The WGSS Science Department offers study into a variety of areas of science including biology, chemistry, physics, and earth, space, and environmental sciences. Investigation into science and scientific literacy provides students with the ability to ask questions, think critically, solve problems, communicate their understanding, and challenge ideas in a scientifically literate way. Students in science courses plan experimental investigations, process/analyze data, and evaluate research or experimental methods to come to a better understanding of the world around them. The Science Department offers a variety of opportunities at both the junior and senior level, including GatorPod, French Immersion, Honours and AP courses. Please see course descriptions for more information. *Note, Psychology and AP Psychology 12 DO NOT meet the requirements of a Science 11/12 or Social Studies 11 necessary for graduation.

Courses Offered

Prerequisite:  none

Students enrolling in Science 8 will have the opportunity to learn about 4 major fields of science:  life processes, the behavior of matter, electromagnetic energy and plate tectonics.  Within these studies, there will be a closer look at the characteristics of life, cellular respiration, the importance of photosynthesis to a climate-changed Earth, functions of the immune system, atomic theory all the way down to the basic building blocks of matter, the fascinating dual nature of light and major geological events.  While exploring these big ideas, we are also focusing on helping students learn the science skills of questioning, predicting, planning, conducting, processing, analyzing, evaluating, applying, innovating and communicating.

Prerequisite:  none

Content:  Students taking Science 8 in the Gator Pod Program will address the same learning outcomes as students in the regular Science 8 program.  However, there will be a greater focus on the development of 21st century skills, such as collaboration, critical thinking, and communication.  Technology will be infused into the program to help bolster these skills. Students enrolled in Gator Pod 8 should expect reduced instruction or learning associated with textbooks.  As well, students will use more of an inquiry-based learning model wherein they will take more initiative and responsibility in many aspects of their learning.

Prerequisite:  Science 8

Students enrolling in Science 9 will have the opportunity to learn about four major fields of science:  cellular reproduction, atomic theory as it relates to the Periodic Table, the production and distribution of electricity and Earth’s major spheres.  Within these studies, there will be a closer look at DNA, mitosis and an introduction to inheritance, an introduction to chemical reactions and lab procedures, circuitry, methods of generating electricity (emphasis on BC’s role in this), and how the water and carbon cycles are related, particularly within the scope of current climate issues.  While exploring these big ideas, we are also focusing on helping students learn the science skills of questioning, predicting, planning, conducting, processing, analyzing, evaluating, applying, innovating and communicating.

Prerequisite: Science 8 and department recommendation

Science 8 students who demonstrate an outstanding ability in science and who are planning to pursue a career in a science related field may choose to take this course. Students interested in Science 9/10H must complete this form.  Entry decisions into Science 9/10H will be based on student ability and the number of openings available. Students must be prepared to be challenged with a course that will cover many of the concepts from both the Science 9 and the Science 10 curriculum in one year.  Students who successfully complete this accelerated program will have the opportunity to take additional science courses over the next three years of school (Grade 10-12). Students will have the opportunity to learn about DNA, cellular reproduction, and genetics; the periodic table, chemical compounds and reactions, and acid-base chemistry as well as nuclear energy and radiation and cosmology as it relates to the Big Bang Theory.  While exploring these big ideas, we are also focusing on helping students learn the science skills of questioning, predicting, planning, conducting, processing, analyzing, evaluating, applying, innovating and communicating.

 

Prerequisite:  Science 9

Students enrolling in Science 10 will have the opportunity to learn about four major fields of science: genetics, chemical reactions, physical sciences, and astronomy.  Within these studies, there will be a closer look at the structure of DNA, inheritance, genes, ethical considerations of natural and artificial selection, acid-base chemistry, thermodynamics, energy transformations, nuclear energy and radiation, cosmology as it pertains to collection of data that lead to the Big Bang Theory.  While exploring these big ideas, we are also focusing on helping students learn the science skills of questioning, predicting, planning, conducting, processing, analyzing, evaluating, applying, innovating and communicating.

Senior Science Options

Prerequisite:  Life Sciences 11/11H or Chemistry 11

This course presents an intensive survey of human biology at the organ system, tissue, cellular and molecular level.  This course is an academically approved Grade 12 courses for post-secondary admissions.

  1. Methods and principles – experimental design, homeostasis
  2. Cell biology – biochemistry, DNA and cells
  3. Human biology – form, function & physiology of human systems

Prerequisite:  Science 10 or Science 9/10H.  It is recommended that a Mathematics 11 be taken concurrently

  1. Introduction – safety, measurement
  2. Atoms, molecules and ions
  3. Mole concept – molarity
  4. Chemical reactions – balancing, stoichiometry
  5. Atomic theory
  6. Solutions
  7. Organic chemistry

Prerequisite:  Chemistry 11 or 11H.  It is recommended that a Math 12 be taken concurrently. This course is an academically approved Grade 12 courses for post-secondary admissions.

  1. Reaction kinetics
  2. Chemical equilibrium
  3. Solubility equilibrium
  4. Acids, bases, and salts
  5. Oxidation-reduction

Prerequisite:  Science 10 or Science 9/10 H and in Grade 11 or 12 

Do you ever wonder about how safe our drinking water is? Do you think that climate change is the cause of BC’s floods and wildfires? Have you ever wondered how big your carbon footprint is? Environmental Science 12 looks at these questions and allows students to think critically about environmental issues and possible solutions. Students will learn through a variety of methods like classroom discussions and hands-on field work around WGSS and off campus. This course is an academically approved Grade 12 course for post-secondary admissions.

Prerequisite:  Science 10 or Science 9/10 Honours

  1. Introduction – safety, biochemistry, cells, classification
  2. Evolution – evidence, theories
  3. Microbiology – microscope, viruses, bacteria, protists
  4. Mycology
  5. Plant biology (botany)
  6. Animal biology (zoology)
  7. Ecology

Prerequisite: Science 10 or Science 9/10H and Foundations of Math 10 (C+ or better). It is recommended that Pre-Calculus 11 be taken concurrently.

Potential topics in Physics 11 include: 

  • Kinematics
  • Dynamics
  • Work, Energy, and Power
  • Electric Circuits
  • Behaviour of Waves
  • Graphical Methods in Physics

Prerequisite: Physics 11 (C+ or better). It is recommended that Pre-Calculus 12 be taken concurrently. This course is an academically approved Grade 12 course for post-secondary admissions.

Potential topics in Physics 12 include:

  • Kinematics / Special Relativity
  • Forces / Static Equilibrium
  • Energy and Momentum
  • Circular Motion and Gravity
  • Electrostatics
  • Electromagnetism
  • Graphical Methods in Physics

Prerequisite:  in Grade 11 or 12

This course does not meet the Science 11 or Social Studies 11 graduation requirements.

Psychology 12 provides information relating to issues that all individuals encounter not only in themselves, but also in their relationships with others.  Students will acquire insight into the complex determinants of behaviour and develop an appreciation of and understanding for individual differences.  The core curriculum of Psychology 12 includes topics such as perspectives of psychology, the brain, motivation, stress, emotions, humour, perception, learning, developmental psychology, personality, abnormal psychology, and sexual motivation.  Other areas selected for study will include those considered important in today’s society, as well as meaningful for students in the course.  This course is not an academically approved Grade 12 courses for post-secondary admissions. 

Prerequisite:  Science 10 and in Grade 11 or 12

How true is CSI? Can we predict tornados and earthquakes? Could Siri be dangerous? Science for Citizens is a course that looks at science in everyday life and will answer these, and many other questions about the world around us. This class gives students the opportunity to examine the impact of science on individuals, society, and the environment. Potential topics include forensic science, extreme weather events, personal technology, fake news, nutrition and medical advances and energy and sustainability.

Prerequisite:  Science 10 or Science 9/10 Honours and in Grade 11 or 12

This course is designed to be an introduction to some of the current and emerging aspects of space and space exploration.  The students will focus on star mapping, the celestial sphere, the space race and current exploration of the solar system, a historical study of the early astronomers, life cycles of the stars, theories around the origin of the universe, a study of Mars and the possibility of terraforming its surface and the latest research and theories related to life in the universe.

Advanced Placement Courses

Prerequisite: Science 10 or Science 9/10 Honours (75% or above).

This course is designed to be the first year of the two-year Advanced Placement program in Biology, and together with AP Biology 12 is equivalent to a first-year university course in Biology. Life Sciences 11: Honours as a stand-alone course is not an AP course and students do not write an AP exam nor receive an AP credit for this course. The course focuses on cell structure and function, biochemistry, DNA, ecology, and biodiversity of life (microbiology, invertebrates and plants). Students enrolling in Life Sciences 11: Honours are also making a commitment to enroll in AP Biology 12 in the following school year.

Prerequisite: Life Sciences 11: Honours.

This course is the second year of the two-year Advanced Placement program in Biology. The course focuses on evolution, genetics, energy (enzymes, photosynthesis, and cellular respiration), human anatomy and physiology and biotechnology. At the end of the two-year program, students will have covered the concepts of three courses, Life Sciences 11, Anatomy and Physiology 12 and AP Biology. Students will have the option to write the AP Biology exam in May (approximate fee $135). If a student scores a 4 or 5 on the exam, they have the option to receive credit for a first-year university course. All AP courses are academically approved Grade 12 courses for post-secondary admissions.

Prerequisite: Science 10 or Science 9/10H (75% or above), recommended that a Mathematics 11 be taken concurrently

This course is designed to be the first year of a two-year Advanced Placement Program in Chemistry. Chemistry 11: Honours as a stand-alone course is not an AP course and students do not write an AP exam nor receive an AP credit for this course. This course together with AP Chemistry 12 will cover all the theoretical content and practical laboratories covered in BC Chemistry 11, BC Chemistry 12 and first-year College Chemistry. Students in Chemistry 11: Honours will cover the normal Chemistry 11 coursework at a slightly faster pace, with additional topics from the college level chemistry course integrated into appropriate points of the curriculum. Students enrolling in Chemistry 11: Honours are also making a commitment to enroll in AP Chemistry 12 in the following school year.

Prerequisite: Chemistry 11: Honours. It is recommended that a Mathematics 12 be taken concurrently.

This course is designed to be the second year of a two-year Advanced Placement program in Chemistry. This course, together with Chemistry 11: Honours will have covered all of the theoretical content and practical laboratories covered in BC Chemistry 11, BC Chemistry 12 and first-year College Chemistry. Students will have the option to write the AP Chemistry exam in May (approximate fee $135). If a student scores a 4 or 5 on the exam, they have the option to receive credit for a first-year university course. All AP courses are academically approved Grade 12 courses for post-secondary admissions.

Prerequisite: Science 10, Pre-Calculus 11 (or taken concurrently), and English Language Arts 10 (B average or above) and students must be in grade 11 or 12.

The first of two Advanced Placement courses – covering all topics in Physics 11, Physics 12, and first-year university Physics. Topics include Vector Mechanics (Kinematics, Dynamics, Conservation Laws, Rotational Motion, and Circular Motion), Electricity, and Wave Behaviour. Students will also have an opportunity to develop academic skills that will better prepare them for the college and university experience in Sciences or Engineering. Note: students in AP Physics 1 receive credit for two courses: Physics 11 and AP Physics 1 for a total of eight credits.

Prerequisite: Pre-Calculus 11, AP Physics 1 or Physics 12.

It is recommended that Pre-Calculus 12 be taken concurrently. The second of two Advanced Placement courses – covering all topics in Physics 11, Physics 12, and first year university Physics. Topics include Thermodynamics, Fluid Dynamics, Advanced Electricity and Magnetism, Optics, Nuclear Physics and Quantum Mechanics. Students will have the option to write the AP Physics 1 and AP Physics 2 exams in May (approximate fee is $135 per exam). Depending on their exam scores, students can earn credit for a first-year university physics course (algebra-based). Please note: students in AP Physics 2 receive credit for two courses: Physics 12 and AP Physics 2 for a total of eight credits. All AP courses are academically approved Grade 12 courses for post-secondary admissions.

Prerequisite: Anatomy and Physiology 12 or AP Biology 12, recommended: Psychology 12 (80% overall), or permission of instructor.

AP Psychology is intended for students who are interested in advanced placement standing which is equivalent to a first-year psychology course at a university level. AP Psychology will introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behaviour and mental processes of human beings and animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. Units include biological bases of behaviour, social psychology, sensation and perception, motivation and emotion, personality, and clinical psychology. Students will also learn about the methods psychologists use in their science and practice. Students will have the option to write the AP Psychology exam in May (approximate fee $135). If a student scores a 4 or 5 on the exam, they have the option to receive credit for a first-year university course. All AP courses are academically approved Grade 12 courses for post-secondary admissions. This course does not meet the Science 11 or Social Studies 11 graduation requirements.

Learn More