Each year as students work towards the IB Diploma, they must also complete a CAS project. CAS, which stands for creativity, activity, and service, is a required component of the diploma program.
Due to the coronavirus, students’ CAS projects are running a little differently. This year students were encouraged to do a social media activism project. With this new task, each group takes on a topic and uses social media to bring awareness to their cause.
With CAS only lasting a few short months because of the change of plans, students had to be creative in thinking of new ways to incorporate all the components into their social media.
There are many diverse groups that are each taking on their own topics to spread awareness about. One of the most popular projects is For The Beez, a Tik Tok account that posts every Saturday. The CAS group made up of seniors Ryan Erdmann, Luke Meyer, Jack Erickson, and Sam Hatfield, regularly posts informational and entertaining Tik Toks to better educate students on the importance of bees in the environment.
“Bees are a keystone species,” Hatfield said. “They have an influence on everything that goes on in the environment, so it’s important that we make sure that they are safe and that they’re plentiful in numbers.”
The group’s goals are bright as they hope to inform DHS students about the importance of bees in an environment.
“Obviously we want to pass CAS because we’re IB diploma candidates,” Hatfield said. “But we also just want to make sure that we made a difference with our project and [that] we made it count.”
There are other groups that have taken on specific issues that needed to be addressed, for example, the MPS Green Team. This CAS project focuses on environmental issues, both on a local and global scale.
“Through our CAS project, we research environmental issues that play a role in the lives of locals in Michigan and present reports via our social media to raise awareness and educate,” senior Alex Griffin said. “This matters on a large scale because the health of our environment impacts nearly everyone.”
The two seniors are very passionate about their topic and wanted to share it with other students.
“Evan [Gebo] and I wanted to be able to share our interests in environmental health with other students,” Griffin said. “[We] believe it’s necessary for people to know what is going on around them so they can make decisions with their best interests in mind.”
Another big CAS project that has 141 Instagram followers is MPS Joy Central. This account, run by seniors Lotte Ferket, Abigail Jendretzke, and Kayla Seitz, posts every week on how students can better mental health.
“We give self-care tips and try to help educate people on different mental health topics,” Jendretzke said. “We generally try to gauge what people might be going through and help in whatever ways we think will do the most good.”
Along with this, each group member has their own specific jobs and tasks in order to keep the CAS project up and running.
“Lotte is our designer,” Jendretzke said. “She makes all of our posts look nice, and comes up with most of the topics that we post about. Kayla is our social media coordinator. She does things like come up with captions and posts things on our page. Overall, we really just function as a team. We try to take turns researching the different topics and we try our best to work together to make our project run smoothly.”
CAS is a very important part of the IB experience and is required for the IB Diploma. As the IB candidates work together throughout the project process, they learn many important lessons and skills.
“CAS helps to develop a lot of real-life skills, like taking your own initiative or working with others,” Jendretzke said. “We think that CAS is a big part of the IB core because it truly embodies the IB principles. We have to be risk-takers and come up with an entirely our own project, even if that means we have to fail along the way. We have to be caring and try to do something that will benefit our community. We have to be reflective and learn from the mistakes that we inevitably make. This only scratches the surface of CAS. It is truly one of the biggest opportunities for growth.”