Anri Chikada ‘22 thinks that science can help reduce food waste and she’s conducting an experiment as part of her Internal Assessment (IA) to make a difference. An IA is a key piece of the IB diploma program that challenges students to design and carry out an independent investigation.
UWC-USA biology students are beginning their internal assessment investigations and Anri, who is from Japan, is investigating conditions that slow fungus development on tomatoes. IAs at UWC-USA require students to develop a research question that connects to a biology topic, perform background research, determine a hypothesis, select variables, create a materials list and procedure, determine how they will collect data, record and transform their results, conduct statistical analysis, develop an explanation, and evaluate to what degree their results support their hypothesis.
UWC-USA biology teacher, Pandie Anderson finds this particular experiment compelling. “The IB,” she said, “loves seeing simple yet elegant experimental design that connects to students’ personal engagement with their topic. Anri’s work so far is elegant because it is simple and has explanatory power. In other words, it is relevant to her hypothesis and it describes the experiment effectively.”