviewed intermittently throughout the course.

AHL: This material is taught to Higher Level students during the second year of the course, but separately from the Core part of the same topic. For example, Topic 12 is not taught right after finishing Topic 2, because all AHL topics assume that the student already knows the contents of Core topics, which is not the case during the first year.

Topic 12: Atomic structure
Topic 13: Periodicity
Topic 14: Bonding
Topic 15: Energetics
Topic 16: Kinetics
Topic 17: Equilibrium
Topic 18: Acids and bases
Topic 19: Oxidation and reduction
Topic 20: Organic chemistry

Options: This material is taught last after the Core and the AHL simply because its comprehension requires knowledge of all the topics, from Topic 1 to Topic 20.

Options SL and HL
Option A: Modern analytical chemistry
Option B: Human biochemistry: Frequently chosen, especially by students who are concurrently taking IB Biology.
Option C: Chemistry in industry and technology
Option D: Medicines and drugs: Very frequently chosen due to curiosity raised by the high profile of drugs in the media.
Option E: Environmental chemistry: Very popular choice due to its importance in our future and the high profile of environmental matters in the media.
Option F: Food chemistry
Option G: Further organic chemistry

Students at SL are required to study any two options from A-G. The duration of each option is 15 hours, including only "Core" option topics.

Students at HL are required to study any two options from A-G. The duration of each option is 22 hours, including both "Core" and "AHL" option topics.

Students at SL must have laboratory practicals for a total of 40 hours, including 10 hours of the Group 4 Project.

Students at HL must have laboratory practicals for a total of 60 hours, including 10 hours of the Group 4 Project.

D. Physics (SL, HL)


The syllabus for the Diploma Programme Physics course is divided into three parts: the core, the AHL
material and the options. The Physics data booklet is an integral part of the syllabus and should be used in conjunction with the syllabus. Students should use the data booklet during the course, and they should be issued with clean copies for papers 1, 2 and 3 in the examination.

Core
Topic 1: Physics and physical measurement
Topic 2: Mechanics
Topic 3: Thermal physics
Topic 4: Oscillations and waves
Topic 5: Electric currents
Topic 6: Fields and forces
Topic 7: Atomic and nuclear physics
Topic 8: Energy, power and climate change


AHL
Topic 9: Motion in fields
Topic 10: Thermal physics
Topic 11: Wave phenomena
Topic 12: Electromagnetic induction
Topic 13: Quantum physics and nuclear physics
Topic 14: Digital technology


Options
Options SL
Option A: Sight and wave phenomena
Option B: Quantum physics and nuclear physics
Option C: Digital technology
Option D: Relativity and particle physics
Options SL and HL
Option E: Astrophysics
Option F: Communications
Option G: Electromagnetic waves
Options HL
Option H: Relativity
Option I: Medical physics
Option J: Particle physics
Students at SL are required to study any two options from A-G.
The duration of each option is 15 hours.
Students at HL are required to study any two options from E-J.
The duration of each option is 22 hours.

Group 4 - Biology, Chemistry, Physics (HL/SL) Assessment Outline
HL SL % of Final Grade
Practical Work (Lab Reports) Practical Work (Lab Reports) 24 (HL) / 24 (SL)
Paper 1 Paper 1 (Sections 1 and 2) 20 (HL) / 20 (SL)
Paper 2 Paper 2 (Sections 1, 2, & 3) 36 (HL) / 32 (SL)
Paper 3 Paper 3 20 (HL) / 24 (SL)