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To help your teen select appropriate courses and course sequences, refer to the High School Graduation Requirements.

Science

High School
Science

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What your teen is learning

10-Level Courses

Science 10 Your teen will explore the changes in energy and matter that are involved in chemical reactions, and they’ll extend their understanding of chemical reactions. They’ll recognize how new imaging technologies have advanced our understanding of life, and they’ll use microscopes to observe and describe cells. Your teen will also discover that cells are efficient systems that exchange materials and energy. They will experiment with forces, motion and the transfer of heat to discover how energy is transformed. They will also consider how the flow of energy relates to climate systems on Earth and how human activities may influence climate. For more about Science 10, refer to the program of studies.

Science 14 Your teen will investigate patterns in the periodic table of elements and analyze how chemistry is used in industrial processes, as in the production and packaging of prepared foods. They will explore energy transfer by radiation, conduction and convection and apply these concepts in their consideration of heating and cooling systems, such as those in car radiators and convection ovens. Your teen will investigate the structure and function of cells and organ systems and describe different factors related to digestive and circulatory system disorders. They will also study an Alberta ecosystem to understand the living and nonliving factors that influence biodiversity, population sizes, and the relationships among different organisms. For more about Science 14, refer to the program of studies.

Knowledge and Employability Science 10-4 Your teen will study the properties of common pure substances and mixtures from the home and the workplace to know how to handle, store and transport these substances and mixtures safely. They will learn how energy is transferred in natural and technological systems, such as in breezes or air conditioners, and they will consider how energy can be transferred safely and efficiently. Your teen will also analyze how diet, nutrition and lifestyle choices affect the health of organs and organ systems, in particular the digestive and circulatory systems. They will examine food chains and food webs to model the flow of matter and energy in the biosphere and in a particular ecosystem in Alberta. For more about Knowledge and Employability Science 10-4, refer to the program of studies.

20-Level Courses

Science 20 Your teen will continue to develop their interest in science, build knowledge and apply the process of scientific inquiry to explore changes within the context of the biological, chemical, physical and Earth sciences. They will explain how useful materials are produced through chemical change in the petrochemical industry. Your teen will relate changes in forces and motion to a variety of safety devices, such as those found in automobile and sports safety. They will link plate tectonics to changes on Earth’s surface and examine volcanic eruptions and earthquakes as evidence of these changes. Your teen will also analyze changes in natural populations related to factors such as light and temperature and genetic variation. For more about Science 20, refer to the program of studies.

Science 24 Your teen will investigate scientific principles and use them to explain natural events and the technology they use. They’ll interpret common chemical reactions that occur in the home, when cooking and cleaning, and in the workplace, such as combustion and corrosion. Your teen will explore energy conversions in mechanical devices and in living things, and they’ll compare the efficiency of different household devices. They’ll describe how the immune system helps protect against disease and they’ll identify the scientific, social, environmental and technological factors that influence disease prevention. Your teen will use graphs to interpret the motion and speed of an object, and they’ll apply their knowledge of the factors that influence reaction time to transportation safety. Want to know more? Refer to the program of studies.

Knowledge and Employability Science 20-4 Your teen will extend their understanding of matter by investigating and classifying common chemical reactions that occur at home and in the workplace. They’ll also describe how materials that are produced by chemical reactions, such as plastics, have influenced the way we live. Your teen will explore energy transformations in familiar contexts, such as in a kettle or in the human body. They’ll learn about the transmission of viruses and bacteria and describe how the human immune system, medical advancements and public health programs work to help fight and prevent disease. By exploring the law of conservation of momentum, your teen will explain the value of safety devices, such as seat belts, air bags and rumble strips. For more about Knowledge and Employability Science 20-4, refer to the program of studies.

30-Level Course

Science 30 Your teen will advance their scientific foundations in the biological, chemical, physical and Earth sciences and apply their understandings to interpret the world around them. They will examine the specific structures and functions of the circulatory and immune systems and investigate genetic inheritance, genetic disorders and the ethical issues of current genetic technologies. As your teen studies chemistry, they’ll explore the impacts of acids and other chemicals, like pesticides, on the living and nonliving components of the environment. They’ll also interpret gravitational, magnetic and electrical fields and compare different energy sources, such as oil, solar and nuclear, in terms of energy efficiency and environmental impacts. For more about Science 30, refer to the program of studies.

How your teen is assessed

Learning is assessed using a variety of tools and strategies within the classroom. Ask the teacher what methods they are using. The different assessment methods tell you, your teen and your teen’s teacher about your teen’s strengths, the areas in which they might grow and how well they are doing throughout a course. At the end of the course, your teen will be assessed and their achievement will be reported so that you know if they have achieved the expected learning outcomes for the course.

At the end of the 30-level course, your teen will write a provincial diploma examination. There are three main purposes for the diploma examination:

  • to certify the level of individual student achievement in the course
  • to ensure that province-wide standards of achievement are maintained
  • to report individual and group results.

Your teen’s final mark in the 30-level course is determined by taking 70% of the school-awarded mark and adding it to 30% of the diploma examination mark. Your teen must achieve a final mark of 50% or higher to obtain credits for the course. General information about diploma examinations and course-specific diploma examination information are available to help you and your teen.

Resources to help your teen

A variety of digital and print resources from many different sources help students learn. Alberta Education reviews and authorizes many student and teacher resources that support learning and teaching in the classroom. Additionally, teachers may select, and bring into the classroom, numerous other innovative and creative resources to create rich learning experiences for your teen. Visit LearnAlberta.ca to learn more about the resources your teen may encounter.

Recommended Resources:

Course Sequence

1 Students who have achieved a final mark of 50% or greater in Biology 20, Chemistry 20, Physics 20 or Science 20 may enroll in Science 30.
2 Although the recommended transfer point from Science 24 is to Science 10, in exceptional cases, students may be placed by the principal in 20-level courses, as serves the student’s best interests.

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