IB Group 4: Chemistry
Chemistry may be taken as either a Group 4 or Group 6 subject.
Chemistry contributes greatly to our everyday lives. It brings great benefits to societies around the world but can also cause damage to individuals and the environment. The risks and benefits of using chemicals must always be considered - Chemists need to be aware of their responsibilities to society. These are some of the attributes encouraged by the IB learner profile. The course is exciting and varied, covering a diverse range of topics. Students can expect to gain a wide range of skills such as analytical, mathematical, ICT and data handling skills as well as a knowledge of patterns and trends within the chemical world. Where appropriate, topics covered will be linked to TOK and international and historical aspects of this subject. The distinction between SL and HL is one of breadth and depth.
The syllabus for the Chemistry course includes Quantitive Chemistry; Atomic Structure; Bonding; Periodicity; Energy Changes; Kinetics; Equilibrium; Acids and Bases; Redox and Organic Chemistry. Theory is supported by an extensive practical programme, comprising approximately 25% of the course, essential in the understanding of such a ‘hands on’ subject and designed to offer support to class work as well as developing experimental and investigative scientific skills. There will be a project undertaken by all IB students (the group 4 project). This will contribute 10 hours of practical work and will assess ‘personal skills’ such as motivation, perseverance and working with others.
Assessment is by examinations, practicals and the Group 4 project.
Skills gained on this course
- an open-ended, thinking and questioning approach to Chemistry
- an appreciation of the possibilities, as well as limitations, associated with Chemistry and Chemists and of the importance of international collaboration to resolving issues of a scientific nature
- an awareness of moral, ethical social, economic and environmental implications of using Chemistry in both a national and international context
- an understanding of the interconnection of all scientific disciplines.
- communication, evaluation analysis, ICT and research skills.
Chemistry is essential to careers in Medicine, Veterinary Practice, Dentistry and Pharmacy. It is highly valued in its own right by institutions and employers because it incorporates mathematics and problem-solving along with practical and investigational skills.