Topic outline

  • Ecology

    The focus on protecting the environment has grown substantially since the 1950s. Many would argue that not only is the focus too late, but it is not nearly enough to reverse the damage caused by the spend now/pay later attitude which has been so prevalent in our society. Owing to a change in environmental attitudes, today’s students are much more aware of the fragile nature of the environment. Despite technological advances, which allow more efficient use of natural resources/systems, the drive to be economically competitive puts stress on the delicate environmental balance. Much of the economy in Atlantic Canada is based on harvesting within fragile ecosystems. Examining how external factors affect the dynamic equilibrium which exists in an ecosystem provides valuable information. This process will be extended to encompass both equilibrium and sustainability of the environment within a province, region, country, and global biosphere. This unit allows students to understand the interrelationship of local ecosystems, our increasing awareness of ecosystems on a global scale, and the need to sustain the health of ecosystems at all levels

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  • Chemistry

    After students have developed an understanding of atomic structure and the periodic table in grade 9, the study of chemical reactions provides them with an opportunity to apply their understanding of atomic structure to how chemicals react. By naming and writing common ionic and molecular compounds, and by balancing a variety of equation types, students begin to make connections to a variety of chemical examples in everyday life.

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  • Physics - Motion

    The concept of motion allows students to investigate and develop their interest in the sports that are part of their daily lives. Students will not only have opportunities to investigate the principles of kinematics but will also be encouraged to apply its development into areas of individual interest. Whether they choose Olympic sports events or personal leisure activities such as snowmobiling or biking, students will develop their understanding of the concepts of displacement, velocity, and acceleration.

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  • Weather

    Global climate and local weather patterns are affected by many factors and have many consequences. This unit asks students to consider questions such as “What decisions do we face because of weather conditions?”; “How are our lives affected by changing weather conditions (short-term) and changing climate (long-term)?”; and “What causes these weather patterns?” In Atlantic Canada weather patterns change frequently. Each season provides interesting weather conditions that influence how we dress, how we feel physically and psychologically, and how we interact socially. The direction from which air masses move, and the atmospheric pressures and temperatures in those air masses contribute to changes that can be quite significant in any given season. Rapid temperature rises in spring may cause significant snow melt; clear and dry weather in summer raises the risk of grassland/forest fires; autumn sees the arrival of storms from the Caribbean; winter snowfall and temperature variations depend upon the north/south drift of the atmospheric jet stream. These changes influence Atlantic Canadians in a variety of ways.