Ib Biology Extended Essay Experiments With Magnets

Extended Essay

A. Before you consider doing an extended essay in biology, please be aware of three systematic biases:
  • EEs in biology routinely score approximately one full grade lower than do EEs in most other subjects. While the intentions of the IBO with regard to EEs remain unclear, worldwide records of past EE evaluations support the conclusion that biology EEs routinely score the lowest of any subject.
  • Within biology, experimental EEs score significantly higher than research-based EEs.
  • Within biology, EEs that are based on local resources and/or personal topics score significantly higher than EEs that are more general and less personal.

B. To be accepted as a biology EE candidate after you must successfully respond to each of the following. Make a written submission by email or hard copy:

1. Choose a suitable topic:

  • must be biological and not in another field of study, nor overlapping between two fields of study (not biochemistry, for example)
    • avoid sports, psychology, chemistry
    • avoid non-experimental topics
    • avoid literature-based topics, unless:
      • multiple primary sources
      • analytical approach
  • must involve living organisms, and or interactions between them
  • must be beyond the IB Biology syllabus, that's why it's an extended essay

2. Choose an approach, either:

  • research-based, using relevant primary sources from the scientific literature

3. Formulate a research question:

  • state as a focused question,
  • based on the relationship between one, or more, independent variables and one, or more, dependent variables

4. Generate a hypothesis:

  • predict the effect of the independent variable(s) on the dependent variable(s)
  • justify the argument for the supposed relationship

5. Plan your methods:

  • experimental:
    • outline the materials and procedure
  • research:
    • present at least two primary sources that directly relate to your research question

Upon reviewing your submission, additional details may be required. Only upon approval will you qualify as a biology EE candidate. The first three students to successfully complete this process will qualify.

C. Doing the EE

6. Advice:

  • The IBDP stipulates that you can ask for advice in the following areas:
    • writing an abstract
    • constructing an effective argument
    • establishing, refining and using the research question
    • referencing the text
    • bibliographic entries especially for web based resources
    • structuring the essay (headings and sub headings)
    • writing a critical evaluation
    • incorporating and integrating diagrams and illustrations
    • creating effective controls for experiments
    • selecting material for inclusion in an appendix

7. Resources:

  • for experimental work, plan ahead so that resources you require can be procured
  • you are welcome to use the N305A work room, and use any of the lab equipment
  • if you need additional equipment, submit a request

8. Deadlines:

  • All CA IBDP deadlines must be followed.
    • Rough drafts received by the draft deadline will be criteria marked
    • Based on the feedback, you can make improvements in your final EE
    • Rough drafts submitted after the rough draft deadline will not be criteria marked for feedback

9. Final EE:

  • Submit three complete copies

10. IB EE Guide: click below

09.05 EE.txt

Extended Essay Outline

This is just a very brief outline. Much more detail can be obtained from the appropriate I.B. publications.


Give a clear title which says exactly what the essay is about.

Be precise. For example, if the essay is about transistors, "Transistors" is not a suitable title! Be sure to state the particular aspect of their behaviour you will describe; perhaps "The effect of temperature variations on the performance of transistor amplifiers".


On a separate sheet, a few sentences stating:

  • why you chose the topic

  • what the essay includes (a little more detail than in the title).


Give a clear set of subtitles to the various parts of the essay, including page numbers.


Separated into sections with subtitles (as stated above) starting with a general introduction to the subject. Number and label all diagrams, Fig.1, Fig.2 etc.

If you do practical work, include a complete experiment description in the usual way; title, method, conclusions etc.

The last section of the essay is the conclusion. This gives a concise summary of the essay and repeats any conclusions to be drawn from the experiments performed.


Give detailed reference to all sources used in your research.

Extended Essay Topics in Physics

These are just a few of the many topics chosen in the past…

  • Wave Optics
  • The use of Lasers in Hi-Fl Electronics
  • Black holes
  • The Doppler Effect
  • Aerodynamics
  • The effect of obstacles on wind speed
  • The role of electro-magnetism in modern music
  • The Physics of the Rainbow
  • Radioactive decay
  • Resonant circuits
  • Energy sources for the future
  • Investigating the behaviour of materials under tension
  • Rates of cooling in porridge (!)
  • What happens during a collision
  • Gravitation and the motion of the Planets
  • Newton: His Life and Work
  • Deviations from Newton’s Law of Cooling
  • How does surface tension vary with temperature?
  • The physics of a chicken egg
  • Solar energy
  • Water power
  • Variation of resisting forces with velocity in fluids
  • The earth’s magnetic field
  • The speed of sound
  • Quarks and Quantum Chromodynamics
  • The junction transistor and the effects of temperature
  • The behaviour of vehicles during braking
  • The aerodynamics of wings at low speed
  • The basic structure and technology of the micro-electronic transistor.
  • Carbon dioxide lasers
  • Operational amplifiers characteristics and uses
  • The behaviour of field effect transistors in audio circuits
  • Factors to be considered in the design of a speed boat
  • Materials used for making artificial limbs
  • Design of aircraft wings
  • Is there intelligent life elsewhere in the universe?
  • Is there intelligent life in the IB?


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