Science is one of the four cardinal directions on the Knights Compass, along with Academics, Arts, and Athletics: all centered around Faith. STMC is deeply committed to the pursuit of scientific understanding, and offers courses that ponder everything from molecular and atomic theory to the ethical implications of genetic modification. STMC’s Science Department provides a program with strong emphasis on experimentation to develop critical thinking, skills of analysis, reasoning, evaluation, problem solving and decision-making in our students. We provide a broad range of provincial course offerings, as well as our locally developed courses specific to STMC such as Astronomy.
Science 8 explores the branches of biology, chemistry, physics and earth science. Students will investigate life processes at the cellular level, the behaviour of matter explained through kinetic molecular theory and atomic theory, the transfer of energy as both a particle and a wave, and the theory of plate tectonics. Opportunities will be presented for students to question and predict, plan and conduct, process and analyze, apply and innovate, evaluate and communicate topics within each branch.
Students are encouraged and expected to become proficient in asexual and sexual cellular reproduction, the anatomy of the atom, and how ions form. Naming and writing chemical formulas are essential components, which prepares the students for future science courses. Understanding Ohm’s law and how it applies to electric circuits allows students to become aware of how simple circuits function in their homes. Students also discover how energy flow and matter cycling connects the living and nonliving parts of the Earth’s four spheres: the atmosphere, biosphere, geosphere, and hydrosphere.
Science 10 has four major units of study.
In Biology, this course looks at genes as the foundation for the diversity of living things.
In Chemistry , the fact that chemical processes require energy change as atoms are rearranged is the major focus.
In Physics, energy conservation and transformations and how they can affect living things and the environment is the area of study.
In Earth Science, the Big Bang Theory as an explanation of how the universe was formed is the primary focus.
Astronomy 11 / Earth Science 11
Astronomy 11 explores the human understanding of space through historical, cultural and scientific perspectives. Students will conduct research, using data from NASA telescopes and observe astronomical events throughout the year. While this is not a mathematically intensive course, students should be comfortable using some math in a science setting. Topics explored will include origins of the universe, identifying objects in the night sky, classifying stars and galaxies, technological advances in space research and a historical perspective on astronomy. Students wishing to receive credit for Earth Science 11, will complete a series of directed-study modules in addition to Astronomy content.
Biology - Life Sciences 11
Life Sciences 11, formerly Biology 11, has three main areas of focus.
Characteristics of living things, which will focus on: differences in cell structure between eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells, sexual and asexual reproduction, cellular reproduction and photosynthesis, and basic structures of viruses and how they affect organisms will be studied.
Process of Evolution will look at: agents of evolution, major theories, models of evolution, co-evolution, trends in complexity of organisms, and genetic modifications including ethical considerations.
The unit on Taxonomy will focus on: evidence for groupings of organisms, the current taxons, the use of cladograms, the three domains, and the six kingdoms method of classification.
Chemistry 11 includes five major Units.
Unit 1 (The Mole) introduces the mole as the central unit of measurement in chemistry and students learn how to use it to express amounts of chemical species, determine empirical and molecular formulae, and become fluent with stoichiometry in many of its applications.
Unit 2 (Chemical Reactions) discusses the predictable ways atoms rearrange in chemical reactions while focussing on the conservation of both matter and energy. The applications and significance of chemical reactions for human health, society, and health are also presented.
Unit 3 (Atoms and Molecules) revisits and elaborates upon the discussion of the building blocks of matter, namely atoms and molecules, that students learned about in Science 10. The quantum mechanical model of the atom is introduced and its implications for chemical bonding, periodicity of elemental properties, and intermolecular forces are described in detail.
Unit 4 (Solution Chemistry) discusses the nature of solutions including solubility and what it depends on. The applications and implications of solution chemistry for human health, society, and the environment are also covered.
Unit 5 (Organic Chemistry) discusses carbon’s unique set of properties that result in the existence of such a wide variety and complexity of organic compounds. Nomenclature, isomerism, classes of organic compounds, and their reactions are discussed in detail as well as the significant implications of this branch of chemistry for human health, society, and the environment.
Physics 11 is a practical yet challenging course combining scientific principles and mathematical skills. It involves analysing how moving objects behave and what causes them to move in various directions. We look at the concept of momentum and its conservation and then incorporate the conservation of energy and the ability to do work on objects. The application of conservation laws helps to explain the flow of electricity within circuits. We study wave motion with respect to mechanical and electromagnetic waves. Light optics is another topic that can be analyzed. Nuclear reactions gives us an understanding of the atomic model and how it relates to the energy stored in atoms. Quantum mechanics can be used to describe the behaviour of very small particles and Special Relativity helps explain the relationship between space and time.
Biology - Anatomy & Physiology 12
Anatomy and Physiology 12 focuses on cell and human biology, allowing you to develop an interest in and understanding of science by investigating how the human body systems are integrated to maintain homeostasis. The course initially examines cellular level biology with a focus on how biological molecules are important to the function of organelles. The majority of the course is spent discussing systems and how they work together, including: circulation, respiratory, digestive, nervous, excretory and reproductive systems.
Chemistry 12 includes five main Units.
Unit 1 (Reaction Kinetics) discusses the rates of chemical reactions and the factors that affect them in terms of Collision Theory on both a qualitative and quantitative level. Industrial applications and implications of Reaction Kinetics are also presented.
Unit 2 (Chemical Equilibrium) shifts from a focus of kinetics to thermodynamics with respect to reversible reactions and the phenomenon of chemical equilibrium. Le Chatelier’s Principle is discussed in detail and the equilibrium constant “Keq” is introduced along with a rigorous quantitative treatment of various types of Keq problems. Industrial applications and implications of chemical equilibria are also presented.
Unit 3 (Solubility Equilibrium) concentrates on aspects of the equilibria existing in saturated solutions on both a qualitative and quantitative level. The Solubility Product constant “Ksp” is introduced along with various types of Ksp problems. Applications of solubility equilibria for society, human health, and the environment are also presented.
Unit 4 (Acids and Bases) introduces students to the concept of acid and base strength and the equilibria associated with weak acids and bases. A detailed qualitative and quantitative treatment of the topic includes problems involving Ka, Kb, pH, pOH, pKa, pKb, hydrolysis, buffer chemistry, and titrations.
Unit 5 (Oxidation and Reduction) introduces students to the complementary processes of oxidation and reduction. A qualitative and quantitative discussion of the processes and the applications and implications of electrochemical and electrolytic cells for society, resource development, and the environment is covered.
Physics 12 builds and extends on the concepts learned in Physics 11. Kinematics, Dynamics, Rotational Equilibrium, Momentum and Energy are explored in two dimensions in the first half of the year. The second half of the course focuses on electricity and magnetism. The course focuses equally on problem solving skills and conceptual understanding, with students urged to work cooperatively to strengthen their learning.