IB ESS IA Topics: 20+ Ideas for Standard and High Levels

An easy way to write an IB ESS IA from start to finish is to work on a topic that you find interesting to explore. Your paper can be an experimental or questionnaire-based internal assessment, with data collection being central to the assignment.

Perhaps the most challenging stage of the IB ESS IA assignment is the topics selection phase.

Brainstorming for topics takes longer. Verifying your ideas equally requires more time. And by the time you find a topic to work on, you may be too exhausted to conduct in-depth research and write your report.

So, we’ve put together a list of 20+ ESS IA topics from which you can choose an idea to explore.

Key Takeaways

  • The Environmental Systems and Societies assignment is worth 25% of your final grades.
  • Your final ESS IA report must be no more than 2,250 words.
  • You can choose any topic that fits your interest. However, ensure you can explore it and write your report well enough to tick all the boxes of the assessment criteria.

What is ESS in IB Internal Assessment?

IB ESS is a multidisciplinary course that:

  • Explores ecosystems like tropical rainforests and deserts
  • Studies biodiversity and endangered species
  • Analyzes human population in terms of size, distribution, and demographic

The course scrutinizes local and global human impacts, delves into the primary causes of global warming, and equips students with solutions for these issues. The program offers a diverse range of learning opportunities to students through a mix of laboratory work, field trips, investigations, and surveys.

As a highly relevant and up-to-date course, IB ESS guarantees a wealth of knowledge on environmental challenges, topics, as well as potential solutions pertinent to both the environment and societies.

20+ Best IB ESS IA Topics, Ideas and Examples to Explore

Below are 20+ IB ESS IA topics to inspire you to start working on your Internal Assessment project right away.

  1. Investigate the enduring impact of oil, heavy metals, pesticides, and fertilizers on diverse aquatic flora in varied environmental settings.
  2. Quantify and characterize debris deposition on diverse Singaporean beaches.
  3. Do a comparative analysis of developmental stages across diverse populations with clear similarities and disparities.
  4. Assess environmental contamination through indicator species to track the presence or absence of contaminants in air, water, or land.
  5. Focus on the innovative approaches to testing the effects of acid rain on plant life and degradation of concrete structures.
  6. You can investigate the relationships between variables like temperature and dissolved oxygen concentration.
  7. Explore the effects of UV radiation on a spectrum of materials: from plant life to rubber and plastics.
  8. Analyze environmental changes and inference of succession processes through comparative studies.
  9. Address soil compaction, conditioners, wind-dampening techniques, and cultivation strategies.
  10. Compare biodiversity across different environments and do a comprehensive analysis of their diverse ecosystems.
  11. Investigate factors affecting organism flourishing. 
  12. Analyze the predictive power of the Lincoln Index and explain the factors that influence its accuracy.
  13. Exploring the origins of sediment load in runoff, making sure you show the right way to plan and executive an investigative inquiry.
  14. Analyze factors affecting elodea photosynthetic rates, then isolate, and examine their impact.
  15. You can investigate zonation patterns in specific environments like mangroves. Specifically, you can explore and analyze their presence and causes.
  16. Do a comprehensive study across diverse habitats that map the ecosystem productivity variations.
  17. Show a clear understanding of the nexus between wildfires and climate change and analyze their contributory effects.
  18. Evaluate pesticide impact on species diversity, focusing specifically on their influence on ecosystem variety.
  19. Your paper can examine the impediments faced by United States desert bighorn sheep due to border wall structures and study their movement and habitat disruption.
  20. Study and write about the impact of acid rain on plant development and germination.
  21. You can assess the deceleration rates of plant growth due to salinization.
  22. The ESS report can focus on the breakdown rates of decomposition dynamics of biodegradable polymers in environmental contexts.
  23. Unpack the relationship between income and ecological footprint and determining proportional attribution.
  24. You can talk about the interplay of carbon emissions, acid rain, and economic growth and, at the same time, analyze their impact.
  25. Your work can explore the effects of agricultural fertilizers on Danube river macro-invertebrate abundance and diversity.
  26. Assess forest proximity impact on surrounding soil biodiversity, particularly focusing on their influence levels.
  27. Analyzing water usage impact: Dishwashing and water consumption in household settings
  28. Conduct an in-depth investigation that demonstrates a clear understanding of the recycler age disparities in Huston. 
  29. Assess the agricultural influence on diverse ecosystems in the Danube River in Germany.
  30. Examine the environmental consequence of the aerosol spray on the ozone layer.
  31. Use France’s statistical data to draw insights that correlate C02 emissions and life expectancy rates.
  32. Analyze age groups’ influence on environmental perspectives by drawing inspiration from Mexico City’s population.
  33. Investigate influential factors into well water’s impact on Ocimum Basilicum development.
  34. Do a statistical analysis that assesses the link between C02 emissions and respiratory disease mortality in Buenos Aires.

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