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6. 1. 3  Setting up and Running the Practical Exams In order to reduce the necessary equipment and as usual for an IBO, each practical was organ­ ized in four sessions with the students rotating through each exam. To avoid communication between students from different groups, the exams were organized in geographically different locations, which included different rooms for the students to relax between exams and also two different locations to have lunch. Meeting all these requirements was only possible by organizing two practical exams that did not require wet lab equipment, but could be held in ordinary lecture rooms close to a second cafeteria. Since practical 3 (Etho) only required minimal equipment (computer tablet with videos only), we were able to organize this exam in a large lecture room. This was, however, not possible for the other three practicals. These required the handling of material, which would allow students to copy experimental procedure from others by observing them. Following the tradi­ tion of previous IBOs, we thus organized the work places of these three practicals in cubicles that were walled on three sides to shield the competitors off from each other. While previous IBOs often built up impressive cubicles using wooden structures, we opted for a cheaper, recycable and less labor intensive solution based on cardboard (see FIGURE 6 .1), which was feasible despite the elevated risk of fire because Bunsen burners or similar equipment were not required in any of the practicals.


NOTE for layout: Most figures are available as pdfs (except screen shots)

Figure 1 – Cardboard cubicles for practical exams: To save money, material and the time required FIGURE 6 .1  Cardboard cubicles for practical exams:

to set up the practical examination rooms, we decided to construct cubicles from identical cardboard To save money, the were time required to set uptothe practicalstructure examination rooms, the we recesses pieces (left).material Two suchand pieces then put together a cross-like by matching (right). multiple suchfrom crosses together resulted inpieces always(left). two cubicles facing eachwere other. Since decided to Putting construct cubicles identical cardboard Two such pieces the crosses were able to stand on their own, they were tacked together and taped to the tables / benches thenwhere put together to a cross-like structure by matching the recesses (right). Putting multiple necessary. such crosses together resulted in always two cubicles facing each other. Since the crosses were able to stand on their own, they were tacked together and taped to the tables / benches where necessary.

Preparation of the exam rooms could not start before Saturday July 13, just before the IBO, due to constraints on most rooms (some could only be used as of Monday) and because our volunteers were not available earlier. An additional challenge was that the people in charge of the practical exams were also required in the jury session during the discussion of their exams on Monday while at the same time the equipment was installed. It was thus important to organize all necessary equipment such that individual work places could be installed easily and quickly.

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IBO 2013 Final Report