The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


IB Sophomores Mentored with Magic in IB Bootcamp

Andres Florentino
Ready to take on the two days of preparation for the IB program, sophomores sit together in the auditorium. They are taught about the various components of IB with activities incorporated throughout the two days.

Crowded around the auditorium doors before the first bell on April 11, Gables’ sophomores of the International Baccalaureate Program gathered for their first session of IB Bootcamp. In preparation for their official entry into the IB Diploma Program, IB students of the class of 2026 all participated in this two full-day event, where they were taught and mentored about their futures in the program.

Junior Group leader, Julia Volman, holds above her a sign that reads “Harry Potter”, the name of her group. She, alongside other GLs, dressed in ties and glasses to match with this year’s theme of IB Bootcamp. (Andres Florentino)

Upon entering the auditorium, students were welcomed by Harry Potter themed posters that group leaders held up. Organized by Gables’ IB executive council, GLs were select IB juniors and seniors who headed many of the activities of bootcamp. Every two or three GLs took responsibility for groups of seven to nine sophomores, with a total of 24 groups present.

In line with its Harry Potter theme, each group had the name of a character from the wizarding world, and throughout the two days, sounds and music meant to emulate those of Hogwarts were played throughout the auditorium.

“I think bootcamp will help incoming IB juniors by helping them realize that IB is not as scary as some may think, and even if it is a lot of work, its very doable with good time management. IB executive council did a great job planning it, really communicating with the sophomores,” junior Sara Lecon said.

An introduction video, crafted by the members of IB executive council, was shown to the audience members and it prompted different grade levels to begin bonding with one another. The student-run event saw upperclassmen presenters and GLs make efforts to teach sophomores, while also tightening the community’s bonds.

“My group leaders were really fun, and I got to ask them questions not only about IB, but also more general things as well. They were very nice to talk to and made things fun, but also made sure were were paying attention, which was a nice balance,” sophomore Trinity Perez said.

Throughout the two-day bootcamp, a point system was used to reward students who answered questions correctly and to raise competitive fervor. Groups had the possibility of gaining points that could later result in a prize for the three highest ranking groups. Allowing for a competitive environment, students around the auditorium raised their arms high and hollered to score points. To maintain the Harry Potter theme, groups who answered using a British accent were rewarded an additional point.

Day one of IB bootcamp mainly focused on the Extended Essay, a 4000-word argumentative paper in which students answer their own research question. Head supervisor of the EE, Ms. Kiely, was brought in to present to IB sophomores about the importance of this IB component, and the liberties one could take with it. Facilitated with examples, pairs of groups made their way around the auditorium to hear about different EE samples from IB Cavalier upperclassmen.

Sophomore Aidan Remedios competes against two of his classmates in a freestyle dance competition on the auditorium stage. He was sent to represent Group 20 to see who would steal a point, and brought back an extra point to his team. (Andres Florentino)

Questions for points were asked and groups made their way up in competition through various activities. An origami contest aimed to engage students into making small replicas of the Sorting Hat from the Harry Potter, the first three groups to make ten hats getting points in return. An unplanned dance battle helped decide who would steal a point, an unexpected crowdpleaser. Students also participated in Kahoots, competing to get a place on the leaderboards for  additional points.

“Having all the different activities, and also the breaks, like the Kahoots and even the dance battle was a really good idea because a lot of us tend to get really bored just by presentations and we have trouble focusing,” sophomore Trinity Perez said.

Before the day came to an end, therapy dogs were brought into the auditorium for students to pet on the stage. After the break, the day closed with the introduction of ManageBac, an essential organizational platform used by IB schools across the globe. Here, students made their accounts, which would come in great use during their junior and senior year.

The following day, students returned to their respective parts of the auditorium, where they worked with their groups on a Kahoot to review what they learned about the IB program and the EE the previous day.

Ms. Suarez, Gables’ Activities Director, gave a presentation on the Creativity, Activity, and Service project, referred to as the CAS project; a component of IB which focuses on giving students liberty in learning and exploring outside of a school setting. Later that day, students came up with ideas for CAS projects and began putting their goals and aims on their ManageBac accounts.

Junior Anthony Fajardo explains his three selected objects used for analysis to answer the question posed for his TOK exhibition. He serves his purpose as a role model and inspiration to IB sophomores. (Andres Florentino)

Mr. Wood, who teaches the IB course called Theory of Knowledge, then prefaced the TOK exhibitions that IB juniors presented around the auditorium to rotating groups.

The final topic that was covered was the Internal Assessment, a requirement for each of the IB classes.

“Last year, my class did not learn about all the IAs we had to do, so I think the sophomores this year had it better because I went into my junior year not fully understanding the concept, and I think the presentations would have definitely been helpful for me last year, as it has been this year,” junior Sara Lecon said.

After two days of intellectual exchange of advice and information, IB sophomores returned from second lunch, faced with many different board games and video games. Students socialized and shared time in the auditorium, before the final bell rang for dismissal.

“I really liked the free time they gave us at the end, because not everyone was in groups with their friends, which meant we could have a good, calm time after learning about IB,” sophomore Trinity Perez said.

Over the two days of IB bootcamp, preparation for the official beginning of the IB program was covered for sophomores. Students gathered in the auditorium to help carry on the tradition of IB at Gables as sophomores were assisted on the beginning of their scholastic journey.

“IB Bootcamp was amazing for us, as an introduction to the IB program, because we got to learn a lot about what our years are going to consist of, and in detail. Honestly, before IB Bootcamp, I was a little more scared and nervous entering my junior year, but now I feel more comfortable and prepared for the year,” sophomore Mateo Blaschke.

What IB Bootcamp sophomore participant are you?


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About the Contributors
Beatrice Stampino-Strain
Beatrice Stampino-Strain, CavsConnect Staff Writer
Beatrice Stampino-Strain is a sophomore in the International Baccalaureate program at Coral Gables Senior High. Following an insightful year in CavsTV, she has now started as a Staff Writer for CavsConnect, looking forward to new writing experiences. Partaking in various clubs, she serves on the boards of the International Baccalaureate Honor Society and Key Club, while also being the Vice President of the Class of 2026. More often than not, she can be seen talking to her friends or reading a book, though not at the same time (she has tried). Always wanting to bond with people, Beatrice finds herself delving into music, literature and television shows as a form of discovery to fuel her expansive curiosity of understanding. She enjoys the unsteadiness of life despite its struggle, and is always anticipating what it will bring to her next.
Andres Florentino
Andres Florentino, CavsTV Staff
Andres Florentino is a sophomore in the International Baccalaureate Program. This is his first year in CavsTV and he is super excited to be part of the publication. He was born in Boston in an Italian/Dominican family and moved to Miami when he was 2 years old, however he has a huge love for his hometown. He loves traveling, experiencing new adventures, and learning about new cultures. Everywhere he goes he enjoys taking pictures and hopes to do that for CavsTV. In his free time, he plays tennis, goes shopping with his friends, and drives around the city. He has a sweet tooth for candy and gum and makes sure to always have some on him. This year, he hopes to join many clubs and be more involved in his school’s community.
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