SIS News Archive
SIS Students Earn Top Scores in IB Physics - Again
Posted 08/30/2017 11:42AM
For the second year in a row, Shekou International School students earned top scores in IB Physics. An impressive 50% of the students enrolled in IB Physics received a 7, the highest possible score and SIS students far exceeded world-wide averages. The average world-wide grade in high level physics was a 4.65 while at SIS it was 5.33 and at the standard level the world-wide score was 4.08 and SIS achieved an extraordinary 6.33. These scores are not the result of luck but of hardwork and dedication from the students as well as the experienced and passionate teaching team at SIS and in particular, Mr. Eddie Bywater, physics and math teacher.Mr. Bywater has always had a natural curiosity that fueled his passion for physics, but his path after high school took him in a different direction. Being the oldest of 5 children and also hoping to have a large family himself, Mr. Bywater decided to pursue a high paying career in chemical engineering and enrolled in the chemical engineering program at Brigham Young University (BYU). After 3 years of study, at the beginning of his senior year, he came to the conclusion "that refining petroleum would be extremely boring" and that he wanted a career that would allow him to work with people. Seizing upon a background desire to be a teacher, Mr. Bywater added another major, physics education in addition to his minor in music. Staying an extra year-and-a-half at university to earn a degree in physics education paid off when Mr. Bywater was offered a position at Singapore American School, one of the leading international schools in Asia.Drawing on his high school physics experience, Mr. Bywater set out to be a different type of teacher. "My high school did not offer AP Physics so I drove across town to another high school that offered physics. Unfortunately, there was very little interaction, no discussion, no labs, and no discovery, which are the best parts of physics," recalled Mr. Bywater. Now in his 12th year of teaching, Mr. Bywater's approach has combined setting high expectations, providing support and fostering an atmosphere of collaboration not to mention exploring physics with fun and amazement. "If I am amazed and in awe when I explain a topic to my students, then they in turn will be too. I try to infuse the subject with a sense of wonder," explained Mr. Bywater. "Our students are amazing and motivated and they were able to do well in a difficult subject because they had a solid foundation in math and science, thanks to the many teachers before me. You really can't base the success of students by the teaching of one teacher." Mr. Bywater went on to explain, "What happens inside and outside of the classroom is different here at SIS. Because of our close community and small class sizes, students feel comfortable asking questions in class and asking for individual help after class. Our students are motivated and ambitious but they also understand the importance of collaboration and working together."So, while none of Mr. Bywater's students are currently planning on majoring in physics one is following in his footsteps and is majoring in chemical engineering at UC Berkeley and another is considering a teaching career. For sure they were all inspired by Mr. Bywater and the SIS team.