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DP ESS IA Checklist, Question

IA ESS Checklist, Rubric Aligned



IB Animal Experimentation Policy




The experimentation policy must be considered in EVERY lab report.  As well as Safety! 

ESS IA Template (if you're stuck)







Student work -- graders comments -- specific criteria grades 
Gender Analysis, Global Warming and Energy Use 






















Annotated ESS IA Sample :






Assessment  ESS IA Sample (GOOD) 








Population size and CO2 emission 









Annotated ESS IA Sample:









Assessment  ESS IA Sample :(OK Sample )




















Biodiversity and undisturbed areas in Peru















Annotated ESS IA Sample:























Assessment ESS IA Sample : (GOOD)

















Air Pollution and Urban Heat 







Annotated ESS IA Sample







ESS IA Assessment Sample  (EXCELLENT)





ESS IA Proposal Form






Environmental Issue 

The environmental issue is the overarching reason for your lab. (Think is it in the book). EVERYTHING IS LINKED BACK HERE! 


Large ideas could include but are not limited to: 

  • increased use of fossil fuels 

  • desertification

  • eutrophication of water due to farming techniques

  • loss of biodiversity 

  • over population/ urbanization

  • Over consumption of ground water

Whatever you choose, should have a local or global connection somewhere specific that you are looking. 
Example: Urbanization of the Dallas, TX, USA metro area is causing and increasing demand for water. 

Warnings: Narrow your focus from overly broad issues to something specific to a country or local connection. 
Broad: Climate Change
More Focused: the destruction of the Trinity River Deciduous Forest in Dallas, TX, USA due to urbanization.
Broad: Air pollution
More focused: use of coal plants in Lima, Peru and their energy choices 


How to Write a Research Question

Bad: Does temperature affect the enzyme? 
WHY?! not precise or clear, does not explain How or what you are doing, no dependent variable. 
Good: How does the change in temperature, measured using a temperature probe, affect the rate of catalase in the degradation of hydrogen peroxide?

WHY?!  Specific, clear, know what you are going to do without reading it, independent and dependent variables are clear. 


Variable Help - Choosing Variables

  • Independent Variable: The variable you are changing and testing 

  • Dependent Variable: The data you are collecting (how will you measure if the IV is working 

  • Control Variables: multiple aspects that must remain the same throughout all trials and all IV changes 

  • Control Group: Negative and Positive controls for IV

How to - Write a good procedure


Carrying out an Ecology Investigation

Measuring Abiotic Factors- How to guide (student designed)
Sampling and Measuring Techniques see ​Ecosystem Investigation (2.5)


How to Write a PROPER Survey

Survey 101
Survey Research- do and don'ts
Constructing a Survey
Designing a Survey
How to write good survey questions

Free Survey Creator site- survey Hero
Creating a survey from google docs

Processing and Presenting Data

Making Tables

Making a Table- with Word
Making a Table- with Pages
How to present data in tables
How to record accuracy and uncertainty in Practical work

Processing Data

Which way is correct?- different formats of processing/ presenting data






















Choosing the Correct Statistical Test
Data Processing Student Practice Data

For More Help with Statistics See Statistical Analysis page

Types of Data and their graphs

How to make Graphs/ Statistics

Using Excel

How to make a graph with error bars, trend lines and R^2 values

How to calculate Mean and Standard deviation
Running a T-Test

Using Numbers

How to make a graph with error bars, trend lines and R^2 values

How to calculate Mean and Standard deviation
Running a T-Test

What to do with your data... flowchart




Conclusion/ Evaluation/ Application

Conclusion & Discussion

Your conclusion and discussion should connect the Data with the research question, and answer to the hypothesis within the scientific context (ie the science of the lab) to each other. Relate the conclusion to the environmental issue for the discussion. 











  • Describe the trends/ patterns you see in your graphs and tables

  • Answer your research question based on that data!

  • Accept or Reject your hypothesis (use the data to support your answer) 

    • It is ok to reject your hypothesis as long as you can explain why you reject it.

  • Explain what you saw and learned with the science you are trying to investigate. (THE WHY OF THE EXPERIMENT- why did it do this!) 

    • If you do not know why, how do your results compare to the accepted science and your research. 

    • Do you see other reasons for the answer

  • Discuss how your conclusion and data fit within the context of your environmental issue. 

    • How does this help us solve or add to our understanding of the environmental issue?

Your evaluation should discuss the validity and reliability of your data and experiment using any errors or statistics to justify your evaluation. This should also include improvements for each error identified. Final Section is Further Inquiry. This is not an improvement, it is expansion of the experiment.

Evaluation Guide
Data Analysis and Evaluation Explained















  • Describe the strengths of your experiment.

  • Look for low uncertainties, R2, STDEV

  • Look for well managed control variables, etc. 

  • Focus on the experiment and data NOT on procedural aspects as much as possible. 


  • Describe the weaknesses/ errors of your experiment. 

  • Any weaknesses you identify should discuss HOW it affects the reliability of your experiment/ conclusion

  • Should focus on the experiment and data NOT on what you didn't do that should have been done (although these are fine to mention but should not be the focus)

​IMPROVEMENTS to the weaknesses/ errors

  • EVERY weakness/ error needs an IMPROVEMENT!

  • Improvements should be realistic and specific


This is a discussion of how you would expand or continue the research you started.

  • What else could you research? 

  • What's a different  experiment that would help to investigate a different aspect of what you discovered?  


Application is the solution to your environmental issue based on your research, data, and conclusion. You must present a realistic solution to the environmental issue your report is based around. You must then justify and evaluate your solution looking at its connection the the conclusion, the strengths, and the weaknesses of your proposed solution. 

​Think Management Strategies here. Which of the three levels are you focused on for your solution? (See Topic 1.5


  • Make sure you refer to your environmental issue 

  • Make the solution realistic.

    • No outrageously expensive solutions 

    • No overly simplistic solutions

  • Relate your solution to the data you collected from the experiment. 

  • Justify your solution as to why it would be an answer to the conclusion of your experiment. 

  • Evaluate your solution.

    • What are its strengths? 

    • What are its weaknesses?

    • Why is this actually a realistic solution to the problem? 

    • Would it actually be successful? How do you know?

    • Come to a conclusion about your solution being useful to solving the environmental issue.


Extra Feedback Mechanism Practice



Command Term Handout




















IA Proposal































Deciding on a Research Question
































Assessed IA Examples




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