CAS Project

Investigation and Preparation:

The CAS Project that I will be engaged in will be as an exec for Amnesty CDNIS with the event of The Amazing Race. We first looked back on previous experiences with the event and worked up some feedback on the different aspects of the event such as venue size, different responses to activities. A few challenges were trying to get people engaged with the event and wanting to participate, causing for ideas to be a mixture of both fun and information. With these, we were able to figure out the general scheme of things, where different events were, the primary objective (finishing the race with the fastest time), and how to really get people to understand the extent to which human rights are still being violated in not only other countries, but our own as well. Through example such as Hong Kong, and the Middle East, we were able to figure out how to connect to our participants in not only a broad idea of current events, but with a specific focus in our local community.

Action: 

With regards to planning out the event, on May 12, we plan to hold the event on 3 floors, and have a total of around 4 stations. With themes revolving around raising awareness about the right to rest and leisure, the right to education, and human trafficking/physical impairment, activities will be held around the 3 floors, raising awareness through games, quizzes, scavenger hunts.etc

Reflection:

After the event, since the club is still running until the end of the school year. The exec team and I will be going over the event and thinking about different things we could’ve done. Since we haven’t actually begun the event just yet, in the future, we’ll just be gathering feedback as a group, whether we gathered volunteers early enough, if the activities were fun enough.etc Overall, we’re going to use the time between after the event and our next event next year to improve on organization and overall planning and ideas.

Demonstration & Celebration: With an successful event comes celebration, but really the celebration that we would be having is through raising awareness about the various human rights that are being violating. Through this, I was able to gain a better understanding on the general knowledge of the public and what to focus on myself and what to help others to focus on.

Prompt #18

‘Historical facts are like fish swimming about in a vast and inaccessible ocean; and what the historian catches will depend partly on chance, but mainly on what part of the ocean he chooses to fish in and what tackle he chooses to use – these two factors being, of course, determined by the kind of fish he wants to catch.’ – E. H. Carr, historian, 1961

I feel that this quote is talking about how history is never something that is set in stone, but rather is up into interpretation and is also determined through initial biases, prior knowledge and lens one chooses to uphold while exploring history. A question that occurred to me was whether or not historians should even be looking for a certain type of fish, compared to just simply looking for a fish in general, as this shows some type of bias towards the situation and can skew the tracking of history. I would say that I agree with this statement because, take for an example a historian trying to understand the beginnings of WWII. If he were someone from Germany at the time, he may have the initial bias of saying the war started because of righteousness as well as wanting to see it as that way but whether it is right or not, is hard to judge as it could be looked at both ways as this quote suggests. However, this could be argued against to be wrong because history shouldn’t be up to interpretation but be sustained by facts to end at one final conclusion instead of several. Therefore history isn’t exactly like fish swimming in a vast ocean, but rather only having one fish in a vast ocean, simply being hard to find due to it’s hidden nature and inability to confirm whether such is right or not.

Engaging with a Global Issue

The global issue that I have engaged with is the issue poverty, wealth and power globalization, more specifically, forms of inequality/disparity: income, consumption, access to necessities of life. I have engaged with this global issue through my CAS week experience in Myanmar, where I experienced teaching little kids English in a much more deprived environment. As well as becoming a member of Amnesty CDNIS, where the advocation of human rights is our primary goal. I decided to become a member of Amnesty CDNIS because of what I witnessed in Myanmar as I saw a large disparity between not only education, but wealth and food and the opportunities children could have unlike myself. Therefore by joining this club, I was able to further increase awareness of these issues in our community. 

Initially, before going to Myanmar, we had investigated upon different topics in Myanmar such as the geography, economy, culture.etc I was tasked with looking into the economy of Myanmar and it was there were I first encountered the subject of the disparity of wealth, education and necessities compared to the outside world. Then we started planning on how to engage with this topic and how to really understand the situation that was happening within Myanmar, and this was through the act of teaching young kids English. We then created a plan for the span of a few days on what to specifically teach and how to teach kids. What I realized was how simple some of the topics were that we were teaching, even teaching second or fourth grade, the topics were relatively simple and it was also at this point where I was able to identify the extent to which this issue of ‘poverty’ and wealth took place in. After this, we finally took the trip to Myanmar, Yangon to begin teaching these kids who we didn’t know at all and couldn’t communicate with. It was at this point where I could fully engage with this global issue and really understand what this inequality and disparity looked like between the upper ends of Myanmar society and the lower ends, to the point where children need to work right after school in different tourist attractions. After this trip, the experiences I had really resonated with me and I began to think of what I could specifically do to help out these kids whom I’ve shared a bond with in my own way. This was through becoming a member of Amnesty and being able to advocate for human rights for everybody as from what I saw from not only the children I taught but also from families and children on the streets. Everyone shouldn’t have to be on the extreme ends of inequality within their own society. Overall, from several projects that I have been apart of with Amnesty such as the most recent Gratitude Project, I hope to continue spreading awareness of this subject of inequality in hopes that it helps the people who I have met before.

How did I change as a result of my reflection?

The interaction between one of my teachers has greatly impacted how I am today as I have constantly reflected upon this throughout the year. During past years in school, I was never a top student, I was always bordering around the level an average student would get. The competitiveness in our school’s grades was always something I wouldn’t be able to fully immerse myself with. Every single time I received a bad grade, it would never be something of significance like the good grades I would receive. It would always be something that would affect my conscience for just a day, and it would blow over, eventually not leaving any room for me to remember to avoid this feeling to happen again. However within the class of a certain teacher I had, he explicitly talked about grades and how although they are personal, getting a bad grade doesn’t mean the end of the world, and how if you dim it down low enough, you can just look at it as an indicator of your current progress and what you could possibly achieve after this. After reflecting upon this moment many times, although I knew that I had to learn from my bad grades instead of just ignoring them, this really changed the mentality I had towards school. As a person who was initially very skeptical towards feedback and criticism, I became a lot more open towards these things, improving my attitude towards grades and even improving the grades themselves. After realizing this shift in thought, this not only affected my school mindset, but my mentality towards different adversities in life such as persevering and enhancing my curiosity to learn for the sake of improving rather than for the simple sake of just ‘learning’ without no particular meaning behind it.

Prompt #17

Natural Science: How is sulfur dioxide produced during the volcanic reaction?

Human Sciences: What is the sphere of influence created by this volcanic eruption?

Research Task:

Hypothesis:

  • The diameter of the sphere of influence created is directly correlated to the levels of sulfur dioxide produced during the volcanic reaction.

Observation:

  • The sphere of influence created by the volcanic eruption is equivalent of the surface area sulfur dioxide fills by the volcanic reaction

Method/Tools of data collection:

  • Qualitative Observations
  • Quantitative Observations
  • Gas sorption

Techniques for analyzing data:

  • Graphs, trendlines, correlation coefficient

The reliability of the knowledge that experts will acquire will be quite high as the method of gas sorption is highly coveted and has been used for a multitude of trials that had already happened. Although with the inductive reasoning gathered from quantitative and qualitative observations, the reliability of the knowledge gathered may be compromised as observation is often associated with subjectivity and interpretation. One of the factors that contribute to reliability would be the element of falsifiability, as there has been no falsification towards the method of gas sorption and the way to measure a gas’ surface area, it means that the reliability and the certainty that the data gathered from using this method is great. Although using Human Sciences can also increase the reliability of their claims. One example could be a geographer, where a geographer can also take into account the geographical areas that may effect the overall surface area that the sulfur dioxide include, or the sphere of influence is taken place as there could be other mountains or other structures that reduce the surface area effected.

In general, Human Sciences can be seen as unreliable as it doesn’t use definitive knowledge such as quantitative data in order to judge certain circumstances. However, Human Sciences can also be used as a catalyst to further the reliability, shown in quantitative data as Human Sciences can take into account different factors that occur in society such as human behavior, something that Human Sciences focuses a lot upon.

 

 

How will I Challenge myself?

I will challenge myself by attempting to reach 2nd dan in my karate. I hope that during my time in the DP program, that I will be able to improve upon different aspects in my sport. Such as, perseverance, diligence, strength and the drive to learn more. I will be building upon my initial skills as a martial artist to keep honing and improving in terms of technique and strength. I hope that through going to training sessions across the years, that I will be able to have a practical skill to keep throughout my whole life that I can refer back to. Initially, I found myself not particularly enjoying this sport as a kid as I found it especially troublesome and mundane. Although now, I hope that I can retain this respect I have for the sport that I have now and continue to deepen my appreciation and knowledge for it.

Prompt #16

In the essay, the student chooses to explore the concept of ‘Certainty’ within the realms of Math, Natural Science, and Ethics. From this discussion, the student arrives at 3 conclusions to center his thoughts and ideas laid out in the essay.

  1. Math is only able to provide a full example of ‘certainty’ through a closed system of rigorous processes of proofs conducted with the further reinforcement of axioms added to it. Although it still holds no certainty when taken out of this system and into ‘reality’ or the physical world as we know it; as there amount of variables constantly changing.
  2. Within the realm of Science, it is actually through inductive reasoning that we are able to know the knowledge we know. Although in Science, it doesn’t prove the ‘certainty’ that people would expect out of it. In fact, it merely provides a degree of certainty within its arguments and thesis’.
  3. With Ethics, though it may not have the type of ‘certainty’ that Math and Sciences may have. It still provides a relatively great amount of certainty with it’s heavy connection towards human emotion and experience. As well as with the idea that since there are indeed many interpretations, there can never be one universal answer.

All of these claims draw back to this idea of Coherence and Correspondence. The coherence of something refers to the truth that consists in its coherence with a specified set of propositions; being consistent with itself. Whereas correspondence is the truth that exists in relation to reality and the multitude of concepts, objects that reality presents. For example, in Maths, the idea of coherence may be applied to further his point, where math is only applicable within its own system, and not outside of it in reality. Contrasting with Science, where it mostly refers to its correspondence to reality and how it aligns itself with the information observed in our ‘observable’ plane. Although in hindsight, there are certain AOKs such as Ethics that don’t specifically fall into either spectrum. As there seems to be no coherence within Ethics as it isn’t able to ‘logically’ prove ideas or come up with a universal answer. As well as being no correspondence due to, as stated earlier, there is no universal answer, and this idea of certainty isn’t able to be presented without this precedent.

Prompt #15

  • Finding beauty in math is through looking at the simplicity and elegancy
  • No debate about it
  • Pure
  • Used as a methodology to fuel and compensate our curiosity about the world around us

Today in TOK class, we were given the opportunity to listen to one of the math teachers in our school, Mr. Flanagan about maths and both his passion and rationale behind it. He began talking about how he began to really see the beauty in math, and how the reason why he became so infatuated with maths and decided to base his whole career behind it was due to the fact that there was something pure about it. He talked about how in maths, compared to all his other subjects, that there was always one final answer that you knew you had to get to and how to get to. Whereas in subjects such as English, there would be so many different answers that it would be so complicated. Another thing he mentioned was how he viewed ‘beauty’ within maths, and that was through the elegancy and the purity that math brings to the table. He said that math as the ability to take complicated situations that life may throw at us, and compile it into a simple equation that explains every aspect of it, allowing for us to understand even more. One interesting thing he mentioned was the fact that math had the ability of transcending language, where symbols and numbers have become something universal that it brings together a community where there is no barrier restricting anyone to be apart of it. We ended off with a debate onto whether or not math was developed like how Sir Isaac Newton invented calculus, or if math was simply pre-existing, allowing for us to discover it. He proceeded to answer this with a question of if we were to send a completely different species a mathematical equation, would they be able to understand it? This left me thinking about the universal aspect to which math brings, and how much of an impact something universal can really bring in terms of communication, and even collaboration.

Prompt #14

In the article, “Is mathematics an effective way to describe the world?” it talks about the applicability of math towards the reality of our world. The articles questions whether mathematics is truly the most effective way to describe our world around us, whether the beauty and applicability of math is truly ‘true’. It goes on to say that math could indeed be a simple obstruction of failure, where we essentially handpick mathematical equations that fit perfectly into one profound answer that aligns itself within our reality. As well as saying that math is also a much more compact, and sophisticated way of describing our physical more noisy world, outlining simple and elegant expressions to things around us. Although mainly focusing on why we think of math to be almighty and true, and the reasons being through an obstruction of genuine maths through only showing cases where math proves to be successful and not showing its failures.

In another article named, “Is mathematics true?” it talks about the reliability of math and how accurate can math really be. The article tackles the idea of whether math should be further developed and pursued, if the very foundation of math is unknown. Making every discovery here on out, essentially false and a mistake that challenges the very basis of our knowledge because for as long as we know it, math has always been a constant in our lives. With a variety of philosophies on what math truly is, some believe math was created as a tool for humans, to describe the world around them through logic alone. Whereas others believe that maths is it’s own separate entity and cannot be removed from existence as it is very much apart of it, allowing for humans to constantly observe and understand it.

A few knowledge questions that popped up after reading these two articles are:

  • What role does the truth of maths play in the pursuit of applicable knowledge?
  • To what extent does our reliance on axioms and laws further restrict or enhance our pursuit of ‘true’ knowledge?

Prompt #13

Comparison between Natural Sciences and The Arts:

With two different AOKs such as Natural Science and the Arts, one may think that they are completely isolated from one another, whereas AOKs are actually much more similar than one may think.

Similarities:

  • Natural Sciences and Art allows us to explore different problems in life and solve them through different means
  • Both can be conveyed with varying types of communication
  • Ethical concerns will always limit the amount of knowledge gained

Differences:

  • There is subjectivity within the perception of Art compared to Natural Science
  • The methodologies within Natural science and Art are different, where methodologies in the realm of Natural Science serve as a form of proof, and Art is a tool to express oneself
  • Arts tend to symbolize and exemplify rather than explain like in Natural Science
  • Compared to Natural Sciences, Art does not need to have ‘one definitive truth’, whereas in Natural Sciences, finding the one truth is it’s absolute goal