How to Succeed in your Junior Cycle Science CBA

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If you're wondering where to start and how exactly to approach your science CBAs, you need not look further! Conor, an experienced Junior Cycle Science teacher, has created two CBA guides, one for each of your CBAs, to help guide you through every step of the way. Doing CBAs can feel almost overwhelming for lots of students but trust us, try not to worry about them too much. We want these guides to show you that with a planned and organised approach you can excel in your CBAs! We also want you to enjoy them as they are hands on CBAs and with science it's all about getting involved in this engaging and ever-evolving subject. We hope they'll make the process clearer and easier for all of you! Check out some extracts from Conor's guide below! 

What exactly is involved in each CBA?

CBA1: Extended Experimental Investigation (E.E.I)

This first CBA occurs over 3 weeks following the scientific method to form a hypothesis on a question you've developed. Usually students work in a group for this CBA. There are 4 sections in this CBA: 1. Questioning and Predicting, 2. Planning and Conducting, 3. Processing and Reflecting and 4. Reflecting and Reporting. Your final report can take various forms. You can write a report, submit a PowerPoint, create a poster or you could even make a podcast or video! Whatever format you select just remember you must include significant detail.

CBA2: Science in Society Investigation (S.S.I)

You'll also spend 3 weeks on CBA2, where you'll research a socio-scientific issue. This CBA consists of 3 sections, 1. Initiating research, 2. Communicating findings, and 3. Evaluating the information to respond to the chosen research question. To conduct this investigation you must work individually but you can still discuss aspects of your investigation with your classmates. Again, the final report can take various formats as outlined above. To obtain a high level of achievement you must cover all features of quality, which our full guide covers in greater detail.

Question and topic selection

CBA1 requires you to create a question to investigate. This takes time as the question must be original and easy to investigate. When students think of interests and things they like to do, this is where the most interesting questions come from! Brainstorm ideas with your friends, classmates, partner(s), teacher and family members so that you arrive at the best investigative question. In Conor's full guide he's included some sample questions to give you some inspiration!

For CBA2 you must research a scientific topic or issue and how it impacts society and/or the environment. The topic you choose can be related to material covered in class or you can choose to complete it on any issue that interests you, once it relates to one of the stated areas for this CBA. The stated areas are: 1. A technological application of science, 2. An application of science that has an effect on human health, 3. An application of science that has an effect on the environment, or 4. An application of science that has an effect on society

Learn from your experiences

When you start to plan for your second CBA presentation, take the time to look over the feedback you received on your first CBA's presentation. This will help you to avoid making the same mistakes when presenting your findings the second time round. It's so important that you take the time to implement feedback as you progress, this is a great skill to have in life in general! Think back to your reflection too, is there anything you identified the last time that could help make this CBA easier or better for you? 

Evaluating sources

When you're completing the Science in Society Investigation it cannot be understated how important it is to be able to evaluate the evidence behind a scientific claim. Don't ever take a claim at face value! You must develop the ability to identify misinformation in order to create a factual CBA. We all know the danger of misinformation these days! For example, watch out for over-simplified or sensationalised findings. Some sources of information distort or misinterpret the findings of research for the sake of a good story, don't fall for this! Instead try to find and examine the original research. You must ensure the quality of ALL information you collect from sources!

Create a report checklist

A report checklist is a great way to keep track of what you have done and what you still need to complete. There's a lot to do in each CBA and it's easy to forget what you need to do, or to leave out important elements. A report checklist helps you avoid slip ups in the CBA process. Conor has created a sample report checklist for both CBA1 and CBA2. Why not use his as your checklist or else just as a template to create your own one! Trust us that when you're knee-deep in your CBA work you'll be glad to have these checklists to stay organised and focused with your work!

Features of Quality

When your teacher has to choose a descriptor for your CBA they will consider the investigating, communicating and knowledge & understanding demonstrated in your CBAs. These descriptors are: exceptional, above expectations, in line with expectations and yet to meet expectations. It's therefore a good idea to keep these three areas in mind as you complete the CBAs in order to achieve the best possible descriptor! You can find a detailed guide on what is required to attain the various descriptors in our CBA1 guide and our CBA2 guide

We hope this information and tips will help you with your Science CBAs! 

To read Conor's full Science CBA1 guide, including a report template to help you with your experiment, click here

Then, to read Conor's full Science CBA2 guide, click here.

Good luck with both of your Science CBAs! We know you'll do great! 

Conor and the Studyclix team :)

If you're looking for help with your Science exam, check out our 'How to get a Distinction in Junior Cycle Science' guide here.

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