Story/Interview December 5, 2022
IBDP student’s talents go beyond the online classroom
Through the online IB Diploma Programme at King’s InterHigh, María Delgado is collaborating academically and making friends around the world. In turn, this is helping her make connections and work on projects outside of the virtual classroom.
A naturally curious high achiever, it’s no surprise that her other activities include writing two books and delivering lectures to university students on quantum computing. As she progresses through her education, María hopes to help others find the motivation she has.
María lives in Huesca, a small city near the Pyrenees mountain range in the Aragon region of Spain.
A gifted student with heaps of natural curiosity, her desire to learn soon took her beyond her former school’s curriculum to involvement with international projects. These include delivering lectures at a Mexican university and taking part in several New York-based science projects (more on that later).
Despite María’s passion for learning, however, her neurologist advised her to not attend physical classes after she was diagnosed with chronic migraines.
Forced into a break from traditional learning, María soon began researching online schools. That’s when she discovered King’s InterHigh and the fully online International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) — a world-first for the IB. As a self-driven and ambitious student who is always looking for opportunities to be a trailblazer, joining the world’s first cohort to study the IB curriculum online was a no-brainer for María.
Studying the IB online
María has nothing but praise for online learning. “It’s the best,” she says. “Our environment is so active, and I’ve been making new friends since day one.”
Plus, her teachers are both academically impressive and emotionally empathetic. If María can’t attend a class or meet a deadline due to her migraines, she doesn’t just have the support of King’s InterHigh’s library of lesson recordings. She also has the support of her teachers, who she describes as understanding and always ready to offer help. “That’s not something I’ve ever experienced in life.”
What makes the IB special? María says it’s that she and her peers are all in it together, and every lesson is different. Her teachers can see how well they’re all interacting with one another, and that collaborative spirit reaches beyond the classroom: “We have video calls every day, outside of school.”
She has a scientific mind, with maths and physics being her favourite subjects. But María also has great love for creative subjects and says English literature has given her a new perspective of English writing. Then there’s visual arts, which has more than just academic benefits for María. “I did a lot of drawing in physical school. It helps me relax, and it’s a chance to get creative and think differently,” she explains.
Something María didn’t expect to be so interesting was studying economics; technology helped her see it in a new way. “We had an economics lesson in virtual reality (VR), and we were counting cows and chickens! I would never have guessed this was what economics could be about. I was expecting lots of graphs.”
“Online school is the best. The environment is so active, and I’ve been making new friends since day one. We’re having video calls outside of class.”
María is not only learning from her teachers, but her classmates too. In and out of lessons, she finds herself discovering new things about different parts of the world and other cultures.
The King’s InterHigh community is proud to be diverse, and there’s a variety of perspectives and future ambitions between María and her classmates. That said, they share something in common: they’re all determined to do the best they can in reaching their goals. “Some people are interested in medicine, while others are interested in fashion,” she tells us, “but we’re all high achievers, and that’s so cool.”
Speaking of high achievers, as mentioned earlier, María’s academic activities aren’t limited to the virtual classroom. She’s part of several scientific programmes, including the World Science Scholars (by World Science Festival), where 40 students with a talent for maths are chosen to take part in university courses and research.
María’s also been connecting with IB students from around the world, which has led to other exciting opportunities. She’s part of the New York Academy of Sciences’ Junior Academy and ‘1,000 Girls, 1,000 Futures’. Both initiatives are about helping humankind. “You’ll work with others to find new approaches to solving problems, and present what you’ve worked on,” she explains.
And her inquisitive mind doesn’t stop there. Studying with King’s InterHigh isn’t the first online learning experience Maria’s tried her hand at — she’s completed several additional courses, such as the IBM-sponsored Introduction to Quantum Computing. She’s even gained a bit of a reputation for herself for often being the youngest person taking part!
This all sounds rather academic, but María has creative interests too. In fact, she’s writing two books. One is set in a dystopian universe and asks the question: what is family? “We all know the word, but how much do we really understand it?” she queries. “The story crosses the multiverse and involves characters with powers. I’m having fun writing it!”
And the second book? It’s about recognising no two young people are the same. “I’m writing about how society is trying to convert all teenagers into the same person. But people need to understand that we’re all different.”
“IB students all have different perspective and ambitions. Some of us are interested in medicine, while others want to pursue fashion. But what’s really cool is that we’re all high achievers”
With everything she takes on for her IB studies and her own interests, it seems like María is already terrifically accomplished. So, where will she go from here?
One of María’s hopes is to study a combination of maths and neuroscience at university. As well as progressing with her own development, she also sees herself helping others to find their passion.
“I want to find a way to show students that if they find their motivation, and they pursue it, they can succeed in life,” she says. “I’ve progressed far with maths, but it was because I had a good role model in my former maths teacher. They were the reason why I wanted to pursue maths. And I think that if people can find the kind of motivation or role model that I did, there’s nothing stopping them from having the future they want.”
We’re delighted to welcome María to our global community and excited to follow her on her learning journey.
“If people can find the kind of motivation or role model that I did, there’s nothing stopping them from having the future they want.”