IB Group 4 trip to Evros

IB chemistry, physics and biology students attended a trip to the Evros region from the 11th to the 13th of April. The group 4 project is completed every year by IB1 chemistry, physics and biology students. The aim is for students of all scientific disciplines to work together on a common project. The only information given to students was the theme of their project: soil. Students had already spent several hours planning and researching this topic and designing their own experiments prior to the trip. The visit to the Evros region was to allow students to collect soil samples from a variety of locations and begin their experimental work. All students worked enthusiastically within their groups, and as a team, to develop a common sampling technique; organized procedures for coding their samples and to record important data concerning each location where samples were taken.

Our students visited two of the most important nature reserves in Greece: Dadia national park and the Evros delta. Students had the opportunity to observe a huge variety of bird species and also gained an understanding of the importance of habitat variety and of course the role of soil as part of each habitat! IB students also spent some time volunteering at the WWF office at Dadia forest. Mr Alkis Kafetzis gave us a thought provoking talk on the Egyptian vulture and encouraged discussion on the challenges faced by organizations such as the WWF. Our students’ contribution to one of their campaigns on ‘poison baiting’ was the design of a poster, using natural materials from the forest to help raise awareness. Poison baiting results in the death of many animals, among them many endangered species. Only last month a pair of Egyptian vultures were found poisoned and this small number accounts for 5% of their population in Greece. Further details of each of these organizations can be found at the websites below.

Of course, being a science trip there were also many fun activities including bicycling, canoeing and archery. However, the highlight of the trip was surely the evening of experimental work conducted by the students in the hotel garden after dark, followed by a tour of the night sky by Mr Terzidis!

Since the trip students have been working hard in the laboratory all week to complete their testing of samples. Their results will be collated as part of a poster which will be on display outside room 9 in June.

Dr. Squires and Mr. Terzidis