How to deal with CAS: Ideas for IB Students | Part 4 | CAS Project

The CAS Project

“Hey, how’s CAS going?”
“Really well thanks – I’ve got plenty of activities and experiences on the go so I should have enough to put in my reflections!”
“And how about your CAS project? How is that coming along?”
*Internal panic – CAS project????! You mean there’s more to CAS than just my ordinary experiences? YIKES*

If this scenario seems familiar, we’re here to help! Next up in our CAS series is our advice for the CAS project. We’re going to take you through what you need to do to fulfil this IB requirement. The CAS project might seem time consuming on the surface, but I promise it’s much more fun and rewarding than it may look written out on paper. So, read on for our simple guide to nailing the CAS project…

What’s a CAS Project?

As I mentioned in last week’s blog, a CAS experience is a specific event in which you engage with one or more of the creativity, activity or service strands. It can be a single event or an extended series of events. However, a CAS project is a collaborative series of CAS experiences lasting for at least one month.

For me, the two bits of important information here are:

  1. A CAS project is collaborative – you must demonstrate teamwork and cooperation. This could be with a group of students or with members of the wider community.
  2. A project must last for at least a whole month – this can include the planning stages to completion. But a project of longer than a month is absolutely fine too, and is likely to offer greater possibilities!

Additionally, you must be involved in at least one CAS project during the IB Diploma programme. Your project/s should address at least one of creativity, activity and service, or they can combine two or all three. So there are plenty of options!

What do I need to do?

The IBO states that “All CAS projects are designed with a defined purpose and goals”. So your CAS project should have clearly defined, achievable results, which will hopefully make the process easier for everyone to follow. If you’re running a charity event, your purpose could be your reasons for supporting a specific charity, and one of your goals might be the total amount you hope to have raised by the end. Or if you’re putting on a talent show, or dance performance, your purpose could be to bring together multiple year groups in your school to enhance the community, and a goal could be to sell a certain number of tickets.

Like your other CAS experiences, you’re expected to reflect on your progress throughout your CAS project/s. As it is collaborative, your CAS project is a good opportunity for group reflection, as this can give you different perspectives during the process. As I’ve said before, think about the ways in which you can make CAS more fun. If you’re creative, and enjoy editing, why not make a video diary throughout the duration of your project, and interview other participants to get varied responses of reflection. Or you could set up an Instagram account to document the progress of your project through photos!

University Applications

I’m guessing that a lot of you will be writing university applications or personal statements in the coming months. If so, then your CAS project is often a good thing to discuss. If you’ve engaged with the wider community and made a positive change with your CAS project, then this will look very impressive on a personal statement. Or perhaps you’ve demonstrated leadership skills throughout your project? Again, these are key things university admissions officers will be looking for in your application.

If you’re in need of bespoke support with your personal statement or university applications, then Lanterna is here to help! Through our Online Private Tuition, one of our amazing tutors will be able to guide you through the process and offer their tips and advice based on their own recent application experience. For more information, click HERE.

Example CAS Projects

To help you get the ball rolling, here are a few example CAS projects, as suggested by the IBO:

  • CREATIVITY: A student group plans, designs and creates a mural
  • ACTIVITY: Students organize and participate in a sports team including training sessions and matches against other teams
  • SERVICE: Students set up and conduct tutoring for people in need (this is exactly how Lanterna started!)
  • CREATIVITY AND ACTIVITY: Students choreograph a routine for their marching band
  • SERVICE AND ACTIVITY: Students plan and participate in the planting and maintenance of a garden with members of the local community
  • SERVICE AND CREATIVITY: Students identify that children at a local school need backpacks and subsequently design and make the backpacks out of recycled materials
  • CREATIVITY, ACTIVITY AND SERVICE: Students rehearse and perform a dance production for a community retirement home

For even more CAS project inspiration, check out this story about students in Indiana who organized a huge recycling drive to help an IB School in Flint, Michigan.

That’s all from me today, but good luck with your CAS projects! Remember to have fun and enjoy the process, and don’t be afraid to think outside of the box!

Tons of Free IB Resources Here!

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