Science is a core subject and science education is important for many reasons. Today’s world is changing quickly and the future will require skills that are developed through the science curriculum. Critical observation and analytical thinking skills are strong tools to meet the challenges of the future. Complimenting literacy and numeracy, science education allows the student to address the complexity of decisions made in areas of personal health, consumer choices, life style choices, community responsibility, and global resource sustainability.
The grade nine and grade ten science courses introduce scientific thinking and survey the disciplines of biology, chemistry, physics, and earth and space science. Senior courses are more detailed and specialize in deeper aspects of the disciplines of the junior grades.
The grade 11 and 12 chemistry courses allow students to learn empirically through numerous labs such as observing different chemical reactions to electroplating one metal onto another. The topics covered in grade 11 are: matter, chemical trends and bonding; chemical reactions; quantities in chemical reactions; solutions and solubility and gases. The topics covered in grade 12 are: organic chemistry; structure and properties; energy changes and rates of reaction; chemical equilibrium and electrochemistry.
The grade 11 and 12 biology courses provide students with the opportunity for in-depth study of the concepts and processes that occur in biological systems. In grade 11, the topics covered are: biodiversity; evolution; genetic processes; the structure and function of animals (including a dissection); and the anatomy, growth, and function of plants. In grade 12, the topics covered are: biochemistry, metabolic processes, molecular genetics, homeostasis and population dynamics. Emphasis will be placed on the achievement of detailed knowledge and the refinement of skills needed for further study in various branches of the life sciences and related fields.
The grade 11 and 12 physics courses allow students to learn through investigation, problem-solving and collaboration with other students. Mathematical modeling of physical processes requires students to use trigonometry, algebra and graphical methods to solve practical problems, and to develop investigation and measurement skills. The topics covered in grade 11 are: sound and other wave phenomena, electricity and magnetism (circuits, motors), kinematics (motion, vectors), forces (Newton’s Laws) and energy (potential, kinetic, thermal, nuclear). The topics covered in grade 12 are: dynamics (forces, circular motion), energy and momentum (including collisions), fields (gravitational, electric and magnetic), the wave nature of light (diffraction, interference, electromagnetic radiation, Maxwell’s equations, polarization), and modern physics (special relativity, mass-energy equivalence, particle physics and the standard model). Students considering a university preparation physics course should be motivated to understand physical phenomena, comfortable with conceptual thinking and able to apply mathematics skills (at the academic/university preparation level) to solve practical problems.
Many post-secondary programs and educational pathways require science course prerequisites. Science education offers an entry into this world of wonder where students develop awe and open their eyes, minds, and imaginations to tomorrow.