The overall aim of the secondary science program is to ensure scientific literacy for every secondary school graduate. To better achieve this aim, all courses in the program are designed to focus on science not only as an intellectual pursuit but also as an activity-based enterprise within a social context.
Courses in the Grade 9 and 10 secondary science curriculum are organized into five strands. The first strand focuses on the essential skills of scientific investigation, and on career exploration. The remaining four strands cover the content areas of science, each focusing on one of the scientific subdisciplines - biology, chemistry, earth and space science, and physics.
Science is a way of knowing that seeks to describe and explain the natural and physical world. An important part of scientific literacy is an understanding of the nature of science, which includes an understanding of the following:
what scientists, engineers, and technologists do as individuals and as a community;
how scientific knowledge is generated and validated, and what benefits, costs, and risks are involved in using this knowledge; and,
how science interacts with technology, society, and the environment.
The Grade 11 and 12 science program is designed to help students become scientifically literate. One aspect of scientific literacy is the ability to recognize, interpret, and produce representations of scientific information in forms ranging from written and oral reports, drawings and diagrams, and graphs and tables of values to equations, physical models, and computer simulations. As students' scientific knowledge and skills develop through the grades, they will become conversant with increasingly sophisticated forms and representations of scientific information.