Sustainability in the Curriculum

 

Sustainability the Musical is available to come into your school and contribute to your classroom in a variety of ways.  Performances in class or for school groups can be supplemented with in class question and answer or even the creation of new material specific to your needs.  The theme of sustainability runs throughout the Ontario curriculum, and here we list learning expectations from grades 6 through 12 that we can entertainingly cover.  The primary stated goal of the provincial science and technology curriculum is, after all “to relate science and technology to society and the environment.”  Sustainability the Musical not only engages students playfully with the subject matter, but also relates the science to impacts on and practical application in their daily lives.  Please Contact Us with any questions about how we can enhance your classroom, school, or other learning environment with more sustainability. 

From the Ontario Curriculum


Environmental education is education about the environment, for the environment, and in the environment that promotes an understanding of, rich and active experience in, and an appreciation for the dynamic interactions of:

• The earth’s physical and biological systems

• The dependency of our social and economic systems on these natural systems

• The scientific and human dimensions of environmental issues

  1. The positive and negative consequences, both intended and unintended, of the interactions between human-created and natural systems.

            - Shaping Our Schools, Shaping Our Future: Environmental Education in Ontario Schools    

               (June 2007), p. 6


Environmental education “is the responsibility of the entire education community. It is a content area and can be taught. It is an approach to critical thinking, citizenship, and personal responsibility, and can be modelled. It is a context that can enrich and enliven education in all subject areas, and offer students the opportunity to develop a deeper connection with themselves, their role in society, and their interdependence on one another and the earth’s natural systems.”

           - Shaping Our Schools, Shaping Our Future: Environmental Education in Ontario Schools

             (June 2007), p. 10


FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS


Systems and Interactions

A system is a collection of living and/or non-living things and processes that interact to perform some function. A system includes inputs, outputs, and relationships among system components. natural and human systems develop in response to, and are limited by, a variety of environmental factors.


Sustainability and Stewardship


Sustainability is the concept of meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.


Stewardship involves understanding that we need to use and care for the natural environment in a responsible way and making the effort to pass on to future generations no less than what we have access to ourselves. Values that are central to responsible stewardship are: using non-renewable resources with care; reusing and recycling what we can; switching to renewable resources where possible.





Grades 6 to 8


Science Grade 6


Big Ideas


Understanding Life Systems: Biodiversity

• Biodiversity includes diversity of individuals, species, and ecosystems.

• Because all living things are connected, maintaining diversity is critical to the health of the planet.

• Humans make choices that can have an impact on biodiversity.


Understanding Matter and Energy: Electricity and Electrical Devices

• Electrical energy plays a significant role in society, and its production has an impact on the environment.

• Society must find ways to minimize the impact of energy production on the environment.

Expectations


Understanding Life Systems: Biodiversity


1. Assess human impacts on biodiversity, and identify ways of preserving biodiversity;

2. investigate the characteristics of living things, and classify diverse organisms according

to specific characteristics;

3. Demonstrate an understanding of biodiversity, its contributions to the stability of natural systems, and its benefits to humans.


Understanding Matter and Energy: Electricity and Electrical Devices


1. Evaluate the impact of the use of electricity on both the way we live and the environment;



Science Grade 7


Big Ideas


Understanding Life Systems: Interactions in the Environment

• Ecosystems are made up of biotic (living) and abiotic (non-living) elements, which depend on each other to survive.

• Ecosystems are in a constant state of change. The changes may be caused by nature or by human intervention.

• Human activities have the potential to alter the environment. Humans must be aware of these impacts and try to control them.


Understanding Earth and Space Systems: Heat in the Environment

• Heat is a form of energy that can be transformed and transferred. These processes can be explained using the particle theory of matter.

• There are many sources of heat.

• Heat has both positive and negative effects on the environment.


Expectations


Understanding Life Systems: Interactions in the Environment


1. Assess the impacts of human activities and technologies on the environment, and evaluate ways of controlling these impacts;

2. Investigate interactions within the environment, and identify factors that affect the balance between different components of an ecosystem;

3. Demonstrate an understanding of interactions between and among biotic and abiotic elements in the environment.


Understanding Earth and Space Systems: Heat in the Environment


1. Assess the costs and benefits of technologies that reduce heat loss or heat-related impacts on the environment;

2. Investigate ways in which heat changes substances, and describe how heat is transferred;

3. Demonstrate an understanding of heat as a form of energy that is associated with the movement of particles and is essential to many processes within the earth’s systems.



Science Grade 8


Big Ideas


Understanding Structures and Mechanisms: Systems in Action

• Systems are designed to accomplish tasks.

• All systems include an input and an output.

• Systems are designed to optimize human and natural resources.


Understanding Earth and Space Systems: Water Systems

• Water is crucial to life on Earth.

• Water systems influence climate and weather patterns.

• Water is an important resource that needs to be managed sustainably.


Expectations


Understanding Structures and Mechanisms: Systems in Action


1. Assess the personal, social, and/or environmental impacts of a system, and evaluate improvements to a system and/or alternative ways of meeting the same needs;

2. Investigate a working system and the ways in which components of the system contribute to its desired function;

3. Demonstrate an understanding of different types of systems and the factors that contribute to their safe and efficient operation.


Understanding Earth and Space Systems: Water Systems


1. Assess the impact of human activities and technologies on the sustainability of water resources;

2. Investigate factors that affect local water quality;

3. Demonstrate an understanding of the characteristics of the earth’s water systems and the influence of water systems on a specific region.


Grades 9 and 10



Science Grade 9 Academic


Big Ideas


Biology

• Ecosystems are dynamic and have the ability to respond to change, within limits, while maintaining their ecological balance.

• People have the responsibility to regulate their impact on the sustainability of ecosystems in order to preserve them for future generations.


Chemistry

• The use of elements and compounds has both positive and negative effects on society and the environment.


Physics

• Electricity is a form of energy produced from a variety of non-renewable and renewable sources.

• The production and consumption of electrical energy has social, economic, and environmental implications.

Expectations


Biology: Sustainable Ecosystems


B1.    Assess the impact of human activities on the sustainability of terrestrial and/or aquatic ecosystems, and evaluate the effectiveness of courses of action intended to remedy or mitigate negative impacts;

B2.    Investigate factors related to human activity that affect terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and explain how they affect the sustainability of these ecosystems;

B3.    Demonstrate an understanding of the dynamic nature of ecosystems, particularly in terms of ecological balance and the impact of human activity on the sustainability of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.


Physics: the characteristics of electricity


E1.    Assess some of the costs and benefits associated with the production of electrical energy from renewable and non-renewable sources, and analyze how electrical efficiencies and savings can be achieved, through both the design of technological devices and practices in the home;



Science Grade 9 Applied


Big Ideas


Biology

  1. Ecosystems consist of a variety of components, including, in many cases, humans.

• The sustainability of ecosystems depends on balanced interactions between their

components.

• Human activity can affect the sustainability of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.


Chemistry

• Elements and compounds have specific properties that determine their uses. • The use of elements and compounds has both positive and negative effects on society

and the environment.


Physics

• Electricity is a form of energy produced from a variety of non-renewable and renewable sources.

• The production and consumption of electrical energy has social, economic, and environmental implications.

Expectations


Biology: Sustainable ecosystems and human activity


B1.Analyze the impact of human activity on terrestrial or aquatic ecosystems, and assess the effectiveness of selected initiatives related to environmental sustainability;

B2.Investigate some factors related to human activity that affect terrestrial or aquatic ecosystems, and describe the consequences that these factors have for the sustainability of these ecosystems;

B3.     Demonstrate an understanding of characteristics of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, the interdependence within and between ecosystems, and the impact humans have on the sustainability of these ecosystems.


Physics: the characteristics of electricity


E1.Assess the major social, economic, and environmental costs and benefits of using electrical energy, distinguishing between renewable and non-renewable sources, and propose a plan of action to reduce energy costs;



Science Grade 10 Academic


Big Ideas


Biology

• Plants and animals, including humans, are made of specialized cells, tissues, and organs that are organized into systems.

• Developments in medicine and medical technology can have social and ethical implications.


Earth and Space Science

  1. Earth’s climate is dynamic and is the result of interacting systems and processes.

  2. Global climate change is influenced by both natural and human factors.

  3. Climate change affects living things and natural systems in a variety of ways.

  4. People have the responsibility to assess their impact on climate change and to identify effective courses of action to reduce this impact.


Expectations


Earth and Space Science: climate change


d1. Analyze some of the effects of climate change around the world, and assess the effectiveness of initiatives that attempt to address the issue of climate change;

d2. Investigate various natural and human factors that influence Earth’s climate and climate change;

d3. Demonstrate an understanding of natural and human factors, including the greenhouse effect, that influence Earth’s climate and contribute to climate change.



Science Grade 10 Applied


Big Ideas


Biology

• Although technology and chemicals can be used to improve human health, they can also constitute a health hazard.


Earth and Space Science

• Global climate change is affected by both natural and human factors. • Climate change affects living things and natural systems in a variety of ways.


Expectations


Earth and Space Science: Earth’s dynamic climate


d1. analyse effects of human activity on climate change, and effects of climate change on living things and natural systems;

d2. investigate various natural and human factors that have an impact on climate change and global warming;

d3. demonstrate an understanding of various natural and human factors that contribute to climate change and global warming.


Grades 11 and 12


FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS


A system is a collection of living and/or non-living things and processes that interact to perform some function. A system includes inputs, outputs, and relationships among system components. natural and human systems develop in response to, and are limited by, a variety of environmental factors.


Sustainability and Stewardship

Sustainability is the concept of meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.


Stewardship involves understanding that we need to use and care for the natural environment in a responsible way and making the effort to pass on to future generations no less than what we have access to ourselves. Values that are central to responsible stewardship are: using non-renewable resources with care; reusing and recycling what we can; switching to renewable resources where possible.


Change and Continuity

Change is the process of becoming different over time, and can be quantified.

Continuity represents consistency and connectedness within and among systems over time. Interactions within and among systems result in change and variations in consistency.



Biology Grade 11 University Preparation


Big Ideas


Diversity of Living Things

• Human activities affect the diversity of living things in ecosystems.


Evolution

• Technology that enables humans to manipulate the development of species has economic and environmental implications.


Genetic Processes

  1. Genetic and genomic research can have social and environmental implications.

• Variability and diversity of living organisms result from the distribution of genetic

materials during the process of meiosis.


Expectations


Diversity of living things


B1.Analyze the effects of various human activities on the diversity of living things;

B3. Demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of living organisms in terms of the principles of taxonomy and phylogeny.



Biology Grade 11


Big Ideas


Cellular Biology

• Substances that are present in our everyday lives can affect cellular functions and processes in positive and negative ways.


Genetics

• Genetic research and biotechnology have social, environmental, and ethical implications. • Variability and diversity of living organisms result from the distribution of genetic

materials during the process of meiosis.


Anatomy of Mammals

• Technologies that are used to maintain human health have social and economic benefits and costs.

• Environmental factors, including natural factors and those resulting from human activity, can have a wide range of effects on human health.


Plants in the Natural Environment

  1. Plants are critical to the survival of ecosystems.

• Humans affect the sustainability of ecosystems when they alter the balance of plants

within those ecosystems.


Expectations


Genetics


Evaluate some social, ethical, and environmental implications of genetic research and related technologies;


Plants in the Natural Environment


f1.Analyze the roles of plants in ecosystems, and assess the impact of human activities on the balance of plants within those ecosystems;

f2.Investigate some of the factors that affect plant growth;



Biology Grade 12


Big Ideas


Homeostasis

  1. Organisms have strict limits on the internal conditions that they can tolerate.

  2. Systems that maintain homeostasis rely on feedback mechanisms.

• Environmental factors can affect homeostasis.


Population Dynamics

  1. Population growth follows predictable patterns.

• The increased consumption of resources and production of waste associated with

population growth result in specific stresses that affect Earth’s sustainability.

• Technological developments can contribute to or help offset the ecological footprint

associated with population growth and the consumption of natural resources.


Expectations


Molecular Genetics


d1. Analyze some of the social, ethical, and legal issues associated with genetic research and biotechnology;

d3. Demonstrate an understanding of concepts related to molecular genetics, and how genetic modification is applied in industry and agriculture.


Homeostasis

Evaluate the impact on the human body of selected chemical substances and of environmental factors related to human activity


Population Dynamics


f1.Analyze the relationships between population growth, personal consumption, technological development, and our ecological footprint, and assess the effectiveness of some Canadian initiatives intended to assist expanding populations;

f2.Investigate the characteristics of population growth, and use models to calculate the growth of populations within an ecosystem;

f3.Demonstrate an understanding of concepts related to population growth, and explain the factors that affect the growth of various populations of species.



Chemistry Grade 11


Big Ideas


Solutions and Solubility

• Living things depend for their survival on the unique physical and chemical properties of water.

• People have a responsibility to protect the integrity of Earth’s water resources.


Gases and Atmospheric Chemistry

  1. Properties of gases can be described qualitatively and quantitatively, and can be predicted.

  2. Air quality can be affected by human activities and technology.

• People have a responsibility to protect the integrity of Earth’s atmosphere.


Expectations


Solutions And Solubility


e1. Analyze the origins and effects of water pollution, and a variety of economic, social, and environmental issues related to drinking water;

e2. Investigate qualitative and quantitative properties of solutions, and solve related problems; demonstrate an understanding of qualitative and quantitative properties of solutions.


Gases and Atmospheric Chemistry


f1.Analyze the cumulative effects of human activities and technologies on air quality, and describe some Canadian initiatives to reduce air pollution, including ways to reduce their own carbon footprint;



Chemistry Grade 12 University Preparation


Big Ideas


Organic Chemistry

• Organic chemical reactions and their applications have significant implications for society, human health, and the environment.


Structure and Properties of Matter

• Technological devices that are based on the principles of atomic and molecular structures can have societal benefits and costs.


Energy Changes and Rates of Reaction

• Technologies that transform energy can have societal and environmental costs and

benefits.


Chemical Systems and Equilibrium

• Chemical systems are dynamic and respond to changing conditions in predictable ways. • Applications of chemical systems at equilibrium have significant implications for

nature and industry.


Electrochemistry

• The control and applications of oxidation and reduction reactions have significant implications for industry, health and safety, and the environment.


Expectations


Chemistry in the Environment


f1.evaluate the importance of government regulations, scientific analyses, and individual actions in improving air and water quality, and propose a personal plan of action to support these efforts;



Earth and Space Science Grade 12

University Preparation


Big Ideas


Recording Earth’s Geological History

• Earth is very old, and its atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere have undergone many changes over time.

• Changing conditions on Earth over time have had positive and negative effects on life on the planet.


Earth Materials

• Exploration for and extraction and refining of materials from below the surface of Earth have positive and negative effects on the economy, society, and the environment.

• Different types of rocks have different origins, properties, characteristics, and uses.


Geological Processes

• Earth’s lithosphere is constantly changing as the result of natural phenomena and human activity.

• Specialized technologies have enabled us to increase our knowledge and understanding of Earth’s structure and have improved the ability of scientists to monitor and predict changes in the lithosphere.


Expectations


Recording Earth’s Geological History


d1. Analyze, with reference to geological records, the relationship between climate, geology, and life on Earth, and evaluate contributions to our understanding of changes in Earth systems over geological time;

d2. Investigate geological evidence of major changes that have occurred during Earth’s history, and of the various processes that have contributed to these changes;

d3. Demonstrate an understanding of how changes to Earth’s surface have been recorded and preserved throughout geological time and how they contribute to our knowledge of Earth’s history


Earth Materials


e1.Analyze technologies used to explore for and extract Earth materials, and assess the economic and environmental impact of the exploitation of such materials;



Environmental Science Grade 11

University Preparation


Big Ideas


Scientific Solutions to Contemporary Environmental Challenges

  1. Current environmental issues are complex, and may involve conflicting interests or ideas.

• Scientific knowledge enables people to make informed decisions about effective ways to

address environmental challenges.


Human Health and the Environment

  1. Environmental factors can have negative effects on human health.

• It is possible to minimize some of the negative health effects of environmental factors by

making informed lifestyle choices and taking other precautions.


Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry

• Modern agricultural and forestry practices can have positive and negative consequences for the economy, human health, and the sustainability of ecosystems, both local and global.


Reducing and Managing Waste

• Well-thought-out waste management plans help to sustain ecosystems, locally and globally.

• By making informed choices, consumers can reduce the amount or alter the nature of the waste they produce.


Conservation of Energy

• The impact of energy production and consumption on environmental sustainability depends on which resources and energy production methods are used.


Expectations


Scientific Solutions to Contemporary Environmental Challenges


B1.Analyze social and economic issues related to an environmental challenge, and how societal needs influence scientific endeavours related to the environment;

B2. Investigate a range of perspectives that have contributed to scientific knowledge about the environment, and how scientific knowledge and procedures are applied to address contemporary environmental problems;

B3. Demonstrate an understanding of major contemporary environmental challenges and how we acquire knowledge about them.


Human Health and the Environment


c1.Analyze initiatives, both governmental and non-governmental, that are intended to reduce the impact of environmental factors on human health;

c2.Investigate environmental factors that can affect human health, and analyse related data;

c3.Demonstrate an understanding of various environmental factors that can affect human health, and explain how the impact of these factors can be reduced.


Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry


d1. Evaluate the impact of agricultural and forestry practices on human health, the economy, and the environment;

d2. Investigate conditions necessary for plant growth, including the soil components most suitable for various species, and various environmentally sustainable methods that can be used to promote growth;

d3. Demonstrate an understanding of conditions required for plant growth and of a variety of environmentally sustainable practices that can be used to promote growth.


Reducing and Managing Waste


e1. Analyze economic, political, and environmental considerations affecting waste management strategies;

e2. Investigate the effectiveness of various waste management practices;

e3. Demonstrate an understanding of the nature and types of waste and strategies for its management.


Conservation of Energy


f1.Assess the impact on society and the environment of the use of various renewable and non-renewable energy sources, and propose a plan to reduce energy consumption;

f2.Investigate various methods of conserving energy and improving energy efficiency;

f3.Demonstrate an understanding of energy production, consumption, and conservation with respect to a variety of renewable and non-renewable sources.



Environmental Science Grade 11

Workplace


Big Ideas


Human Impact on the Environment

  1. The biotic elements of an ecosystem include humans.

  2. Abiotic and biotic factors interact within an ecosystem.

• People have positive and negative effects on the environment, both locally and globally.


Human Health and the Environment

  1. Environmental factors can have negative effects on human health.

• It is possible to minimize some negative health effects associated with environmental

factors by making wise lifestyle choices and taking other precautions.


Energy Conservation

• The impact of energy production and consumption on environmental sustainability depends on which resources and energy production methods are used.


Natural Resource Science and Management

  1. Biodiversity is a measure of the health and sustainability of an ecosystem.

• Careful resource management planning is necessary to sustain ecosystems.


Expectations


Human Impact on the Environment


B1.Analyze selected current environmental problems in terms of the role human activities have played in creating or perpetuating them, and propose possible solutions to one such problem;

B3.Demonstrate an understanding of some of the ways in which human activities affect the environment and how the impact of those activities is measured and monitored.


Human Health and the Environment


c1.Analyze the effects on human health of environmental contaminants and a significant environmental phenomenon;

c2. Investigate how different environmental factors can affect people’s health and their lifestyle choices;

c3. Demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which environmental factors can affect human health and how their impact can be reduced.


Energy Conservation


D1.Evaluate initiatives and technological innovations related to energy consumption and conservation, and assess their impact on personal lifestyles, social attitudes, and the environment;

D2.Investigate various methods of conserving energy and improving energy efficiency;

D3.Demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles of energy production, with reference to both renewable and non-renewable sources, and of various methods of energy conservation.


Natural Resource Science and Management


e1.Assess the environmental impact of the harvesting and/or extraction of resources, including ways of reducing this impact, and analyze threats to the sustainability of natural resources;

e3.Demonstrate an understanding of the sustainable use of resources and its relationship to the biodiversity and sustainability of ecosystems.



Science Grade 12

University/College Preparation


Big Ideas


Nutritional Science

• The nutrients and other substances found in foods affect human health and well-being. • An understanding of the role of nutrients and other substances found in foods enables

people to make healthy lifestyle choices.


Science and Public Health Issues

• An understanding of threats to public health helps individuals and societies adopt appropriate practices to protect their health and the health of others.

• A global approach to public health is necessary to help prevent future pandemics.


Biotechnology

• Many social, ethical, and legal issues and conflicting interests have to be considered when determining the appropriate uses of biotechnology.

• Scientific knowledge helps individuals and society make informed decisions regarding biotechnology.


Expectations


Science and Public Health Issues


e1.  Assess the impact of scientific research, technological advances, and government initiatives on public health;

e2.  Investigate various strategies related to contemporary public health issues;

e3.  Demonstrate an understanding of major public health issues, past and present.


Biotechnology


f1.Analyze a variety of social, ethical, and legal issues related to applications of biotechnology in the health, agricultural, or environmental sector;

f2.Investigate various techniques used in biotechnology and how they are applied in the food industry and the health and agricultural sectors;

f3.Demonstrate an understanding of biological processes related to biotechnology and of applications of biotechnology in the health, agricultural, and environmental sectors.



Please contact us with any questions.