Group 4, Group Who? IB Students Wade Through Confusion


Olivia Chewning

Group Gripes: Juniors Sally Witt and Mack Walker present their IB Group 4 projects on lead bullets.

From the Extended Essay to the TOK project and everything in between, IB juniors (and seniors) have a lot on their plates. Group 4 — the science project given to IB juniors — was just one more thing for these students to handle. The project worried IB juniors as they felt as if they received minimum information and time to work on the assignment itself. 

Juniors felt anxious and confused as the November 16 deadline for the project is fast approached and most students didn’t even have a topic. The IB science teachers had mostly given out vague statements and unhelpful information on Group 4. “I didn’t know what Group 4 is and my teacher had explained nothing! My friends and I are going into this blind,” said junior Gabriela Oliveros.  

So, what is it? Group 4 is a research project similar to the science fair in which students choose a science related topic and complete an investigation with three other members. Most groups are comprised of four students, at least one from each of the scientific disciplines: biology, physics, and chemistry. Each member is responsible for taking on the perspective of their science. This project is designed to be worked on outside of class and helps to develop collaboration and teamwork skills, which might be the reason most teachers have only briefly mentioned the project in class.

The project itself is not too back-breaking and is expected to only take roughly 10 hours to complete. That may seem like a lot but is only a short amount of time compared to the time-consuming reflective project or the Extended Essay. “I wasn’t stressed about how long it will take, I was more worried about what the project actually is,” said junior Cole Bickerstaff.

IB students have multiple essays and projects to look forward to throughout their junior and senior years and Group 4 was just another ball to juggle. While the project wasn’t the hardest thing these students will have to complete, as of right now, it was the most confusing. With almost no direction from teachers and most students not even knowing when the due date is, hopefully students were able to get their acts together to complete the task.