In the NIWA Wellington Science Fair Queen Margaret College was awarded a total of 15 prizes. The College received the largest number of prizes in Class 5 (Year 11 – 13) of any other school. Shruti Iyer was awarded second in Class 5 along with the Victoria University of Wellington Faculty of Education Prize and has been nominated for Realise the Dream. Michelle Too was awarded a staggering four prizes including NZ Institute of Chemistry and NZ Soil Science Society. Both Grace Huang and Bryony Miller also received prizes for Class 5 and four Year 8 girls were awarded prizes in Class 2 (Year 8); Mia Uluilelata, Siena Ash, Tamsin Cooper and Frances Wright.
All Queen Margaret College entrants of Class 5 are International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma students where Science is mandatory. The study of Science within the Diploma involves taking intellectual initiative with experimental science. This coupled with the extended essay, a core Diploma requirement where students complete a significant piece of independent research of particular interest to themselves, is the work which is presented at the Science Fair.
Queen Margaret College is the only girls’ school in Wellington to offer the IB Diploma which is a two year pre-university course. The programme is highly regarded internationally and is studied in over 145 countries.
The IB Diploma is specifically designed to prepare students for university, with a focus on academic rigor, critical thinking and international mindedness. To this end students take six subjects including Mathematics, Science and a second language.
Former Queen Margaret College student Megan Vincent completed the IB Diploma in 2011 and is now studying at New York University in Abu Dhabi on a fully funded scholarship.
Megan remarks, “The IB Diploma provides an all rounded education forcing you to pursue areas you may not be confident in. These skills are essential, in a higher education setting and in life for character building. I doubt any seventeen year old fully knows what direction they wish to take in life so ensuring students take subjects like Maths and Science is incredibly valuable. It is funny many of my friends were introduced to new areas of passion through their IB Diploma subjects that they were initially reluctant to try.”
Last year’s overall winner of the NWIA Science Fair Lydia Hingston completed the Diploma in 2012 and adds, “It’s not just about your knowledge of subjects, but also about finding yourself and becoming an all-rounded citizen. A highlight for me was my extended essay where you develop skills for writing an academic research paper and learn a lot about yourself and your interests.”
Lydia goes on to explain, “I am currently studying Medicine at Auckland University. I feel that I have quite an advantage: I have excellent time management skills and much of the course content I have touched on through my IB Diploma studies.”
Both Megan and Lydia achieved marks of 40 plus and received IB Schools of New Zealand Top Scholars’ Awards at a ceremony held at Government House Auckland.
Queen Margaret College has maintained a 100% pass rate in the IB Diploma, with a median grade of 34 out of a possible 45 in 2012, well above the world median of 30. Last year’s leavers are now enjoying study at universities in England, Abu Dhabi, Australia and New Zealand.
To find out more about the IB Diploma contact IB Diploma Coordinator Dr Susan Watterson: firstname.lastname@example.org or to look further into Queen Margaret College contact: email@example.com