Science is a form of knowledge that seeks to describe and explain the natural and physical world and its place in the universe. Occasionally, the fundamental theories, concepts, and structures of science change but, for the most part, the basic ideas of science – ideas such as the cellular basis of life, the laws of energy, the particle theory of matter – have proven stable. The curriculum outlined in this document will introduce students to many of these basic ideas. For example, in Grade 7 students are expected to compare the motion of particles in a solid, liquid, and gas using the particle theory.
Technology includes much more than the knowledge and skills related to computers and their applications. Technology is both a form of knowledge that uses concepts and skills from other disciplines (including science) and the application of this knowledge to meet an identified need or solve a specific problem using materials, energy, and tools (including computers). The method of technology consists of inventing or modifying devices, structures, systems, or processes. In Grade 5, for example, students are expected to design devices that can transform one form of energy into another.
Science is not only a body of knowledge but “a way of knowing”. Scientific investigation involves exploration, experimentation, observation and measurement, and analysis and dissemination of data. These activities require specific skills and habits of mind; for example, accuracy, discipline, and integrity in the application of scientific principles are fundamental to scientific activity. The science technology curriculum is designed to develop these skills and habits of mind.
The science and technology expectations are organized into five strands, which are the major areas of knowledge and skills in the science and technology curriculum. The five strands, which combine topics from science and technology, are:
- Life Systems
- Matter and Materials
- Energy and Control
- Structures and Mechanisms
- Earth and Space Systems
The knowledge and skills outlined in the expectations for the science and technology program are mandatory.