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Masks, Spies and Museums: 2017 TOK Week


Audentes students recently got a week of field-trips and hands-on activities. From Wednesday, 31 May through Wednesday, 7 June, Audentes faculty held our annual Theory of Knowledge Week.

Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is an IB interdisciplinary course. It provides ways for students to connect all of their other courses, from physics to literature to business management. TOK compares and contrasts the methods of different arts and sciences. TOK Week highlights various themes in TOK.

We kicked off TOK Week on Wednesday, 24 May with an excursion to Tartu. PreIB, DP1, and some DP2 students took off by bus, accompanied by Heidy Eskor-Kiviloo (Audentes IB Coordinator), Tatyana Kasima (English and Russian), Rodrigo Preciado (Entrepreurship), Kadri Viires (Anthropology), and Anu Petermann (Estonian). At Tartu, they got a guided tour of the Estonian National Museum, together with a workshop on Finno-Ugric nations. The whole group then went to the AHHAA Science Centre. Thus, in one day they got to explore both science and history.

On Friday, 2 June, PreIB and DP1 students explored Kadriorg Park, led by Jason Van Boom (History, TOK) and Anu Petermann. We started at Friedrich Reinhold Kreuzwald monument, where Anu spoke about Kreuzwald’s Kalevipoeg, Estonia’s national epic. Jason then gave the students a scavenger hunt list of tyoes of objects to look for (mythological creatures, scientific instruments, Chinese porcelain, etc.) Students went looking for these at the Kadriorg Park Museum and Library, the Mikkeli Museum, and KUMU. The group concluded the tour at the Russalka sea memorial, where Jason spoke about Tallinn’s importance for the Russian navy in the Russo-Japanese War.

Monday, 5 June saw “Computer Science Without a Computer.” Kalmer Piiskop (Computer Science) and Jason led students through exercises on computer logic, without anyone using a computer. Jason started with videos and discussions about British code breaking of Nazi messages during World War II. Kalmer gave students various individual and team activities on topics such as algorithms and sorting. Students finished with a role playing game (“Tradecraft:  The Stockholm Incident”). Students pretended to be American, British, East German, and Soviet spies at the 1962 Stockholm Nobel Prize ceremony. They competed in sharing and stealing secrets. (East Germany won). Students finished the day with “Prediction and Surprise:  Counter-Intuitive Experiments in Physics and Chemistry”, led by Tanel Peets (Physics) and Anna Kikkas (Chemistry).

The next day (Tuesday, 6 June), students went from espionage to madness. Triin Meritam (Mathematics) and Triin-Ketlin Siska (School Psychologist) led them on a discussion of the film “A Beautiful Mind”. They discussed game theory and abnormal psychology.

TOK Week concluded on Wednesday, 7 June with a focus on codes and communications. Neftali Peral Joris (Spanish) entertained students with a Kahoot! phone/video game on Spanish culture. PreIB and DP1 then split up into separate groups.

PreIB focused on codes and communications. Rodrigo Preciado conducted a Mafia roleplaying game, to illustrate the importance of communications and trust. Peeter Mikkov (Mathematics) had students compete in encrypting and decrypting codes. Kadri Viires had a special anthropological presentation with wooden tribal masks from Africa and Alaska, helped by Dr J-L. Rouuselot (a specialist in shamanism). Jason and Heidy then took the PreIB students to the KGB Museum at Sokos Hotel Viru.

DP1 students spent their final day looking at the intersection of science and literature at the Museum of Health. Agata Marzecova (Biology) and Tatyana Kasima led the activities. Students were asked to write a short story or essay on a technological utopian or dystopian topic, based on their explorations of the museum.

All in all, TOK Week gave students an interesting break from the normal routines of lessons and exams. We were happy to conclude the year with this exercise in holistic education.