IB Sophomore Bootcamp 2019


Emily Kay

Students working on their CAS Project.

Over the span of two-days, Pre-International Baccalaureate sophomores were granted the opportunity to peek into their future and learn about the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP), which officially begins in junior year. The future diploma candidates heard from many upperclassmen that had experience with dealing with the copious amounts of stress from the IB Program, and they shared their best advice as well as major mistakes to give the candidates a holistic view of their future. Because the “bootcamp” was over the span of 2 days, the sophomores were able to gain depth into the various components and requirements for the diploma.

The camp began on Monday, Apr. 10, in the auditorium. The first day was entirely devoted to the Extended Essay (EE), a 4000-word research paper that is begun in junior year and revised in order to turn in the completed and polished version senior year. The EE can be on a multitude of topics, and two students who selected each category were invited to participate in a discussion panel to give the sophomores insight into the possibilities and limitations of each category. The upperclassmen gave very real advice and assured the nervous newcomers that their journey to the IB diploma was not as difficult as it seemed.

After going into detail on the components of the essay, the breakout sessions began. Each representative for their appropriate category discussed the paper more individually with a small group of students interested. This allowed for more individualized conversation which in turn helped the students grasp a better understanding of the process behind writing the EE.

After a long day of learning, the students were surprised with therapy dogs sponsored by Interact. The dogs were brought in to ease the tension in the room, as many students became overwhelmed with the extensive nature of the paper.

“[Bootcamp] was a great opportunity to break down the various IB requirements into small, comprehensible pieces. While still nervous, I feel more prepared to go into IB than before,” sophomore McCall Horton said.

On day two, students learned about CAS, an aspect of the IB program that requires students to get up and be active. Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) calls for students to find new ways to give back to their community, but to also grow through a series of experiences. Students were given examples of how to fill each section of CAS and how to log their experiences. By logging their experiences through reflections, which is the evidence of them completing CAS, they are given credit by the program. Although CAS is a requirement of IB, it is meant to encourage students to find creative ways to positively impact their communities. Even though CAS stems around service, there is also a self component of CAS that allows the student creative freedom, including what they want to do with their CAS Project.

The next exercise of Bootcamp was to show students how to create a CAS Project. Senior and Junior volunteers headed the teams to different parts of the auditorium where they supervised the sophomores begin the 5 Stages of a CAS Project and meet the required three reflections. Afterwards, the groups presented on stage.

Emily Kay
Students learn how to create a CAS Project with the help of junior Aj Vazquez.

“I had so much fun helping the sophomores create a CAS Project. Some even gave me really good ideas as to what mine could be,” junior Camila Carrena said.

After the CAS component of the day was done, Mrs. Lezcano taught the students how to navigate through ManageBac. Students were able to gain access to their accounts and taught how to log their CAS experiences. ManageBac is not only for CAS but also for all other important uploads of documents like the student’s Internal Assessments and Extended Essays, all of which was explained throughout the program.

The last part of the program was course verification. During the presentation, given by IB Coordinator Mrs. Van Wyk, students went through all their class codes and verified the classes they would be seeing next year.

The purpose of the program was to ease the transition from Pre-IB to the entrance of the diploma candidate program. The sophomores were given a variety of informational packets that will guide them throughout the next two years of essays, exams and the overall program that is IB.