Headphones on, each member of the group watches their assigned video and considers how it fits into the PYP trans disciplinary theme ‘How the World Works’…
Inquiry into the natural world and its laws, the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.
We’re watching things as diverse as the longest pedestrian suspension bridge, how fish breathe, a poo powered flame thrower, a man-made forest on a river island in India and ice cream that doesn’t melt…
Sharing back with the group provokes discussion about what excites us, connections we see, problems solved and issues raised and the varied aspects each of us might find interesting to explore further. We look at the ways people apply scientific knowledge to solve problems, meet needs, create art…
We check which of the science strands are addressed by the videos and highlight the relevant concepts in each.
This is not a classroom, it’s a collaborative planning session.
The goals are as follows-
- To get the teachers excited about what’s possible
- To highlight the fact that science is everywhere
- To encourage us to observe and notice science around us
- To provoke thinking about the ways humans apply scientific knowledge
- To create a context in which to plan for student learning and inquiry.
We’re planning for our PYP exhibition* unit and it’s the first time we’re exploring it in the theme of ‘How the World Works’.
The teachers are already excited about…
- provoking our learners’ curiosity
- inquiry that is real, relevant and engaging
- opportunities for exploring passions
- the possibilities for creativity and innovation
- observing and really noticing the world
- the potential to change perspectives
- opportunities for learners to use a broad range of skills
- scope for hands-on making and doing
- bringing all the learning from previous years together
- the potential to include the natural world, art, technology, ethics…
And concerned about…
- ensuring it goes beyond being ‘just a science fair’
- opportunities for action as a result of the learning
We’re keen to hear from other PYP practitioners who have explored ‘How the World Works’ for their exhibition units, in particular if it was a dynamic, student centred, passion driven, authentic learning experience for all.
* I hope in the IB PYP review, they decide to replace the term ‘exhibition’. It makes it sound as if the focus is on the product, when the most important aspect should be the process of meaningful, in-depth, personal and collaborative inquiry, drawing together all the skills and attitudes they have developed over time – Learners taking responsibility for their own learning.
6 thoughts on “An inquiry into how the world works…”
We finished our PYPX in late May with the ‘How the World Works’ transdisciplinary theme. Our student’s central idea ‘Human interaction with the environment causes change’. Students from both campuses worked in 1 of 17 groups inquiring into a range of areas from art to desalination to re-wilding and border control. We’ve done our reflection which I’d be happy to discuss and share with you at some stage. I’d ben meaning to discuss with Sam who came and visited too. Perhaps a Skype discussion.
Sounds great. Keen to hear about HTWW as the exhibition focus. I 100% agree that changing the name of the ‘exhibition’ would be a great step.
Love the last paragraph and your suggestion to change the name. I had never thought about it but you are absolutely right!
I completely agree with your suggestion of changing the name of the word”exhibition”.
Also, under HWWW , probably you could look at something like the “Evolution of machines through the ages”. That would be quite an interesting topic to work on with Year 5.