Somerset Times

Investigating Biology, Physics and Chemistry




Somerset Times Edition

Week 8, Term Four, 2017

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The Year 11 IB cohort undertook an investigation on 20 and 21 November, incorporating all three of the sciences studied at Somerset – Biology, Physics and Chemistry. The cohort was divided into two groups; Group A consisted of Cooper, Riley, Evie, James, Tiffany and Zack, and Group B consisted of Keita, Kathie, Esra, Kyle, Jimmy and Uni.

Group A focused on investigating the required materials for operating a post-apocalyptic survival kit, whilst Group B investigated the topic Science in the Movies, focusing on Spider-Man and the feasibility of his ability to climb walls. Several meetings occurred to organise the planning of the investigations to overcome the difficulty of incorporating aspects of all three sciences into the investigation.

Group A worked on determining what clothing materials would provide the strongest insulation, and would dry the fastest when submerged in water. Also, Group A focused on finding out what easy to find natural resources would act as the most efficient fuel source. For the determining the best insulation, we wrapped a beaker of boiling water in different fabrics and measured the temperature drop of the water over time. We discovered that fleece had the lowest temperature drop, making it the best insulator. Additionally, after dipping various materials and measuring their masses after they dried, we found that the material that dries the quickest would be made of acetate. Finally, we determined that pine nuts would be the best natural fuel resource, as they had the highest enthalpy.

Group B decided to explore the science within the movie, Spider-Man, in particular, focusing on the feasibility of Spider-Man’s ability to climb and stick on walls. Through the investigation, Group B discovered that Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield), weighing 74kg, would need 54 suction cups to hold his weight in reality. Furthermore, the investigation resulted in the conclusion that suction cups in fact don’t stick onto rough surfaces such as limestone, brick and wood. This disproves Spider-Man's ability to climb on brick buildings!

Overall, this project has allowed the IB students to explore and investigate all of the sciences, giving us a greater understanding of the natural world. Through this experience, we have learnt to work together as a team, share ideas and learn new concepts from our peers. We believe that we have definitely grown closer as a group, and we are grateful for this amazing experience that the IB programme has provided us.

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