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Curriculum Expectations

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Science and Technology


  • analyse a local issue related to biodiversity, taking different points of view into consideration, propose action that can be taken to preserve biodiversity, and act on the proposal


  • assess the impact of selected technologies on the environment
  • describe ways in which human activities and technologies alter balances and interactions in the environment


  • identify common sources of greenhouse gases (e.g., carbon dioxide comes from plant and animal respiration and the burning of fossil fuels; methane comes from wetlands, grazing livestock, termites, fossil fuel extraction, and landfills; nitrous oxide comes from soils and nitrogen fertilizers), and describe ways of reducing emissions of these gases


  • assess the impact on individuals, society, and the environment of alternative ways of meeting needs that are currently met by existing systems, taking different points of view into consideration


Science, Grade 9, Academic (SNC1D)

Biology: Sustainable Ecosystems

  • assess, on the basis of research, the impact of a factor related to human activity (e.g., urban sprawl, introduction of invasive species, overhunting/overfishing) that threatens the sustainability of a terrestrial or aquatic ecosystem

Science, Grade 9, Applied (SNC1P)

Biology: Sustainable Ecosystems and Human Activity

  • analyse, on the basis of research, how a human activity (e.g., urban sprawl, use of pesticides and fertilizers, creation of pollution, human interaction with wildlife) threatens the sustainability of a terrestrial or aquatic ecosystem

Science, Grade 10, Academic (SNC2D)

Earth and Space Science: Climate Change

  • assess, on the basis of research, the effectiveness of some current individual, regional,national, or international initiatives that address the issue of climate change (e.g., Drive Clean, ENERGY STAR, federal and provincial government rebates for retrofitting older buildings to be more energy efficient, carbon offset programs, community tree-planting programs, municipal recycling programs, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC]), and propose a further course of action related to one of these initiatives
  • describe, in general terms, the causes and effects of the anthropogenic greenhouse effect, the depletion of stratospheric and tropospheric ozone, and the formation of ground-level ozone and smog

Science, Grade 10, Applied (SNC2P)

Earth and Space Science: Earth’s Dynamic Climate

  • analyse ways in which human actions (e.g., burning fossil fuels, implementing tree-planting programs) have increased or decreased the production of greenhouse gases

Environmental Science, Grade 11, University/College Preparation (SVN3M)

Scientific Solutions to Contemporary Environmental Challenges

  • analyse, on the basis of research, social and economic issues related to a particular environmental challenge (e.g., overfishing, deforestation, acid rain, melting of the polar ice cap) and to efforts to address it 
  • identify some major contemporary environmental challenges (e.g., global warming, acid precipitation), and explain their causes (e.g., deforestation, carbon and sulfur emissions)and effects (e.g., desertification, the creation of environmental refugees, the destruction ofaquatic and terrestrial habitats)  
  • describe a variety of human activities that have led to environmental problems (e.g., burning fossil fuels for transportation or power generation; waste disposal) and/or contributed to their solution (e.g., the development of renewable sources of energy; programs to reduce, reuse, and recycle)  

Human Health and the Environment

  • evaluate the effectiveness of government initiatives that are intended to reduce the impact of environmental factors on human health (e.g., Ontario Ministry of the Environment smog advisories; provincial laws regulating drinking water; WHMIS regulations on hazardous material)  
  • identify the main pollutants and environmental contaminants that can affect human health (e.g., air pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide, and particulates; noise pollution;heavy metals such as lead and mercury; DDT; PCBs; mould; volatile organic compounds such as acetone and chlorinated solvents)   

Environmental Science, Grade 11, Workplace Preparation (SVN3E)

Human Impact on the Environment

  • propose possible solutions, on the basis of research, to a current practical environmental problem that is caused, directly or indirectly, by human activities  
  • identify the basic components of soil, water, and air, and describe some of the effects of human activity on soil, water, and air quality (e.g., the effects of industrial or vehicle emissions on air quality; of chemical spills on soil quality; of chlorination on water quality)

Human Health and the Environment

  • describe common environmental factors, including pollution and environmental contaminants (e.g., air, noise, soil, and water pollution; UV rays; heat; heavy metals; workplace chemicals; pathogens), and explain how they can affect human health
  • describe various ways in which environmental contaminants can enter the human body (e.g., inhalation, ingestion, absorption)

Science, Grade 12, University/College Preparation (SNC4M)

Science and Public Health Issues

  • assess, on the basis of research, the effectiveness of a municipal, provincial, or federal government initiative intended to protect the public health of Canadians (e.g., immunization programs, smoking bans, Health Canada advisories)

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