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IB Highlights: Name That Tune in One Note

Extended Essay Highlight: Senior Luke Whitman’s research question for his EE is: How can signals in the time domain be converted into specific values in the frequency domain?

Luke chose this topic because when he was younger, he and his dad would play a game where, when a song came on the radio, he had to guess the name of the song. They always listened to the same Classic Rock radio station, so eventually he learned all the songs that could come on. He was able to identify the song based on the first few notes. Then, when he played the piano, he noticed when a note or chord sounded like one of the notes in the songs he had listened to.

Luke wanted to learn the first notes of all the songs that he and his dad listened to. In order to do this, he knew he would need to be able to convert a sound wave in the time domain to the frequency domain. His Extended Essay used the Discrete Fourier Transform to identify the specific frequencies in sound waves.

IB Question of the Week: How does the Genius Hour in the Middle School correlate to the mission and goals of the Extended Essay and CAS components of the IB CORE in junior and senior years?

In 5th grade, students begin their Genius Hour project and it continues throughout Middle School. Each year, the students pick something they are interested in. Teachers are training them to think about something that they care about and are willing to devote time to. The goal of Genius Hour is not the end product but the experience.

Within the full diploma program, students must complete an Extended Essay (EE) and a CAS (Community, Activity, Service) project. Both of these components are driven by what the students are interested in. With the EE, students choose a topic, do research, and produce a 4,000-word research paper. With the CAS project, students pick something that interests them, research it and find ways to develop experiences that include:
• real, purposeful activities, with significant outcomes,
• personal challenge,
• thoughtful consideration, such as planning, reviewing progress, reporting,
• reflection on outcomes and personal learning.
The learning from two components of the IB CORE comes from the process. The end result is icing on the cake, just like in Genius Hour.

CAS Experience Highlights: CAS experiences for Upper School students recorded this week included: planning for Casino Night, building a table, donating to the food drive, helping with the LS Cross Country race, making shirts for the girls’ soccer team, reffing 10U hockey, playing soccer, designing a costume for a dance, playing volleyball, splitting firewood, making a gingerbread house, participating in a piano competition, catering, yard clean up around the Ronald McDonald House, applying to colleges, participating in Joya trunk or treat, pumpkin carving, climbing, participating in the Esports Club, designing and installing shelves for cats for a pet rescue, participating in a fundraiser for Spokane Democrats, drumming for the Dragon Dance, and hosting a basketball shooting camp.