The group 4 project is a piece of work that all IB students have to do – it is so important for you to do this, that you fail the Diploma if you do not do it.  As such, your school should be making you aware of this very soon now.


For those that do not know, the project is unusual in that, the process you go through is far more important than the actual outcome.  The idea is that you work with other students in a multidisciplinary way.  This may sound a little strange so I would explain it in the following way:  there are 3 phases to the project …


1.  The Planning Phase.


The aim of this stage is for each small group of students (approx 6) to come up with a suggestion for the Global Title of the G4 Project.  The students in the Planning teams should cover the Gp4 subjects at the school wherever possible.


It is important that each and every person MUST contribute to this process.  It is everyone’s responsibility to consider what their subject could contribute to the suggested Titles.  For example, there is no point suggesting a Title if you can’t think what the Physics students could do with it.  In most schools, the Gp4 subjects are Bio, Chem, Phys, EVS, DT.


Examples of possible titles are:




Biology: medical effects of dust


Chemistry: purity of limestone, additives, chemical attack, the setting process


Design Technology: composites, choice of material, reinforcement


Environmental Systems: impact of extracting and using sand, cement, aggregate


Physics: strength, composite theory, thermal properties


Analysis of local and/or traditional building materials


Biology: effect of removal on local environment, support of growth of organisms e.g. insects


Chemistry: acid rain, salinity, combustibility


Physics: mechanics, stress, heat transfer, ventilation, insulation


Effect of caffeine of physical performance


Biology: effect on respiration, blood pressure, heart rate, reflex time and       balance


Chemistry: sources and composition of caffeine, determining caffeine levels in these sources


Physics: measuring power output (stair climbing, cycles, speed rotations)


 Ski project


Biology: skeletal structure, muscles, temperature loss, anthropometrics


Chemistry: snow quality, artificial snow, waxes, materials


Design Technology: buildings, materials


Environmental Systems: forest destruction, erosion, economic impact


Physics: aerodynamics, friction, gravity, structure, heat loss, insulation


 Science in the theatre


Biology: reducing stress for performers


Chemistry: creating safe special effects


Design Technology: designing new sets, lighting


Environmental Systems: improving air quality


Physics: creating new lighting effects


 Factors influencing performance in a 400m race


Biology: heart beat, biorhythms, sleep, fatigue, stress


Chemistry: isotonic drinks and diet


Design Technology: design and materials for track, shoes, sports drinks containers


Physics: elasticity, shock absorbance, wind, temperature


 2.  The Action Phase.  Usually students are put into small groups (approx 3-4) to do the actual work.  You will do a short piece of research as a team.  You need to split the work up and every member of the team must take responsibility for this part.


It is vital to remember that the actual outcome is not important, it is the fact that the students actually worked together and made something happen.


3.  The Reporting Phase.  This is where the school asks you to normally give a presentation to explain what you did and asks questions for a few minutes at the end.


Final Comments: The one BIG piece of advice about the Group 4 Project is to enjoy it – do not try to avoid it or do nothing.  Work hard because these strange moments do not happen that often.  Enjoy the work and engage with what you are doing – it should then be fun and you should get excellent marks for it (6/6).