Celebrating PYP Exhibition: “How the World Works”

The fifth graders celebrated their PYP Exhibition last Friday, May 4th with a focus on “How the World Works.” This is a celebration of the culmination of their PYP experience in an IB School.  According to the IB Handbook, “Students are required to engage in a collaborative, transdisciplinary inquiry process that involves them in identifying, investigating and offering solutions to real-life issues or problems.”  

There are a number of key purposes to the Exhibition. One purpose is “for students to engage in an in-depth, collaborative inquiry.” This year, students split into four interest groups centered around design in robotics, biomimicry, and structures. Students researched in these areas and used the design cycle to solve a problem in the school community.

Demonstrating Independence and Responsibility

Another purpose of the Exhibition is “to provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate independence and responsibility for their own learning.”  Students were encouraged to conduct their own research based on central ideas and lines of inquiry they created. They used these as a guide to setting up their own key concept questions to guide their research.

Another purpose is “to provide students with an opportunity to explore multiple perspectives.”  Students were encouraged to explore their central ideas through a variety of perspectives. Students explored the concept of when to question the development of robotics, how and when to design buildings safe from natural disasters or the strength of various forces, and how the use of biomimicry can use the understanding of how the world works to better design new inventions.

The next purpose of the exhibition can be more challenging for students new to the PYP programme, “for students to synthesize and apply their learning of previous years and to reflect upon their journey through the PYP.”  However, all students this year were able to apply their learning to the five essential elements of the PYP.

The next purpose of the exhibition is to “to provide an authentic process for assessing student understanding.”  Students were able to self-reflect and take the assessments of peers, parents, and teachers to reflect on their understanding of their inquiries.

Another purpose of the Exhibition is “to demonstrate how students can take action as a result of their learning.” This year, students used the design cycle to design a robot to pick up trash in the hallways, a fish feeder to feed the classroom fish on holidays, a robot to remind students to clean up after themselves in the canteen, a model of an EC playground for our school, and a prototype of a new shade cover for the K-2 playground inspired by the way in which leaves bend down and bounce back up after water and other items land on top of them.

The next purpose of the Exhibition is “to unite the students, teachers, parents and other members of the school community in a collaborative experience that incorporates the essential elements of the PYP.” The students this year worked with mentors from both the primary and secondary schools, AP Physics students, Dr. Santiago, Ms. Desfosses, Mr. Michael, Pak Teguh and his team, the EC teachers, the makerspace ASA students, and a visiting professor from Canada to name a few of the many community members involved in this year’s collaboration.

Celebrating the Transition to Middle/Secondary Education

The last key purpose of the PYP Exhibition is “to celebrate the transition of learners from primary to middle/secondary education.”  This celebration was evident last Friday when fifth graders shared their learning and on-going desire to learn more about the inquiries they went into during the Exhibition journey.

The students should be proud of their hard work and dedication to this long-term research and design cycle process.  The Exhibition allowed them to prove to themselves and others they are ready to take on the more long-term project-based challenges of the middle school program.  Congratulations to all students and thank you to the entire community for supporting us throughout the Exhibition journey this year!

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