Grab bags

Supplies are also an issue and will depend on the level of movement allowed in your area. If it is possible and you have enough materials, a lab 'grab bag' could be put together that the student picks up outside of school.

Make sure you keep a list of what the student has. If this is not possible, then at-home supplies can be used.

Additionally, teacher-created grab bags can be made for students to carry out some of the prescribed labs or teacher-created labs. This may be especially relevant for first-year IB DP students.

Image: Spiske, Markus. Unsplash, 2020.

Physics example

Here is an example of a physics grab bag for the required practical in topic '2.1 Determining the acceleration of free-fall'.

  • marble

  • meter stick or measuring tape

  • protractor

Students could vary the distance a marble rolls along a coffee table at home when one end is slightly raised by stacking books under one end. They would answer the research question: What is the relationship between the distance a marble travels and the time taken to travel that distance when the marble is rolling down a ramp? Similar to Galileo’s first investigations with ‘diluted gravity’. The students then use vector components to determine the acceleration of free-fall.

If a grab bag is not possible, then a teacher could send home a list of equipment that could be bought at grocery stores or through online through vendors like Amazon (US, UK, India), Taobao (China), Flipkart (India). The specific sections on physics, biology and chemistry will have sample lists for the different prescribed labs.

Chemistry examples

Here is an example of some chemistry shopping list that could be sent to parents:

  • Shopping list 1 for rates of reaction: vinegar, eggs

  • Shopping list 2 for an enthalpy of neutralisation: vinegar, baking soda, electronic kitchen balance, thermometer

  • Shopping list 3 for calorimetry: candle, methylated spirits, fuel burner from a ‘Tranja’ type stove, aluminum drink can

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