This year, the Grade 5 IB PYP Exhibition looked quite different as the entire process from group work to checking in with mentors had to be done online.
One of the most significant events in an IB PYP school is the Grade 5 Exhibition. Held each year, it is the culmination of a student’s experience in the Primary Years Programme. It is a chance for students to celebrate their learning with the entire school community and marks their transition from the PYP to MYP (Middle Years Programme).
This year, the Grade 5 IB PYP Exhibition looked quite different as the entire process from group work to checking in with mentors had to be done online. Running over four weeks, the exhibition is a way for students to explore, document and share their understanding of an issue or opportunity of personal significance.
This year, the theme for the Grade 5 Exhibition was ‘How the World Works,’ an inquiry into how humans use an understanding of scientific principles. Students were given a list of issues/opportunities to explore, which included:
- The science behind toys.
- Repurposing things we might otherwise throw away.
- Modifying recipes for health benefits.
- Materials engineering (use of simple machines and scientific principles).
- Maintaining a bicycle and understanding how it works.
- Investigating the power of wind.
- Growing your own food.
- Designing and building gardens for pollinators.
The students chose the theme they each wanted to explore and then were tasked to think of a maker project to help explore the issue or opportunity.
Jasmine chose to modify recipes for baked chocolate goods and fruit smoothies. She researched replacements for chocolate and sugars while testing out new recipes. Her biggest challenge was the ratio for the substituted ingredients.
“The process was very fun, but also challenging,” she said. “Getting the right amount of bananas in a recipe is sometimes nearly impossible. You need patience and can't expect it to turn out the way you want it to the first try.”
Ben chose to learn how to maintain a bicycle for his project. He started with an old rusty bicycle and turned it into a shiny and safe bike.
“My maker project was important to me because I only started riding a bike a year and a half ago I didn’t know a lot about bike parts,” he said. “I learned it’s possible to take a piece of trash and turn it into a shiny, fresh, ridable, smooth polished bike.”
To guide this final unit of inquiry, the Grade 5s used the Design Cycle which follows the pattern of ask, imagine, plan, create and improve.
Because of COVID-19, students weren’t able to work on the projects at school. Mrs. Leanne Giommi, IB PYP Coordinator, explained that this enabled the exhibition to become bigger and allowed students to do their first choice of project.
“Because we did it at home, whatever they wanted to do the students could do,” she explained. “Normally in exhibitions, they give us their top three choices, and then the teachers create the groups. This time they could do whatever they were most interested in.”
The students were still in groups and had the opportunity to meet online twice a week with a mentor to help them check-in and make sure they were on track.