Aveek's CAS Final Interview
18 months of hard work will change a man for the next 18 years.
18 months of hard work will change a man for the next 18 years.
By the end of the process, especially for our team, there was a huge sigh of relief and intense reflection on the journey we had been on for the past couple of months, just trying to get the mind-numbing press agency-level work done. Looking back, a huge amount of collaboration was shoved into this project because not only did we have to connect with our teams own members, but had to coordinate with other teams such as photography and even answer to the chair at the same time! Truly a test of our multitasking and adaptability.
Even some fun along the way?
Yes! of course. During the photo sessions when some people didn’t show up, we had free time to kill and since it was the last shoot on a Friday, nothing much to do. So, we decided to dress 2 mannequins up with said persons’ faces on them to have a hilarious joke that actually aligned with their superlative category win (Late to graduation). Although this was a joke we can recognize that this was quick thinking gon our part instead of complaining to the upper echelons and missing the entire opportunity to take a photo to fill that space. Relates to LO2 or LO3 and overall growth mindsets.
Below are the pictures for your enjoyment!
The remaining (actual) photos are here
The outcome is an actual magazine which our whole school will read and it will immortalise us, the graduating class into half its pages. I feel like taking this activity this year really was a personal interest as well just to understand how and to be properly remembered in the yearbook’s pages. The yearbook will be published later so there is nothing to show currently but rest assured it’s coming!
How was the investigation?
Like all other activities, the school system was used to register for sign-ups. The vast number of clubs on the school directory and convincing 1 paragraph descriptions of each one really helped me decide which activities I wanted depending on how much I wanted to exit my comfort zone. This allows me to pursue the CAS learning outcomes in a SMART way. From an entire past year’s worth of experiences under my belt, I decided in a reflective and balanced way that when I move to G12, I would take something that puts me extremely out of my comfort zone but at the same time being something I was passionate about, but never got the chance to do before. So I chose the yearbook club/committee. Mainly my train of thought went over to LO2 which was assessing risks and taking them because I believe that a growth mindset is extremely necessary to survive and thrive and today’s world.
How did the preparation go?
I would say that preparing for something as big and taxing as the yearbook club was simply every past IB leadership, creative or innovative event I have ever attended. To highlight one of these for clarity, we can take the example of the Group 4 Project where we had to efficiently collaborate with peers from different sciences and come up with solutions in only a limited amount of time. Combined with some past speeches I had given at my school, it gave me the final confidence and push I needed to convince myself by saying “Yes, today I will commit to a new challenge!”.
Other preparation included reviewing the past works of all the teams that came before us. Other preparation was the assignment of teams, which were assigned by the committee chair and co-chair. There were many teams, each having many students, along with teachers helping moderate and rationalise the process.
The teams were:
The team names themselves clearly stipulate their roles. Each team had their own Google Drive sub-folder in the main Yearbook folder in which they could keep track of their individual progress and report to the chair with solid evidence of work. This was also the main place for planning and schedules.
Complete Link (might not be accessible to everyone)
Some of the planning documents (Senior pages team):
The planning and the action usually went hand-in-hand since we were such a big committee dependent on so many students submitting work on time so we had to change schedules or swap around a few things even at the last minute which really proved our resilience and adaptability to bran new challenges, this again relates to the learning outcome of collaboration.
I want to explicitly state that throughout this process we were extremely cautious of our environmental impacts and did most things online while minimising carbon emissions through transport by usually encouraging people to take the school bus or only stay back on days they can carpool with other students. Relating to LO6
LO7 of ethics was also an actual major concern since certain topics or themes or representations were not allowed on the yearbook as at the end of the day we were a school and had to maintain our dignity. Many debates ensued about certain ouns which were on thin ice or certain students who did not want to be nominated for certain superlatives because of social reasons or other concerns.
The last image shows some of our superlatives and winners for you, the reader’s amusement!
I believe we spent an exceptional amount of hours even outside normal meeting times to get this going the correct way so learning outcomes 3 and 4 have mostly been met.
Learning Outcome Highlights:
LO1 – Strengths and Perceptions about the world of Astronomy were improved through a reserved time specifically for explorations outside the syllabus. Knowledge of Physics was improved through academically styled presentations by students and through experimental demonstrations and viewings of astronomical concepts/objects.
LO3 – Persistence to a CAS activity was seen throughout because topics discussed usually linked to our extended essays, projects or class tests whenever possible.
LO7 – Ethical concerns such as the environment or experimental laws were deeply taken into consideration while conducting an experiment. These were also briefly talked about if only learning about certain experiments. Since one of the main focuses of science is always rooted in ethical and environmental considerations (as we saw in our IAs as well), this was always part of the discussion when certain moon landings were investigated or animals sent to places such as mars in the future.
During the science fair, most of the following experiments were done by us in groups of 2-3 and displayed and explained.
At the end of my EE writing process, certain considerations came to my mind. The first possible improvement was the sample size of data used, both for Neural Network training and comparing the NN with the algorithm. Using larger data sets might’ve reduced the chances of error lower than I’d predicted, but like all scientific experiments 100% accuracy is never achievable. Secondly, the problem of overtraining the NN as it reacts differently to different types of data sets, showing that the NN might find unintended sarcasm, this is inversely relatable to the algorithm’s ability to detect irony. However, my results answered my research question and gave insight into my original goal to efficiently settle any political debate with the help of computers. My research can help companies wanting to efficiently mine customer trends and have ethical consequences like election vote swinging. My research begged the question “What is privacy today with the widespread use of data mining to mould our every choice?”. Computer science must have ethical considerations, and this has opened a new area of interest for me, I want to conduct further personal research on this and even study it in university.
Has the positivity challenge had an impact? Have you considered different ways to view happiness? Has any of this changed your outlook? Are you still a cynic? Tell us. Remember, journaling about a positive experience can be beneficial, and failing that, having a good moan also feels good! Reading one of the articles below might help you prompt your thinking.
The positivity challenge has had a major impact on my life and taught me how to go about life in a different way. in fact, the positivity challenge has been so helpful that I have spread it to members of my family as well and they have thanked me for introducing it in their lives. I am still cynical because that is how I am and that is what life is at the end of the day, you can’t go against society! One positive experience that I do every night before going to bed is that I think of a positive experience and this positively benefits me.
The sign-up for this activity was also done through the school system. My motivation for joining this activity was honestly purely personal preference rather than anything. Although some of the Learning Outcomes have indeed been met, it was purely organic and not anything specific that I was trying to achieve. For many years now, I have had an active interest in Anime, Manga and Japanese Culture; in my previous school, there was no outlet for me to have meaningful conversations with like-minded people. When I realised that I had the opportunity to interact with other people of the same interests, I did not hesitate to take that opportunity. I would like to emphasize that the purpose of this CAS experience was mainly for personal growth but also for me to be actively aware of nuances in other cultures as well as build everlasting bonds with people who understand and respect our mutual interests.
Our roles and responsibilities were clearly defined from the start and there was not much debate about it mainly due to the fact that we were a small club. The leaders assigned themselves as this club was only recently formed and daily activities were being morphed every month until the right balance of various types of activities was found. The rest of us (apart from the leaders) were given the main responsibility to always engage with activities to the best of our abilities. A clear plan of action was formed with certain activities in mind distributed over a few months. Some of these activities were:
All of the above activities mentioned were carried forward on a weekly need-to-know basis since we were only a small group and plans were easily changeable, this was the aspect of decision making that cam einto organising our club activities since on some occasions we couldn’t make it to the club as it was during lunchtime. Luckily all of us were very decisive people and changed and if we felt that everyone was not present to enjoy what we were originally going to do. Not many problems arose in our club but when it did it was something minor and we had a proper discussion with the person who was experiencing the problem and easily solved it.
Slides were made every week for that week’s agenda, which are on our website. Other h=things on our website include our recommendations, our favourite Japanese music, our favourite genres, our best quizzes and much more!
Link here – https://sites.google.com/view/amgdclub/about?authuser=0
From the above reflection, it can be inferred that the following learning outcomes were achieved:
Images and other evidence;
Unfortunately, while I was doing my individual presentation, I forgot to ask someone to record it, honestly because I was having too much fun giving the presentation and didn’t have time to think about recording it. But other some other pictures are below.
Club Members Photo Above
The sign-up was done through the school system while browsing through the system I noticed this wonderful opportunity to design the school yearbook. I always wanted to design the yearbook and wanted to take this small risk and start designing it during my final year.
We planned the schedule of what pieces ro design, I decided to join the senior quotes and a references section in the yearbook which is a very important responsibility> So we had to design the typeset and printing formats as well as superlatives and senior quotes.
Currently, we have decided on the superlative categories after painstaking deliberation. We have also decided on the printing and typesetting formats and colours. We have to now decide on 2 questions to ask every senior and record their answers under their name and picture. Each student will get half a page so we have to decide on what goes on each section. We have to start voting on people for each superlative category and also arrange for photographs with adequate props. Then we have to receive each student’s (Grade 12) indivuidual photo for the regular pages.
I think I have achieved LO2 because I had to come out of my comfort zone to actively collaborate with people and make sure my voice is heard which went smoother than I expected it to go. I think I also achieve LO1 which is my strengths as I am good at graphic design and good with technology already, I am a great addition to the team in facilitating any digital hiccups that might arise
People’s varying political views urged me to see if a computer could provide an accurate analysis. My previous algorithm was unsuitable due to comparison issues, so I used IntenCheck API and Keras/TensorFlow neural network, which are robust pieces of software that output data in a comparable format, on a scale of 0 to 100 for the value of every sentiment in text. I feel that the strongly opinionated tweets were a good way to test the accuracy of both pieces of software. Since analysing sentiments is always subjective, I used consensus to minimise the errors in classifying the tweets’ data sets. Then checking their accuracy by comparing results, I took the ratio of their results to draw up extendable conclusions. My decision to switch the algorithm and overall focused research approach will benefit me in overcoming challenges in future research papers as well. Conducting this experiment has increased my knowledge of AI, such as limitations in power consumption and storage.
The sign-up for astronomy club was done through the school system. I was first introduced to the club through my love of physics, some of my friends encouraged me to try something which I had not done before. My previous knowledge of astronomy also helped me make the decision to join in order to use my strengths/ previous knowledge (LO1) and to learn new things and challenge my thinking (LO2) with new ideas. My diverse group of peers also gave me a better perspective into varying perspectives in astronomy. Another reason for my motivation to join the astronomy club was that I took HL physics and our school takes the astrophysics option, therefore the astronomy club was an excellent prerequisite.
G12 Note: The astronomy club was helpful and I’m realising this to its full effect now because I can see the change in my ease of understanding while currently studying the Astrophysics option.
Since we were a new group of students who came together for the joy of astronomy, none of us knew each other very well. So, the first few weeks of experiences were planned through unanimous voting procedures until we were comfortable enough with each other to nominate leaders. Since we were in grade 11, it was difficult for many of us to bear the responsibilities of being a leader and keeping up with the IB. On this note, the leaders were Grade 9s and 10s who were very dedicated. The main preparation we underwent was for a science fair our school organised at that time, the purpose of this event was a chance for all the high school science activity clubs coming together and showcasing their amazing work. Preparation was done in terms of mental fortitude and awareness so that we always stayed positive throughout the course of the activity even if things didn’t always go the way we wanted them to. The second thing that we needed to prepare ourselves for was collaborating and sharing our ideas and ultimately presenting them in front of the group for peer assessment. We were also given the chance to introduce the class to wonderful astrophysics demonstration experiments that were feasible in the lab nut helped us understand a certain phenomenon of the universe.
During my time attending the astronomy club, we conducted many different types of experiments relating to astronomy but sometimes to other fields of science also. Some activities that took place were:
All of these activities were repeated in a semi-cyclical manner most of the time. Sometimes many people wanted a different activity or a repetition of a previous activity because they might have found it very interesting and engaging.