Science

Through our program of guided-inquiry and discovery, the Science department introduces and engages our learners in an appreciation of the scientific method across core disciplines including biology, chemistry and physics. Our accelerated Foundation 1 science program provides opportunities for students to pursue multiple higher level science courses without limiting course breadth in other subject areas.  Learners develop critical skills in hypothesis generation, observation, problem solving, data management and synthesis essential for further scientific training and developing an appreciation for science in everyday life.

  • Ecosystems are made up of biotic (living) and abiotic (non-living) elements, which depend on each other to survive.
  • Cells are the basis of life. Cells organize into tissues, tissues into organs, organs into organ systems, and organ systems into organisms.
  • Structures have a purpose. The form of a structure is dependent on its function.
  • Systems are designed to accomplish tasks. All systems include an input and an output.
  • Matter can be classified according to its physical characteristics. The particle theory of matter helps to explain the physical characteristics of matter.
  • Fluids are an important component of many systems. Fluids have different properties that determine how they can be used. Fluids are essential to life.
  • Heat is a form of energy that can be transformed and transferred. These processes can be explained using the particle theory of matter.
  • Water is crucial to life on Earth. Water systems influence climate and weather patterns.

Biology 

  • Ecosystems are dynamic and have the ability to respond to change, within limits, while maintaining their ecological balance. People have the responsibility to regulate their impact on the sustainability of ecosystems in order to preserve them for future generations. 

Chemistry 

  • Elements and compounds have specific physical and chemical properties that determine their practical uses. The use of elements and compounds has both positive and negative effects on society and the environment. 

Earth and Space Science 

  • Different types of celestial objects in the solar system and universe have distinct properties that can be investigated and quantified. People use observational evidence of the properties of the solar system and the universe to develop theories to explain their formation and evolution. 

Physics

  • Electricity is a form of energy produced from a variety of non-renewable and renewable sources.

Biology 

  • Plants and animals, including humans, are made of specialized cells tissues, and organs that are organized into systems. Developments in medicine and medical technology can have social and ethical implications. 

Chemistry 

  • Chemicals react with each other in predictable ways. Chemical reactions may have a negative impact on the environment, but they can also be used to address environmental challenges. 

Earth and Space Science 

  • Earth’s climate is dynamic and is the result of interacting systems and processes. Global climate change is influenced by both natural and human factors. Climate change affects living things and natural systems in a variety of ways. People have the responsibility to assess their impact on climate change and to identify effective courses of action to reduce this impact. 

Physics

  • Light has characteristics and properties that can be manipulated with mirrors and lenses for a range of uses. Society has benefited from the development of a range of optical devices and technologies.
  • All living things can be classified according to their anatomical and physiological characteristics. 
  • Evolution is the process of biological change over time based on the relationships between species and their environments.
  • Genetic and genomic research can have social and environmental implications.
  • Groups of organs with specific structures and functions work together as systems, which interact with other systems in the body. 
  • Anatomy, Growth, and Function Plants have specialized structures with distinct functions that enable them to respond and adapt to their environment. Plant variety is critical to the survival and sustainability of ecosystem
  • Every element has predictable chemical and physical properties determined by its structure. The type of chemical bond in a compound determines the physical and chemical properties of that compound. 
  • Chemical reactions and their applications have significant implications for society and the environment. 
  • Relationships in chemical reactions can be described quantitatively. 
  • Properties of solutions can be described qualitatively and quantitatively, and can be predicted. Living things depend for their survival on the unique physical and chemical properties of water. 
  • Properties of gases can be described qualitatively and quantitatively, and can be predicted. 
  • Motion involves a change in the position of an object over time. 
  • Forces can change the motion of an object. Applications of Newton’s laws of motion have led to technological developments that affect society and the environment
  • Energy can be transformed from one type to another. 
  • Mechanical waves have specific characteristics and predictable properties. 
  • Relationships between electricity and magnetism are predictable. Electricity and magnetism have many technological applications. Technological applications that involve electromagnetism and energy transformations can affect society and the environment in positive and negative ways.

  • Motion involves a change in the position of an object over time. 
  • Forces can change the motion of an object. Applications of Newton’s laws of motion have led to technological developments that affect society and the environment
  • Energy can be transformed from one type to another. 
  • Mechanical waves have specific characteristics and predictable properties. 
  • Relationships between electricity and magnetism are predictable. Electricity and magnetism have many technological applications. Technological applications that involve electromagnetism and energy transformations can affect society and the environment in positive and negative ways.

  • Organic compounds have predictable chemical and physical properties determined by their respective structures. 
  • The nature of the attractive forces that exist between particles in a substance determines the properties and limits the uses of that substance. 
  • Energy changes and rates of chemical reactions can be described quantitatively. 
  • Equilibrium Chemical systems are dynamic and respond to changing conditions in predictable ways.
  • Oxidation and reduction are paired chemical reactions in which electrons are transferred from one substance to another in a predictable way.
  • Technological applications that affect biological processes and cellular functions are used in the food, pharmaceutical, and medical industries. 
  • All metabolic processes involve chemical changes and energy conversions.
  • DNA contains all the genetic information for any living organism. 
  • Organisms have strict limits on the internal conditions that they can tolerate.
  • Population growth follows predictable patterns. The increased consumption of resources and production of waste associated with population growth result in specific stresses that affect Earth’s sustainability. 
  • Forces affect motion in predictable and quantifiable ways
  • Energy and momentum are conserved in all interactions
  • Gravitational, electric, and magnetic forces act on matter from a distance. Technological systems that involve gravitational, electric, and magnetic fields can have an effect on society and the environment. 
  • Light has properties that are similar to the properties of mechanical waves. The behaviour of light as a wave can be described mathematically. 
  • Light can show particle-like and wave-like behaviour, and particles can show wavelike behaviour. The behaviour of light as a particle and the behaviour of particles as waves can be described mathematically.

Our program is complemented by a rich offering of extra-curricular programs and contests, available across all grade levels. These opportunities enable motivated students to explore their scientific curiosities beyond the classroom.

Clubs

Let’s Talk Science
Robotics Club
Sci-Club
Envirothon
Brain Bee
Girls in Tech

Contests

Michael Smith Challenge
CaYPT
Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Junior Science Olympiads
University of Waterloo Chemistry Contests
National Biology Competition
Sir Isaac Newton, OAPT and Canadian Association of Physicists Contest


Genie in a Bottle:  Manganese dioxide catalyzed decomposition of hydrogen peroxide.

The decomposition of hydrogen peroxide occurs by the following chemical equation:

H2O2  →   H2O  +  O2

This reaction occurs slowly under normal conditions. The addition of the catalyst MnO2 increases the reaction rate by more than 1000 times.

Exploding Gummy Bear:  Decomposition of Potassium Chlorate

When heated, potassium chlorate melts and then decomposes to potassium chloride and oxygen according to the following chemical equation:

KClO3 →  KCl  +  O2

A gummy bear, an excellent source of sucrose, is added to the test tube. The sucrose quickly burns in the oxygen evolved by the decomposition reaction and releases a considerable amount of energy. The violet flame produced is a result of the potassium present in the sample.