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


High School


What your teen is learning

Physics 20

Your teen will explain and quantify predictions about changes in position, velocity and acceleration caused by interaction of objects. They’ll use Newton’s laws of motion to explain uniform circular and elliptical motion, as observed in a wheel or in orbits. Using an experimental and problem-based approach, your teen will quantify mechanical energy and explore the relationships among different forms of energy to understand conservation of energy. Your teen will also relate harmonic motion to technological applications, such as mechanical resonance in cars, and to the natural world, such as seismic waves in Earth’s crust. They’ll describe how mechanical waves transmit energy, and they’ll describe the factors that affect wave speed. For more about Physics 20, refer to the program of studies.

Physics 30

Your teen will explore the application of physics principles to explain natural events and the technologies we use every day. They’ll study momentum and impulse, explain how momentum is conserved when objects interact and apply their understanding to safety and sports equipment. Your teen will describe the motion of electric charges and its relevance to magnetic fields, and they’ll analyze the benefits and risks of electromagnetic technologies, such as magnetic resonance imaging and generators. They’ll use the wave and photon models of light to describe electromagnetic radiation and to better understand electromagnetic phenomena, including the photoelectric effect and electron diffraction. Your teen will also study the atom—its internal structure and energy—to understand matter, energy and our universe. For more about Physics 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 and course-specific diploma examination information is available to help you and your teen.

Resources to help your teen

A variety of digital and print resources, developed by publishers, Alberta Education or Alberta teachers, are available to help students learn. Teachers may select, and bring into the classroom, numerous innovative and creative resources to create rich learning experiences for your teen. Visit to learn more about the resources your teen may encounter.

Relevant Resources:

Course Sequence

1 Students who have achieved a final mark of 50% or greater in any one of Biology 20, Chemistry 20, Physics 20 or Science 20 may enrol in Science 30.

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