Experimenting within new frontiers

For the first time in the history of the program, the higher-level Diamond Bar High School science International Baccalaureate (IB) program students were invited to conduct their mini-project experiments at the Huntington Library on Nov. 16 as part of their science curriculum this year.

The project’s purpose is to help the students connect science to the world around them and further their learning in the IB program.

“The trip was a nice opportunity to relax in the middle of the week before going into Thanksgiving break, but we still made the most out of it in terms of learning and continuing to expand our interest in natural science,” senior Ryan Chung said via text.

In previous years, the students created scientific reports on their own time for about 10 hours of work: five hours outside of school and five hours with the field trip. This year, however, the IB science teachers—Jose Marquez, Angela Jensvold, Diana Wai and Margaret Ku—planned a trip to the Huntington Library which accounted for five of these hours. 

The students were grouped across the three sciences—physics, chemistry, and biology—so the experiments would be inclusive of all scientific perspectives.

“My group’s project is about determining the maximum distance a balloon will remain attracted to hair after it has been rubbed against the hair for a certain duration,” senior Zachary Asawesna said via text. 

Asawesna’s group spent a few hours discussing possible experiments and scenarios they could test at the library as well as dividing up the experimentation summary video presentation and paper; the presentation needed to include physics, chemistry and biology aspects to earn full credit. The library gave them plenty of space and time to experiment, gather data and create a conclusion for their experiment.

In addition to the time for conducting experiments, the staff of the Huntington Library offered a tour of the art museums and Japanese, Chinese, Australian and rose gardens.

“The field trip helped our project by inspiring creativity within us. If we were to do a project like this on our own without the field trip, then I don’t think we would’ve finished by now,” Asawesna said via text.

For many students, the field trip provided motivation to finish their mini-projects and many of the IB students expressed that the visit was a good opportunity to further enhance their understanding of the sciences.