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Moderator‘s comment: Example 25

Example 25: To what extent is the colonization of Mars


Criterion Marks available Marks awarded

A: Focus and method 6 6

B: Knowledge and 8 9
understanding in context
C: Critical thinking 10 12

D: Communication 3 3

E: Engagement and reflection 6 6

Total 33 36

Moderator comments
Here is an original reflective project: the candidate deals with a very broad ethical question, but
nevertheless it is clearly linked to their career-related studies. The result is an inspiring and vibrant film and

Criterion A: Focus and method

The notion of an ethical issue related to a candidate’s studies is vast. Some candidates choose a very
specific issue, even technical, which requires them to transmit knowledge with great precision. This is
particularly the case for projects dealing with reproductive technologies or those with legal or commercial
dimensions. Others prefer much more general issues. This is the case with this project that addresses the
colonization of Mars. The candidate begins by demonstrating the links between their own studies in the
field of engineering and the research topic. Moreover, they do not fail to present the interest for this issue.
The candidate is obviously passionate about their subject. The result is an authentic and thoughtful project.

Criterion B: Knowledge and understanding in context

The candidate has a very good understanding of their research topic. Multiple dimensions are explored:
social, with the question of the selection of candidates for the colonization of Mars; ecological, with the
crisis of global warming and the possible plan B that would represent the terraforming of Mars; moral, with
a questioning about the legitimacy of investing funds in such a venture. Without going deeply into each of
these dimensions, the fact remains that the candidate analyses the full spectrum of the challenges of this
space exploration. Another positive point: the film is not just a retelling of the content in the commentary, as
is too often the case. Original content, not present in the short written essay, is found in the film, so that the
two media complement each other. One criticism: the written comment is a bit short (1,648 words). There
was a little space left for deepening ideas.

Criterion C: Critical thinking

The candidate takes a clear stand in favour of the colonization of Mars, and all the arguments aim to
convince the reader of the validity of their position. They concentrate relentlessly on different positions but
without digressions interrupting the course of their logic. In this respect, it is a good example of a
successful argumentative strategy. Admittedly, the hypothetical nature of certain ideas (for example the
scenario in which one evokes the end of humanity or the considerations relating to the impact on Martian
life) is sometimes science fiction. This is undoubtedly inevitable with this kind of ethical issue, but more
nuanced research would have been preferable. This explains the loss of 2 marks for this criterion.

Criterion D: Communication
The candidate is an excellent communicator. The written essay and the short film are clearly articulated. It
is not surprising that the score of 3 out of 3 marks is awarded for this criterion.

Reflective project teacher support material 1

Moderator‘s comment: Example 25

Criterion E: Engagement and reflection

The candidate’s reflection is of high quality, not only because they do not make the mistake of rewriting
what they have already presented in their two media, but also and especially because they focus on their
learning through the realized reflective project. In this respect, the final reflection is exemplary: the
candidate summarizes the mistakes they have made and how they will avoid them in the future. There are
also reflections regarding the passion needed to produce works that stand out. In all cases, it is a correctly
completed form.

Reflective project teacher support material 2