If it weren’t for science, the world would look a great deal different. There would be no weather predictions telling us if it was going to rain today; no electric lights to illuminate our study room after hours; no doctors administering life-saving treatments in the hospital; no climate scientists urging us to consider our behaviours; no satellites orbiting the globe, sending back television signals to our living rooms; no computers; no phones; no one to explain the movement of the planets or the taxonomic system of animals; and there certainly wouldn’t be any online school.
We have science to thank for many things. The relentless investigations, explanations, predictions and inventions that scientists make help develop a safer, more equitable world – not to mention a more fun one!
At OES, we continue that rich tradition by teaching the next generation of scientists. One of our fantastic students could revolutionize medicine, and another could help solve the climate crisis. An OES student might discover a new species of mushroom in the Amazon, or write an influential paper on quantum physics. Every great scientist’s journey starts with a great education, and we are honoured to provide that to our students.
In this article, we want to explore the beginning of your journey into science. It all starts with your science courses. Below, we have listed our online courses in the sciences alongside a short introduction for each. Finally, we offer a few things you should know about studying science online.
Break out your lab coats, dust off your telescopes and open your minds – we’re exploring the wide world of online science courses!
The Science Courses at OES
Most scientific disciplines reward structure and ordering principles. So, in the spirit of that organizational endeavour, we have listed our science courses chronologically, starting with Grade 9 Science and concluding with our Grade 12 scientific offerings.
As grades progress, students specialize in certain scientific areas (biology, chemistry, physics and, later, kinesiology). We have done our best here to
SNC1D – Grade 9 Science
This is where it all begins – your journey into high school science. Grade 9 Science is where students learn the foundations of the subject, from biology to chemistry, physics and earth sciences.
Embarking on a whirlwind tour of scientific investigation, you’ll survey theories, explore sustainable ecosystems, dive into atomic and molecular structures, learn the elements, begin to study the properties and components that make up the universe – and much more.
If you’re entering OES from primary school (or you want to get ahead before entering high school), SNC19 is your launchpad for a long academic career in the sciences.
SNC2D – Grade 10 Science
Now that you have learned the principles of high school science in Grade 9, you can start to dig deeper. Welcome to Grade 10 Science, where students strengthen their understanding of core concepts in biology, chemistry, earth and space science, and physics.
In grade 10, you will also investigate the interconnectedness of scientific concerns – how science, society, technology and the environment intersect.
In the biology unit, you’ll look at the hierarchal organization of cells (tissues, organs, plant and animal systems, etc.) and explore the ethical and societal implications of medical developments. In the chemistry unit, you’ll continue to explore chemical reactions, including how they can be applied to address environmental challenges. And in the earth and space science unit, you will focus on climate change: underlying factors, present effects, and initiatives for improvement.
Naturally, this is only a taste of what you’ll learn in Grade 10 Science. To get the full learning experience, sign up for the course through the OES website.
SCH3U – Grade 11 Chemistry – University
Grade 11 is when you start to specialize. Each scientific discipline is so complex – so rich with specific concerns, methodologies and concepts – that teachers need to separate them to do them justice.
First up on our list: “Chemistry – Grade 11 – University.” In this enthralling chem class, students deepen their understanding of chemistry by studying chemical bonds, properties, reactions and solutions. You will also get your first substantial taste of atmospheric chemistry, including the behaviour of gases.
Because no scientific study happens in a vacuum, you will also investigate the impacts of chemical reactions on society and the environment.
SBI3U and SBI3C – Grade 11 Biology
Here, we have grouped SBI3U and SBI3C (“Biology – Grade 11 – University,” and “Biology for College – Grade 11,” respectively).
While they are both grade 11 biology courses and share some commonalities, the two classes are not interchangeable. SBI3U focuses more on the theoretical aspects of biological topics (biodiversity, evolution, genetic processes, plant anatomy, etc.), whereas SBI3C emphasizes the practical application of concepts (in areas like cellular biology, microbiology, genetics, and mammal anatomy).
If you are heading into grade 11 unsure which biology course to take, you can always reach out to us here at OES. Book a guidance appointment with one of our experienced staff members (a 15-minute web conference meeting) by visiting the “Contact Us” page on our website.
SPH3U – Grade 11 Physics – University
Physics straddles a line between science and mathematics. Ultimately, though, physics is a science (albeit one that utilizes mathematics for a logical framework to investigate the behaviour of physical phenomena!).
Previously, students learned about physics in their general science courses; in grade 11, they can take a course entirely about physics. In SP3U, students learn about kinematics, mechanical waves and sound, forces and electricity and magnetism. Through various activities (inquiry activities, video presentations, practice quizzes, oral assignments, and more), you’ll get your bearings in high-level physics, from Newton’s Laws to nuclear energy.
SNC4M – Grade 12 Science – University/College
Grade 12 kicks science into high gear, setting students up for fruitful post-secondary careers in the sciences. Take SNC4M, for example: “Science – Grade 12 – University/College.”
In this course, young learners, with their sights set on post-secondary science programs, will hone their investigative and analytical skills. In Unit 1, you’ll survey medical technologies. In Unit 2, you will focus on pathogens and disease: what they are, how they spread, and how we prevent them. And in Units 3, 4 and 5, you study nutritional science (great for students interested in food sciences), public health, and biotechnology, respectively.
Even those who aren’t planning on pursuing science after high school will get a lot from this course, as it examines “contemporary social and environmental issues in health-related fields.”
SCH4U and SCH4C – Grade 12 Chemistry (University and College)
Again, we have grouped two distinct courses here for organizational purposes: SCH4U and SCH4C.
In SCH4C (“Chemistry for College – Grade 12”), students cover organic chemistry, electrochemistry, chemical calculations, and matter and qualitative analysis. They familiarize themselves with lab techniques, learn how to communicate scientific information effectively, and develop data collection/analysis skills pivotal to continuing with college chemistry. Crucially, students also explore careers related to science and chemistry!
SCH4U (“Chemistry – Grade 12 – University”) covers some similar ground to SCH4C. As in SCH4C, students enjoy a career exploration unit at the beginning of the course, as well as a unit on organic chemistry. But the emphasis in SCH4U is on the importance of chemistry in everyday life. Students will study the structure and properties of matter, energy changes and rates of reaction, and chemical systems and equilibrium.
SB14U – Grade 12 Biology
Here’s your last biology course before pursuing a university biology program (or whichever post-secondary program you choose). In SB14U, you dig deeper into biological systems than ever before.
You study biochemistry, diving into the chemical structures, properties and functions of biological molecules, and analyzing the application of enzymes in the food industry. You place the metabolic process under a (figurative) microscope, examining cellular respiration, photosynthesis and various metabolic reactions. In the “Molecular Genetics” section, you zoom in even further, surveying DNA and DNA replication. Finally, you’ll reach “Homeostasis”: namely, the roles of the nervous, endocrine and excretory systems in maintaining homeostasis.
For any student curious about how life works, this is a fantastic and illuminating course to take.
PSK4U – Grade 12 Kinesiology
Here’s a discipline we haven’t seen yet – kinesiology. Kinesiology is the scientific study of human movement. How do our bodies move, by what mechanisms, and how does that movement affect our health and wellbeing? These are the critical questions explored in kinesiology.
In OES’s PSK4U course, students learn all about physical activity in relation to the human body. They learn how activity affects health and performance, how physical activity has evolved throughout history, and what social, psychological and physiological factors impact people’s participation in physical activity.
If you are planning on joining a university program in health, health sciences, recreation or – of course – kinesiology, this is a terrific introductory course.
SPH4U and SPH4C – Grade 12 Physics (University and College)
Finally, we arrive at Grade 12 Physics. At OES, we offer two options for final year physics: SPH4U (“Physics – Grade 12 – University) and SPH4C (Physics for College – Grade 12).
In SPH4U, we prepare students for university physics by helping them deepen their understanding of core concepts and theories. You will continue your exploration of:
- Energy and momentum
- Gravitational, electric and magnetic fields
- The wave nature of light
- And, finally, the exciting world of quantum mechanics and relativity
By contrast, students in SPH4C will primarily study physics concepts related to mechanical systems, electrical systems, and fluid systems. You will also consider the impact of physics’ technological applications on society and the environment.
As mentioned, any time you are unsure which course will suit you better, please feel free to reach out for help and advice.
What to Know About Studying Science Online
If you’ve never taken Ontario online courses in science before, don’t worry. At OES, we have plenty of dedicated staff members, expert teachers and 24/7 tutors to ensure that your transition to the digital classroom is smooth and successful.
Still, it might help to know a few things about online science courses before you start. In general, they work like any other Ontario high school course – you march through various units, take quizzes and tests, execute projects and demonstrate your knowledge in various ways along the way. But online science courses differ in a few key regards.
In this section, we’re offering a few nuggets of wisdom for incoming science students. Here are a few things you should know about taking science courses online.
Time Management Is Key
With any online course, time management skills are essential. That’s certainly no different in the sciences. A high school science course packs a lot in, so remember to make good use of your day planner, agenda, phone timer, or whatever else you use to manage your time.
Online ≠ Easy
There’s a common misconception that online science courses are easier than traditional, in-classroom courses. It’s best to try and rid yourself of the assumption. While many students find the approach to learning more intuitive and accommodating, the curriculum itself adheres to the same high standards you find across accredited Ontario schools. Of course, OES’s online courses come with extra support in the form of 24/7 tutoring, so – while the work isn’t easier, per se – you may have an easier time understanding the concepts.
Use Self-Paced Learning to Your Advantage
Online learning is “self-paced,” which means that students are encouraged to move through units and concepts at their own speed. If you need some extra time to understand energy and momentum in Physics 12, or chemical bonds in Chem 11, by all means, take the time! Use self-paced learning to your advantage by taking extra time to absorb difficult-to-grasp concepts.
Be an Active Presence in Class and Projects
It’s easy to hide behind a computer screen – to work in solitude without asking for help. But we encourage students to be active. If you don’t understand something, ask your teachers. If you need help late at night, avail yourself of a tutor. When you execute group projects, be a proactive, constructive voice. The more you put into your online science courses, the more you’ll get out of them!
Thus concludes our “Science 101” guide. Hopefully, this article has familiarized you with the array of science offerings here at OES, and given you the confidence to succeed in our online courses. We hope to see you soon (digitally, that is) in one of our excellent online science courses.