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.
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.
Main focus was on LO4, LO5, LO6, LO7
The reason why i joined this service in particular is because i believe that children are the future, and i feel that helping nurture children from who come from rough financial backgrounds is an excellent way to make them a vital part of the future society.
First we discussed where our strengths lie, then according to the four ways of service, we went on to formulate questions relating to how we could help the children better, our first few weeks were used to plan and visit the children’s nursery twice. Once to interact more with the kids, and the other to ask important questions to their teachers.
The four ways of service followed were
In groups, we also noted down our relative strengths and weaknesses, below is a link to the working document
Here is a picture of the centre visited
Also referring back to the working document, we decided upon people who might hold certain roles such as chair, communications officer and logistics officer. I put myself forward for communications officer because my strengths lie in technology and also photography.
We are planning for the arrival of the kids to our campus in the following months. I am looking forward to it
Somehow its a nostalgic feeling seeing those kids, it reminds me of how i might have been at their age. This service shows me how even us, a small group can make a change in these children’s lives. Helping them grow up like normal children despite their financial background.
The activities which we planned will probably be on my next reflection but for i am only talking about the preliminary things/ ideas we have done/learnt.
So firstly this service helped me realise (up till now) my dtrengths which i thought were passive or not useful or i did not even consider it a strength, for example: speaking different languages, having an interest in computers, got at concentrating. Now previously i did not have any large scale experiences with kids so these strengths helped me scout out possible roles that i could do, for example: photograph and record important parts of the activity, technical help, controlling the kids. One thing that has come to light on the contrary is that after meeting the kids i realised that they do not open up at first, and the problem is that i am very inward myself as well, therefore i would like to improve the ways in which i converse and engage them. Honestly I would like to say that my greatest improvement has been in understanding how a service is planned out and how we can make a difference in the kids’ lives, it has also slightly improved my collaborative skills as well, and my knowledge about the development of young children. Over the weeks, i began contributing more ideas to class and group discussions as i became more well versed with the service, also upon the second time visiting the kids, i was more confident in starting and engaging them in conversation, I believe that the above is evidence of my improvement. I struggled/ still struggle in some area mainly because of my lack of expertise in this type of service, i believe my personality also might have something to do with it
Unfortunately there are no photos of the children at the nursery as they were many other children and teachers present there however we/I am able to click as many photos of them when they start coming to our campus for weekly activities in season 2