International mindededness – the story of ozone

One strength of the IB Chemistry syllabus is the environment theme that runs through each topic. This provides a rich opportunity for contexualising important understanding through connections to the nature of science, international mindedness, and real life applications.

Topic 14.1 Chemical bonding and structure provides a context for thinking about international mindedness through the story of ozone and for thinking about

  • How ozone depletion has changed over time?
  • What we have done as a global community to reduce ozone depletion?
  • The extent to which ozone depletion is an example of both a both a success and a failure for solving an international concern.
  • The global impact of ozone depletion

On Friday we were finishing up Chemical Bonding and for our last lesson we spent 40 minutes having a discussion about ozone depletion from the perspectives of nature of science and international mindedness. I have to say I was impressed with the discussion, so I thought I would share the lesson and what my students were thinking

1. First, the students reviewed the pathways to scientific discovery flow chart (also on page 12 of the Chemistry Guide)\

2. They then watched The Antarctic ozone hole  РFrom discovery to recovery, a scientific journey (from UNEP) and identified aspect from the video that connected to a specific aspect of the pathways to scientific discovery.

3. The students then shared the connections they made, which I summarized for them in a Wordle


4. Finally, they identified common themes that emerged.

  • Science involves identifying new questions
  • Scientists build on existing knowledge
  • Science involves international collaboration
  • Scientists work in cross-disciplinary teams (economists, mathematicians, sociologists, NGO’s and governments etc) to solve problems facing society
  • Scientists work in inter-disciplinary teams (chemists, physicists, geologists, biologists) to identify problems and find solutions to scientific problems



Ritchhart, R., Church, M., & Morrison. (2011). Making Thinking Visible. San Francisco:Josseyboss.

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