Juggling activities for CAS on top of all of the academic assignments you have to do during your 2 years in the IB program might feel overwhelming…but don’t sweat!

In this post, we’ll first go over what exactly CAS is, tips on how to plan it, and give you examples of 50 CAS projects that past IB students have actually done. Hopefully this will get you inspired to plan your very own CAS project 🙂


Table of Contents


1. First of all, what is CAS?

CAS stands for “Creativity, Action, Service”, and refers to extracurricular activities that all students must complete in order to acquire the IB Diploma Programme (IBDP). Unlike the Final Exam, it is not officially evaluated by the IBO and the progress of the CAS is reviewed between the school and the students. Students must engage in extracurricular activities that fall into the Creativity, Action, and Service categories over a set period of time, keeping a CAS Portfolio with evidence of their activities and a Reflection, a meaningful in-depth record of your thoughts and learnings.

According to the IBO, the 3 pillars of CAS are characterized as follows:

  • Creativity – Arts, and other experiences that involve creative thinking.
  • Action – Physical activity contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing academic work elsewhere in the DP.
  • Service – An unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student. The rights, dignity and autonomy of all those involved are respected.

The IB organization no longer imposes a minimum number of hours regarding CAS, but the previous requirement was a total of 150 hours, with at least 50 hours in each category (Creativity, Action, Service).


2. Why is CAS so important?

The purpose and significance of CAS proposed by IB are as follows.

  • Recognize your strengths and areas where you still have room to grow
  • Take on new challenges and develop problem solving skills
  • Plan an activity and start it, and experience decision making
  • Collaborate with the people around you
  • Consider the ethical implications of your actions
  • Show perseverance and positivity
  • Develop new skills … etc.

Whether or not the above learning outcomes have been achieved by the student’s CAS activities will be evaluated.

CAS enables students to enhance their personal and interpersonal development by learning through non academic activities. It provides opportunities for self-determination and collaboration with others, fostering a sense of accomplishment and enjoyment from their work.
At the same time, CAS is an important activity to support students in keeping balance between the academic expectations of the IB Diploma, and their healthy lifestyle.

You can read more details about the curriculum here .


3. How to plan your CAS project?

So now that you have an idea of what CAS is about, here are some ways to come up with a good CAS project that ticks all the criteria of the IB Diploma, while also making sure that you enjoy each activity.

☆Step 1: Reflect on your current lifestyle.

1. Brainstorm all the things you already do outside of your academic studies.
2. Go through your list and label each of them “Creativity”, “Action”, and “Service”, according to the type of activity.
3. Mark the experiences you are willing to continue throughout the 3-4 hour weekly commitment for the 18 months of CAS.
4. Look back at your list and see if you have a balanced amount of activities for each category. Do you need more “Service” activities? Take note and move on to the next step.

☆Step 2: Combine CAS with your strengths, interests, and values

It’s definitely possible to combine your hobbies with activities that will count towards CAS!
For example, if you love being outdoors, why not organize an Outdoors Club at your school and take other interested students hiking?
You will be doing something that makes you excited at the same time as contributing to your community by planning, and leading a safe adventurous trip. Therefore, this activity could be considered both an “Action” and a “Service”.

☆Step 3: Get out of your comfort zone and try something new!

CAS is also there to challenge you to try new experiences and go out of your comfort zone. For example, take a chance on your love of writing by submitting your work to contest and publications or teaching others about writing in an after-school club!


4. CAS Ideas by IB Graduates

At MakeSensei we regularly survey our tutors who are IB graduates to get a better idea of what activities work and don’t work in the IB. Here’s a list of 50 ideas they have shared with us!


1. Start a Language & Culture Club (ex. Latin American, Chinese, etc)
2. Host a bake sale for a charity
3. Learn to play an instrument and join a band
4. Design and build a robot
5. Join the Model United Nations (MUN)
6. Do an apprenticeship at your local cobbler
7. Choreograph a contemporary dance piece and showcase it on stage
8. Established a 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) project in your school
9. Make a documentary about the life of someone you look up to
10. Gather a team and make an International Day Art zine, sell it, and donate the sales to a charity
11. Make a mural painting event at a location that needs wall repainting
12. Audition to play an instrument for an orchestra
13. Join the Debate Club
14. Help renovate a local shop or cafe with second hand furniture
15. Join the Yearbook Club and learn to take good portrait photos
16. Help out at the local disability care center and organize a Game Night
17. Join the Nikkei Stock Contest, a stock portfolio report competition


18. Go to your local gym and “shadow” learn how to be a Personal Trainer
19. Join the local town/city’s Badminton Team
20. Teach local elementary school kids to play soccer
21. Learn ballet
22. Learn to play the Japanese drums
23. Become a referee for your school’s sports games
24. Go mountain biking
25. Take a training course to become a Yoga instructor
26. Become the captain of the Varsity Basketball Team
27. Take aerobics classes
28. Learn to play golf
29. Practice to ride the longboard by yourself
30. Go cycling
31. Build some stamina through bouldering
32.  Run a 10km marathon


32. Volunteer at a local animal shelter
34. Be a translator for the city’s public relations department
35. Host an animal therapy workshop at an old people’s home
36. Set up a free cram school for children from less privileged families
37. Train to be a lifeguard
38. Design artificial legs with a 3D printer for handicapped children
39. Travel to Cambodia on a Service Trip (ex. Teach English to children through TASSEL)
40. Plan a bake sale and raise money for a cause
41. Volunteer to be a librarian at your school
42. Teach English to younger students in a local school
43. Do an internship at your parents’ office
44. Online tutoring in the village of the Kalahari in South Africa
45. Start an Eco Club to educate fellow students about being ecologically friendly
46. Plan fund-raising activities for local non profit organizations
47. Make and Arts & Craft Club for the kids in your neighborhood
48. Collaborate with a local organization to produce and donate face masks
49. Become your school’s tour guide for new prospective students and parents
50. Organize a tree planting event in your community

Hopefully our list of 50 CAS project ideas have inspired you and made you feel excited to plan your project!
The most important thing is to make sure you choose something that you like or want to try because it will be a big commitment to continue with the project throughout your 2 years of IB.
Make sure to discuss with your school’s CAS Coordinator beforehand so that you can set your goals and later reflect back on your achievements to ace that Reflection! Good luck 😉