Course Description

This course enables students to develop their understanding of basic concepts in biology, chemistry, earth and space science, and physics, and to apply their knowledge of science to everyday situations. They are also given opportunities to develop practical skills related to scientific investigation. Students will plan and conduct investigations into practical problems and issues related to the impact of human activity on ecosystems; the structure and properties of elements and compounds; space exploration and the components of the universe; and static and current electricity.

Unit Titles and DescriptionsTime Allocated
Biology: Sustainable Ecosystems and Human Activity

Students will demonstrate an understanding that ecosystems consist of a variety of components, including, in many cases, humans and that sustainability of ecosystems depends on the balanced interactions between their components.  They will also explore ways human activity can affect the sustainability of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

27 hours
Chemistry: Exploring Matter

Students will demonstrate an understanding of the specific properties of elements and compounds that determine their uses.  They will also assess how the use of elements and compounds has both positive and negative effects on society and the environment.

27 hours
Earth and Space Science: Space Exploration

Students will demonstrate an understanding that celestial objects in the solar system and universe have specific properties that can be investigated and understood.  They will also explore how technologies developed for space exploration can have practical applications on Earth.

27 hours
Physics: Electrical Applications

Students will demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which electricity is a form of energy produced from a variety of non-renewable and renewable sources.  They will investigate how static and current electricity have distinct properties that determine how they are used.  Students will also evaluate the social, economic, and environmental implications of the production and consumption of electrical energy.

27 hours
Final Assessments

The final assessment task is a final examination worth 30% of the student’s final mark. Students will be asked to demonstrate their understanding of skills and concepts learned and practiced in the course.

2 hours
Total110 hours

Resources required by the student:

Students who have registered for this course will be provided all the resources, including access to

Overall Curriculum Expectations

A. Scientific Investigation Skills and Career Exploration
A1demonstrate scientific investigation skills (related to both inquiry and research) in the four areas of skills (initiating and planning, performing and recording, analysing and interpreting, and communicating);
A2identify and describe a variety of careers related to the fields of science under study, and identify scientists, including Canadians, who have made contributions to those fields.
B. Biology: Sustainable Ecosystems and Human Activities
B1analyse the impact of human activity on terrestrial or aquatic ecosystems, and assess the effectiveness of selected initiatives related to environmental sustainability;
B2investigate some factors related to human activity that affect terrestrial or aquatic ecosystems, and describe the consequences that these factors have for the sustainability of these ecosystems;
B3demonstrate an understanding of characteristics of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, the interdependence within and between ecosystems, and the impact humans have on the sustainability of these ecosystems.
C. Chemistry: Exploring Matter
C1analyse how properties of common elements and/or simple compounds affect their use, and assess the social and environmental impact associated with their production or use;
C2investigate, through inquiry, physical and chemical properties of common elements and simple compounds;
C3demonstrate an understanding of the properties of common elements and simple compounds, and general features of the organization of the periodic table.
D. Earth and Space Science: Space Exploration
D1analyse the major challenges and benefits of space exploration, and assess the contributions of Canadians to space exploration;
D2investigate the properties of different types of celestial objects in the solar system and the universe;
D3demonstrate an understanding of major astronomical phenomena and of the principal components of the solar system and the universe.
E. Physics: Electrical Applications
E1assess the major social, economic, and environmental costs and benefits of using electrical energy, distinguishing between renewable and non-renewable sources, and propose a plan of action to reduce energy costs;
E2investigate, through inquiry, the properties of static and current electricity and the cost of the consumption of electrical energy;
E3demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and principles of static and current electricity.


Teaching & Learning Strategies:

Students are exposed to a variety of genres throughout the course and develop skills to analyse and evaluate the effectiveness of texts which may include poems, short stories, novels, non-fiction texts, plays, videos, and songs or other media texts from a wide range of cultures and time periods. Students identify and use various strategies including building vocabulary, learning to understand and use features and organization of texts, and developing knowledge of conventions. Throughout the course, students develop into stronger readers, writers, and oral communicators while making connections to the workplace and international events.

Teachers differentiate instruction to meet the diverse learning needs of students. Instructors also use electronic stimuli including discussion boards and dropboxes to assist students in reflecting on their learning, and in setting goals for improvement in key areas while developing 21st century skills. These tools facilitate and support the editing and revising process for students as they create texts for different audiences and purposes.

  • Identifying and developing skills and strategies – through modeling of effective skills, students learn to choose and utilize varied techniques to become effective readers, writers, and oral communicators.
  • Communicating – several opportunities are provided for students to write and communicate orally.
  • Generating ideas and topics – teachers encourage students to design their own approaches to the material by maintaining frequent (often daily) online communication with students, by allowing some freedom in how students respond to topics and questions, and by encouraging students’ independent thinking through discussion posts.
  • Researching – various approaches to researching are practiced. Students learn how to cite sources and provide a works cited page at the end of longer assignments using MLA formatting.
  • Thinking critically – students learn to critically analyse texts and to use implied and stated evidence from texts to support their analyses. Students use their critical thinking skills to identify perspectives in texts, including biases that may be present.
  • Producing published work and making presentations – students engage in the editing and revising process, including self-revision, peer revision, and teacher revision all of which strengthen texts with the aim to publish or present student work.
  • Reflecting – through the use of drafts, discussion boards and other elements of the course, students reflect on the learning process, focus on areas for improvement, and make extensions between course content and their personal experiences.

Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting Strategies of Student Performance:

Our theory of assessment and evaluation follows the Ministry of Education’s Growing Success document, and it is our firm belief that doing so is in the best interests of students. We seek to design assessment in such a way as to make it possible to gather and show evidence of learning in a variety of ways to gradually release responsibility to the students, and to give multiple and varied opportunities to reflect on learning and receive detailed feedback.

Growing Success articulates the vision the Ministry has for the purpose and structure of assessment and evaluation techniques. There are seven fundamental principles that ensure best practices and procedures of assessment and evaluation by ICE teachers. ICE assessments and evaluations,

  • are fair, transparent, and equitable for all students;
  • support all students, including those with special education needs, those who are learning the language of instruction (English or French), and those who are First Nation, Métis, or Inuit;
  • are carefully planned to relate to the curriculum expectations and learning goals and, as much as possible, to the interests, learning styles and preferences, needs, and experiences of all students;
  • are communicated clearly to students and parents at the beginning of the course and at other points throughout the school year or course;
  • are ongoing, varied in nature, and administered over a period of time to provide multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate the full range of their learning;
  • provide ongoing descriptive feedback that is clear, specific, meaningful, and timely to support improved learning and achievement;
  • develop students’ self-assessment skills to enable them to assess their own learning, set specific goals, and plan next steps for their learning.

The Final Grade:

The evaluation for this course is based on the student’s achievement of curriculum expectations and the demonstrated skills required for effective learning. The final percentage grade represents the quality of the student’s overall achievement of the expectations for the course and reflects the corresponding level of achievement as described in the achievement chart for the discipline. A credit is granted and recorded for this course if the student’s grade is 50% or higher. The final grade will be determined as follows:

  • 70% of the grade will be based upon evaluations conducted throughout the course. This portion of the grade will reflect the student’s most consistent level of achievement throughout the course, although special consideration will be given to more recent evidence of achievement.
  • 30% of the grade will be based on final evaluations administered at the end of the course. The final assessment may be a final exam, a final project, or a combination of both an exam and a project.

The Report Card:

Student achievement will be communicated formally to students via an official report card. Report cards are issued at the midterm point in the course, as well as upon completion of the course. Each report card will focus on two distinct, but related aspects of student achievement. First, the achievement of curriculum expectations is reported as a percentage grade. Additionally, the course median is reported as a percentage. The teacher will also provide written comments concerning the student’s strengths, areas for improvement, and next steps. Second, the learning skills are reported as a letter grade, representing one of four levels of accomplishment. The report card also indicates whether an OSSD credit has been earned. Upon completion of a course, ICE will send a copy of the report card back to the student’s home school (if in Ontario) where the course will be added to the ongoing list of courses on the student’s Ontario Student Transcript. The report card will also be sent to the student’s home address.

Program Planning Considerations:

Teachers who are planning a program in this subject will make an effort to take into account considerations for program planning that align with the Ontario Ministry of Education policy and initiatives in a number of important areas.



    Institute of Canadian Education (ICE), Toronto.

    Head Quarters (Toronto)
    140 La Rose Ave #201, Etobicoke, ON M9P 1B2
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