Course Description

This course enables students to enhance their understanding of concepts in biology, chemistry, earth and space science, and physics, and of the interrelationships between science, technology, society, and the environment. Students are also given opportunities to further develop their scientific investigation skills. Students will plan and conduct investigations and develop their understanding of scientific theories related to the connections between cells and systems in animals and plants; chemical reactions, with a particular focus on acid/base reactions; forces that affect climate and climate change; and the interaction of light and matter.

Unit Titles and DescriptionsTime Allocated
Biology: Tissues, Organs, and Systems of Living Things

Students will demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which plants and animals, including humans, are made of specialized cells, tissues, and organs that are organized into systems. They will also evaluate the social and ethical implications of developments in medicine and medical technology.

27 hours
Chemistry: Chemical Reactions

Students will demonstrate an understanding of the predictable ways in which chemicals react. They will also explore how chemical reactions may have a negative impact on the environment, but they can also be used to address environmental challenges.

27 hours
Earth and Space: Climate Change

Students will demonstrate an understanding that Earth’s climate is dynamic and is the result of interacting systems and processes.  They will explore how global climate change is influenced by both natural and human factors.  Students will also investigate the variety of ways climate change affects living things and natural systems.  Finally, they will assess the impact of human activity on climate change and identify effective courses of action to reduce this impact.

27 hours
Physics: Light and Geometric Optics

Students will demonstrate an understanding of the characteristics and properties of light that can be manipulated with mirrors and lenses for a range of uses.  They will also explore the ways in which society has benefited from the development of a range of optical devices and technologies.

27 hours
Final Assessment

This is a proctored exam worth 30% of your final grade.

2 hours
Total110 hours

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, analyzing and interpreting, and communicating);
A2identify and describe a variety of careers related to the fields of science understudy, and identify scientists, including Canadians, who have made contributions to those fields.
B. Biology: Tissues, Organs, and Systems of Living Things
B1evaluate the importance of medical and other technological developments related to systems biology, and analyze their societal and ethical implications;
B2investigate cell division, cell specialization, organs, and systems in animals and plants, using research and inquiry skills, including various laboratory techniques;
B3demonstrate an understanding of the hierarchical organization of cells, from tissues to organs, to systems in animals and plants.
C. Chemistry: Chemical Reactions
C1analyze a variety of safety and environmental issues associated with chemical reactions, including the ways in which chemical reactions can be applied to address environmental challenges;
C2investigate, through inquiry, the characteristics of chemical reactions;
C3demonstrate an understanding of the general principles of chemical reactions, and various ways to represent them.
D. Earth and Space Science: Climate Change
D1analyze some of the effects of climate change around the world, and assess the effectiveness of initiatives that attempt to address the issue of climate change;
D2investigate various natural and human factors that influence Earth’s climate and climate change;
D3demonstrate an understanding of natural and human factors, including the greenhouse effect, that influences Earth’s climate and contributes to climate change.
E. Physics: Light and Geometric Optics
E1evaluate the effectiveness of technological devices and procedures designed to make use of light, and assess their social benefits;
E2investigate, through inquiry, the properties of light, and predict its behavior, particularly with respect to reflection in a plane and curved mirrors and refraction in converging lenses;
E3demonstrate an understanding of various characteristics and properties of light, particularly with respect to reflection in mirrors and reflection and refraction in lenses.

Teaching & Learning Strategies:

Teaching and learning strategies assist both teachers and students in achieving specific learning objectives. A number of methods have been used to create an online learning environment that will engage students in a variety of ways and support their understanding of scientific concepts. These strategies may include:

  • Clearly described unit expectations
  • Hands-on lab activities
  • Virtual lab activities
  • Virtual field trips
  • Animations and simulations
  • Creative problem solving
  • Case Studies
  • Assessment FOR learning activities
  • Student reflection and self-assessment
  • Discussions of issues relating science to technology, society, and the environment
  • Research Reports
  • Opinion-based Reports
  • Concept-supporting games
  • Model building
  • Field observations

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 assessments 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 the Institute of Canadian Education 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), 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 the next steps for their learning.

For a full explanation, please refer to Growing Success.

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 aligns 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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