CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) is a required component of the IB Diploma Programme. CAS complements a challenging academic programme in a holistic way, providing opportunities for self-determination, collaboration, accomplishment and enjoyment.
Read here about Yibei (Connie) and her experience:
Examples of Connie's CAS experiences/projects: Leading MS Science Club sessions, Global Issues Club, Hiking, Multilingual Library project, Debate Club
Connie, which of your CAS experiences or projects have meant the most to you personally and why?
My CAS project! Leading a few Middle School Science Club sessions was very enjoyable and challenging.
I led one session at the science club on my own, where I was solely responsible for planning and leading the session. I also led another session with another Grade 12 student.
I have shown to the students in the science club my passion for science and the students were able to gain some scientific knowledge from the sessions I have led. I have learned about how to plan a meaningful session for the students like the teachers at the science club normally do.
Debate Club (Creativity)
Throughout Grade 11 and 12, I participated in ISL’s High School Debate Club every Thursday where I practiced consistently debate and impromptu speaking. By debating a wide range of topics, I was able to gain a lot of new and diverse knowledge. Debate Club also enabled me to develop my communication skills. I have become a more confident public speaker; this skill can be applicable to a lot of situations. I strengthened my research skills and I am able to structure my thoughts in a more coherent manner. Both of these skills benefit my academic writing.
The most memorable moments for me were having online friendly debate competitions with debate clubs from other schools. I was stressed but I was able to learn a lot from others and bond with my team members.
Throughout Grade 11 and 12, I hiked 5km or more every weekend with my family and I regularly presented the evidence on the app AllTrails to my supervisor. I hiked with my family and I love how I was able to spend time with my family by participating in this experience. In addition, I built my endurance by hiking for a long period of time and taking trials with higher elevation.
Building a multilingual library (Service)
Utilising my Chinese language skills, I helped to build a multilingual library by writing down the key information of newly arrived Chinese books in English, such as the author’s and publishing house’s name, so the librarians could log these Chinese books into the digital system. I aimed to contribute to solving the issue of a lack of books in different languages in the library. I am glad that with my work, our students have access to more Chinese books.
Did you undertake an experience that you would not otherwise have had the opportunity or motivation to do? If so, do you feel this has been a valuable experience and why?
I would not have had the motivation to take part in Debate Club as I get anxious when speaking in front of others, but I decided to challenge myself through participation in debate. Now, I am able to speak more confidently and coherently from regular participation, hence, this experience has been valuable.
Have any aspects of your CAS programme equipped you with skills or knowledge that you could draw upon in higher education or in your working life in the future?
Helping at the Middle School Science Club! I have been present at the Middle School Science Club every week with another student from Grade 11, where I have helped the teachers when possible and supervised and communicated with the students while they are carrying out an experiment.
I have gained new skills such as able to spot when someone needs help and communicate effectively with both teachers and students. I have also developed my skill of explaining science concepts in a simple way so the younger students can understand. In addition, I have learned how to help others when they need help and how to make an experience pleasant for others, this can be widely applied when I am collaborating with others.
Which of your CAS experiences presented you with the greatest challenge/s? How did you overcome this/these?
Hiking, as I went on a hike every weekend, I had to better manage my time throughout the week in order to have time for hiking on the weekend amid heavy workload of IB. Under difficult weather, I was inclined to give up the hike of the week. When this happened, I reminded myself of the importance of perseverance and how I can become more resilient.
Which experiences are you likely to continue once your IBDP is finished, even if in a different place or organisation?
I think I will likely continue with hiking as it has been a great and enjoyable form of physical exercise for me; I will continue with it in order to stay fit and build my endurance.
Do you have any further feedback to offer about your CAS programme?
I truly enjoyed all my CAS experiences and my CAS project as they have all equipped me with different skills.
I would highly recommend the CAS project I have undertaken. I had the precious opportunity to display my passion for science and it was extremely fulfilling to work with younger students. In addition, I demonstrated community involvement through this initiative. I also strengthened my leadership, communication and collaboration skills. I am also grateful that this project enhanced my successful UK Medical School application.