The Grade 5 exhibition, Grade 10 personal project, theory of knowledge and the extended essay are all required coursework for VIS students.
Grade 5 Exhibition
The Exhibition is the culmination of learning in the Primary School. The purpose of the Exhibition has several key features:
- it enables students to engage in an in-depth, collaborative inquiry into issues that are of importance to them.
- it allows students to demonstrate responsibility for, and ownership of, their own learning.
- it encourages students to apply all the skills they have learned throughout the Primary School.
- it provides an authentic process for assessing student understanding.
- it celebrates the transition of students from Primary to Secondary.
This past year, Grade 5 students conducted an open-ended inquiry into an aspect of "The Image We Project" and developed their own central ideas, lines of inquiry, and questions.
Grade 10 Personal Project
The personal project is a significant student-directed inquiry produced over an extended period, completed during grade 10. It holds an important place in the MYP and reflects the student's experience of the programme. It provides an excellent opportunity for students to produce a truly personal and creative work of their choice and to demonstrate the skills they have developed through various approaches to learning. The student must complete an investigation over an extended period of about five months; work independently throughout the course; interact with an adult supervision whose role is to provide guidance, support, and assessment; and produce an item or outcome, such as:
- Organise an exhibition for the integration of refugees in a village
- Write and illustrate a children's book
- Write and direct a play
- Set-up an online company selling iPhone covers
- Produce an extensive research paper about a scientific topic
- Design a lounge area for G10 students
- Create an App to coordinate school and extra curricular commitments
- Produce a magazine
Theory of Knowledge and Extended Essay
The interdisciplinary Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course is designed to develop a coherent approach to learning, which transcends and unifies the academic areas.
The Extended Essay of some 4000 words offers the opportunity to investigate a topic of special interest and acquaints students with the independent research and writing skills expected at university.
Many students opt to challenge and extend their learning through a variety of competitions, such as:
Duke of Edinburgh's International Award
The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award is the world's leading youth achievement award, bringing together practical experiences and skills to equip young people for life. It is a programme of cultural, practical and adventurous activities that require effort over time. The Award and IB CAS components are complementary and can be done in conjunction with each other.
There are three attainment levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold, each presenting greater challenge and requiring more commitment. Young people design their own programme, set their own goals and record their own progress. They choose a Service, Physical Recreation, Skills activity, go on an Adventurous Journey and, to achieve a Gold Award, take part in a residential project. The only person they compete against is themselves, by challenging their own beliefs about what they can achieve.
We are happy to announce that VIS is again offering the Bronze level
for those 14 years and over and the Gold level
for those 16 years and over in this year 2016/2017.
Each year, the Vienna Chapter of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management organizes a Science and Engineering Fair for international high schools in Austria. The aim is to promote science and engineering subjects in schools and encourage the younger generation to pursue careers in different scientific and engineering fields. Each participating student receives a certificate while several gift awards are given to projects judged to be exceptional in each of entry categories. In 2013, the fair was held at the Vienna International School and the best senior girl was Catherine Hinzner from VIS who was awarded a pink UN t-shirt and a glass Leonardo Muehle game for her project 'Investigation of Short Term Memory Retention'.
IAEA - STEM Cooperation
Five groups of high school-aged students presented projects created during an IAEA-Vienna International School (VIS) pilot initiative held from April to August 2015. Their presentations explored the introduction of cancer treatment in Ethiopia, fast reactors and the hybrid loop-pool design, fusion confinement methods, the use of nuclear medicine in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, and thorium as an alternative to uranium for sustainable energy. See all projects here.
Twenty-five students in grades 10 to 12 took part in the pilot initiative, which brought them together with experts from IAEA headquarters and the Agency's laboratories, who mentored the students on scientific and technological applications. The students' final projects reflected their interests in science, technology, engineering and math, as well as the skills they gained in project development and management over the course of the initiative.
VIS students participate in a variety of maths competitions annually. The QSI Math Olympiad is a team competition where middle school students must demonstrate not only strong problem solving aptitude, but also good communications skills. The teams compete in four events: one big problem, brain teasers, short answer, and hands on activity. The event is designed to reward the most well-rounded mathematics students, not necessarily those with the fastest computational abilities. Our team won a bronze medal in the brain teaser event last year.
The International Schools Mathematics Teachers Foundation hosts several competitions and our students (usually selected from our Mathematics Club) participate in the Middle School, Junior and Senior competitions. In these events, students work independently and together to solve perplexing math problems of varying length and difficulty. For the Sunday chase competition last year, a team of Grade 7 students (with one VIS student) placed first.
We also participate in the United Kingdom Mathematics Teachers Association Competition, which has subsequent rounds for Junior, Intermediate and Senior students who have achieved high enough scores. The Canadian Mathematics Competition was also held last year for students in Grade 6 - 8 but will be expanded to include more students.
Model United Nations
MUN is an academic simulation of the United Nations that aims to educate students about current events, topics in international relations, diplomacy and the United Nations agenda. The participants role-play as diplomats representing a country or NGO in a simulated session of a committee of the United Nations, such as the Security Council or the General Assembly. Participants research a country, take on roles as diplomats, investigate international issues, debate, deliberate, consult, and then develop solutions to world problems. This past year, 15 VIS students attended the conference in Milan, Italy and two won an award for Best Delegate and five won for Best Delegation representing Cameroon.