Science

A comprehensive science background will ensure that our students are able to make informed choices and be positive contributors to the challenges of society that science can help solve.
 
All science students receive a broad program of science topics with an emphasis on its impact on modern technology, business, and ethical and social issues. We aim to develop both awareness of the principles of science, and practical skill at scientific thinking and analysis.
 
For those intending to pursue science or a related field, our senior courses present more rigorous and demanding challenges that will prepare students both for university and for a life-long pursuit of the goals of science. Classes and labs afford students an opportunity for creative exploration and discovery, in-depth analysis, and understanding and ethical application.
 
In order to achieve our goals the department will:
 
  • have students actively engaged in the learning of science by providing as many hands- on activities as possible;
  • promote co-operation and collaboration between faculty and courses;
  • support the ongoing professional development of faculty in all areas related to science education in order to promote excellence in teaching practice and student achievement;
  • examine and encourage external assessment opportunities (i.e. AP, SAT 2’s, contests, etc.); and
  • continually provide the best available technology and science equipment that supports the needs of our students.
 
Science is a human process of exploration and explanation. While it is built on facts and observations, it is much more than just these. A combination of reasoning, mathematics and measurement, and an innate desire to expand our understanding enables humankind to build the most profound structures of knowledge.
 
At St. Andrew's College we recognize that, while not all our students are going into science as a career, all human activities are enriched by an understanding and experience of science. We strive to give our students much more than just a set of facts, but an active experience based on an understanding of the various areas, techniques, and principles of scientific inquiry. Science should be engaging, challenging, interesting, and fun. Through a variety of hands-on tasks, we bring all these into our science classrooms.
 
All science courses up to grade 11 are broadly based survey courses in which a variety of topics are studied. From grade 11 onwards students choose to focus more intently on individual disciplines. All of our courses meet and exceed the requirements of the Ontario Ministry of Education.
 
AP Exams 

Students have the option of taking Advanced Placement exams in their final years. Our students have historically done exceptionally well on AP Exams.

Our Lab Curriculum is the Best for Boys!

With a highly skilled lab technician and top notch equipment, we are able to provide a wide variety of first-rate lab experiences for our boys. Unlike some schools, we offer the full set of AP chemistry and biology labs, and all science courses are based around experiential and active learning, offering the hands-on experiences boys need to be fully engaged in the learning process. 

Jamie Inglis
Head of Science

COURSES 

GENERAL SCIENCE

  • Science, Grade 9, Academic 
    SNC1D 
    Prerequisite: None

    This course enables students to develop their understanding of basic concepts in biology, chemistry, earth and space science, and physics, and to relate science to technology, society, and the environment. Throughout the course, students will develop their skills in the processes of scientific investigation. Students will acquire an understanding of scientific theories and conduct investigations related to sustainable ecosystems; atomic and molecular structures and the properties of elements and compounds; the study of the universe and its properties and components; and the principles of electricity.
  • Science, Grade 10, Academic 
    SNC2D 
    Prerequisite: Science, Grade 9, Academic

    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.
  • Environmental Science, Grade 11, University/College Preparation 
    SVN3M
       
    Prerequisite: Science, Grade 10, Academic

    This course provides students with the fundamental knowledge of, and skills relating to, environmental science that will help them succeed in life after secondary school. Students will explore a range of topics, including the role of science in addressing contemporary environmental challenges; the impact of the environment on human health; sustainable agriculture and forestry; the reduction and management of waste; and the conservation of energy. Students will increase their scientific and environmental literacy and examine the interrelationships between science, the environment, and society in a variety of areas.
     
    This course is intended for students who do not wish to pursue studies in science beyond grade 11.
 
BIOLOGY
  • Biology, Grade 11, University Preparation
    SBI3U 
    Prerequisite: Science, Grade 10, Academic

    This course furthers students’ understanding of the processes that occur in biological systems. Students will study theory and conduct investigations in the areas of biodiversity; evolution; genetic processes; the structure and function of animals; and the anatomy, growth, and function of plants. The course focuses on the theoretical aspects of the topics under study, and helps students refine skills related to scientific investigation.
  • Biology, Grade 12, University Preparation 
    SBI4U
        
    Prerequisite: Biology, Grade 11, University Preparation

    This course provides students with the opportunity for in-depth study of the concepts and processes associated with biological systems. Students will study theory and conduct investigations in the areas of biochemistry, metabolic processes, molecular genetics, homeostasis, evolution, and population dynamics. Emphasis will be placed on the achievement of the detailed knowledge and refined skills needed for further study in various branches of the life sciences and related fields.
     
    Advanced Placement (AP):  With departmental approval students may elect to prepare for an AP exam related to this course.
 
CHEMISTRY
  • Chemistry, Grade 11, University Preparation 
    SCH3U 
    Prerequisite: Science, Grade 10, Academic

    This course enables students to deepen their understanding of chemistry through the study of the properties of chemicals and chemical bonds; chemical reactions and quantitative relationships in those reactions; solutions and solubility; and atmospheric chemistry and the behaviour of gases. Students will further develop their analytical skills and investigate the qualitative and quantitative properties of matter, as well as the impact of some common chemical reactions on society and the environment.
  • AP Chemistry, Grade 11, University Preparation 
    SCH3UP
    Prerequisite: Science, Grade 10, Academic

    This course will be taught in conjunction with the College Board’s Advanced Placement curriculum.

    This course enables students to deepen their understanding of chemistry through the study of the properties of chemicals and chemical bonds; chemical reactions and quantitative relationships in those reactions; solutions and solubility; and atmospheric chemistry and the behaviour of gases. Students will further develop their analytical skills and investigate the qualitative and quantitative properties of matter, as well as the impact of some common chemical reactions on society and the environment.

    *St. Andrew’s College Entrance Requirement

    Recommended minimum average in most recently completed science course (SNC2D) is >85%, and, in the opinion of the teacher(s) has demonstrated motivation, conscientiousness, resilience, effective time management, the ability to prioritize, and the capacity to learn independently.
  • Chemistry, Grade 12, University Preparation
    SCH4U
       
    Prerequisite: Chemistry, Grade 11, University Preparation

    SAC recommended preparation: greater than or equal to 70% in SCH3U.

    This course enables students to deepen their understanding of chemistry through the study of organic chemistry, energy changes and rates of reaction, chemical systems and equilibrium, electrochemistry, and atomic and molecular structure. Students will further develop problem solving and laboratory skills as they investigate chemical processes, at the same time refining their ability to communicate scientific information. Emphasis will be placed on the importance of chemistry in daily life, and on evaluating the impact of chemical technology on the environment.
  • AP Chemistry, Grade 12, University Preparation
    SCH4UP
       
    Prerequisite: AP Chemistry, Grade 11, University Preparation

    This course will be taught in conjunction with the College Board’s Advanced Placement curriculum.

    This course enables students to deepen their understanding of chemistry through the study of organic chemistry, energy changes and rates of reaction, chemical systems and equilibrium, electrochemistry, and atomic and molecular structure. Students will further develop problem solving and laboratory skills as they investigate chemical processes, at the same time refining their ability to communicate scientific information. Emphasis will be placed on the importance of chemistry in daily life, and on evaluating the impact of chemical technology on the environment.

    *St. Andrew’s College Entrance Requirement

    Recommended minimum average in most recently completed science course (SCH3U/P) >85% and, in the opinion of the teacher(s) has demonstrated motivation, conscientiousness, resilience, effective time management, the ability to prioritize, and the capacity to learn independently.
 
PHYSICS
  • Physics, Grade 11, University Preparation 
    SPH3U 
    Prerequisite: Science, Grade 10, Academic

    This course develops students’ understanding of the basic concepts of physics. Students will explore kinematics, with an emphasis on linear motion; different kinds of forces; energy transformations; the properties of mechanical waves and sound; and electricity and magnetism. They will enhance their scientific investigation skills as they test laws of physics. In addition, they will analyse the interrelationships between physics and technology, and consider the impact of technological applications of physics on society and the environment. Introductory Physics is of interest to any student who wishes to go in the sciences or engineering, or for those who are interested in modern technology and want to know “how it works”.
     
    Technologies analysed in this course include:
    -   electrical motors, generators, television, radio, and related electromagnetic technology
    -   nuclear power generation and electrical transmission systems
    -   loudspeakers, microphones, musical instruments, and related sound devices
    -   telescopes, cameras, and related optical systems
  • Physics, Grade 12, University Preparation 
    SPH4U
       
    Prerequisite: Physics, Grade 11, University Preparation

    Recommended preparation: greater than or equal to 70% in MCR3U

    This course enables students to deepen their understanding of physics concepts and theories. Students will continue their exploration of energy transformations and the forces that affect motion, and will investigate electrical, gravitational, and magnetic fields and electromagnetic radiation. Students will also explore the wave nature of light, quantum mechanics, and special relativity. They will further develop their scientific investigation skills, learning, for example, how to analyse, qualitatively and quantitatively, data related to a variety of physics concepts and principles. Students will also consider the impact of technological applications of physics on society and the environment.

    The course takes a rigorous mathematical approach that prepares students for science and engineering at university, but is also for any student with a good math background who wishes to investigate some of the “big questions” about our universe.
  • Senior Science Research Project, Non-Credit
    SPX4 
    Prerequisite: Department Head Approval

    Recommended preparation: SNC2D and demonstrated interest and excellence in science, an interview is required before approval will be granted.

    This course is offered to students who intend to study the sciences (or related fields such as medicine, engineering, or architecture) in university.  
     
    Students may take this course in either gr. 11 or gr. 12. It is recommended that students planning on using this course to further university entrance take it in their gr. 11 year as this will permit a complete reference to be given. Students must have at least one spare period available on their timetable.
      
    A completely student driven course, each student picks his own topic of interest and, working in conjunction with a science teacher and our lab technician, performs the necessary research and hands-on laboratory work. The grading of the course takes place through journals, written submissions, and one-on-one interviews with supporting teacher(s).  
     
    The purpose of this course is to permit students to: 
    • demonstrate both interest and ability in science
    • pursue an area of personal interest in greater depth
    • perform ‘real science’ – the pursuit of answers to previously unasked questions

POLICIES

GLC
All GLC policies apply, except: since turnitin does not process graphics properly, science teachers may choose not to require the use ofhttp://www.turnitin.com/ for GLC assignments that are fundamentally graphical in nature. See the Student Handbook for the details on GLC assignments.

Missed Labs
Labs are an essential part of the learning process; they are also time-sensitive in terms of set-up, chemical preparation, and as part of the instructional sequence. Missed labs must therefore be made up as soon as possible after the missed class. Students must come in at the time requested by our lab technician, Dr. Bishenden. Note that this is usually the next day and will often involve missing a sports commitment. Failure to meet the required make-up time will result in a 15% late penalty being applied, or, if the work has already been substantially taken up in class, a mark of zero. 
 
Late Assignments 
Homework assignments, pre-lab activities, or other non-GLC assignments of a time-dependent nature must be submitted by the due date. 

Late assignments may be submitted for credit up until the assignment, or the work it covers, are taken up or used in class or a lab, after which time they cannot be submitted for credit. However, if late assignments are accepted, they will be deducted 15%.
 
iClickers
SAC science makes significant use of iClickers. Up to 5% of your course mark can be for quizzes based on an iClicker review of concepts previously taught. Your teacher will usually inform you of an upcoming iQuiz, but any homework assignment that was to be collected or marked can be assessed using iClickers without specific notification of an iQuiz.
 
Lab Safety 
Safety is paramount in all lab activities. Students who display unsafe behaviour cannot participate in lab activities. Unsafe behaviours include: horseplay, not wearing safety equipment, not following lab instructions, insufficient knowledge of lab procedures, failing to follow the directions of your teacher or lab supervisor. Students who are asked to leave a lab for safety reasons cannot earn credit for work assigned in that lab (i.e., a mark of zero may be awarded).
 
Citations & Bibliography 
You must show where your information came from - it is a matter of intellectual honesty, and of adding authority to your writing. See the SAC Academic Integrity Policy.
  • A citation is a note in the wording of your paper indicating that the idea or text used is from someone else.
  • A bibliography is the collection of references that appears at the end of your paper, showing all the sources that influenced the writing of your paper, including all works cited.
In science, unless your teacher tells you otherwise, you should use the ISO 690 - Numerical Reference standard. MS Word has this functionality built-in and will generate properly formatted citations and bibliographies. 
 
Extra Help 
Regular homework is essential in a concept-heavy subject such as science. It is therefore essential that you get extra help whenever you realize you do not understand the subject material, since you cannot otherwise keep up with the homework, and will not fully understand subsequent lessons.  The iQuizzes are a great way to get this feedback; test results and lab reports tend to be more summative in nature and can only indicate that you need to improve on future reports; regular homework is the best way to learn a subject.

Sequence in which to get extra help:
  1.      Help yourself by doing your homework. Letting your homework slip for a few days is a sure way to need extra help. Bookmark your course daybooks, use a planning calendar, and stay on top of the work.
  2.      Ask in class - if you have a question, others may also have the same one. Just ask!
  3.      Stay at the end of class and ask. If your questions cannot be answered in that time, make an appointment to see your teacher outside of class.
  4.      Open Classroom (Monday and Thursdays at break) and appointments: come prepared to extra help sessions with the specific questions and topics you are having trouble with. Saying "I don't get any of it" is not as helpful as a specific task or idea you cannot master. Bring your homework and notebook so that your teacher can make suggestions for improvement.
  5.      Regular appointments: your teacher may ask you to come in more regularly. If so, make sure you do.
  6.      Tutors: if your teacher judges that you need more help than can be provided in the regular school day, he/she may recommend that your parents arrange for a subject tutor. Tutors are useful only if you are doing homework and getting help from your course teacher. A tutor alone is of little value.
 
Appeals and Concerns 
You are always welcome to speak to any member of the Science Department or your Advisor for assistance in dealing with any issue. See the Student Handbook for details.

Marks and Assessments

You should always go to your classroom teacher first with concerns. When it comes to marks and assessments, try to be reasonable and put things in perspective - your teacher has probably been through a similar situation many times before and is making a decision in the best interest of your learning and the integrity of the course. Asking for special consideration makes extra work for everyone, which is why we try to fairly apply the same expectations to everyone. Your job is to do the best you can in the time you have.
 
If your teacher's response to a mark or assessment is unsatisfactory, and you have given it some reflection and still feel that you should be given special consideration, then feel free to speak to the Science Department Head (Mr. Butcher, M32). If that is still unsatisfactory, you can appeal to the US Academic Director, Mr. Paluch, or, as appropriate, the MS Head, Mrs. D'Angelo.
 

RESOURCES

Online Research
See the Towers Library website for a complete list
(To access some of these from off-campus you will need a password from our librarian)

     Scientific American (full text articles)
     Access Science
     Britannica Online
     Info Trac
     ProQuest 
     Questia
     Google Scholar

Print Resources:
     Towers Library Catalog  

Online Reading & Current Science Events:

     Science News for Kids
     BBC Science
     Discover  (the print version is available in our library)
     EurekAlert!
     New Scientist
     Science News
     Science Now
     Scientific American (online version - the print version is available in our library, full-text searchable version is listed above)
 
Just for fun:
Video Periodic Table (U Nottingham)

CONTESTS


Throughout the year, St. Andrew's students participate in various science competitions at both the regional and national levels, including:

Biology:
Chemistry:
  • Avagadro Chemistry Exam (University of Waterloo)
  • Chem 13 News Exam (University of Waterloo)
Physics:
 
St. Andrew's College
15800 Yonge Street, Aurora, ON L4G 3H7 Canada
Tel: 905-727-3178