Curriculum Information


IntoScience’s activities cover a variety of outcomes teaching skills, values and knowledge across the curriculum. The table below provides suggestions for how many activities can be used to facilitate learning of a number of knowledge outcomes for the Alberta Science Curriculum in Junior High School.


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Journey of discovery

Activity Name Activity Description Curriculum Code Code Description
What is science? The archer Science is a way of improving predictions, and involves supporting and disproving new and old theories.
Science is in everything we do Science involves acquiring, investigating and organising knowledge and can help influence everyday life situations.
Fields and heroes of science Major domains in science are Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Earth Science all of which have famous scientists who have made valuable contributions.
Attitudes and approaches to science The mental attitudes of scientists affect knowledge seeking, accuracy of analysis, reliability of evidence and safety of practices.
Lab rules and safety precautions Rules and safety precautions are important as many experiments involve hazardous chemicals or dangerous situations.
Hazard symbols Hazard symbols are used to illustrate the type of potential harm a chemical may cause. 8A1
Explain the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) symbols for labelling substances; and describe the safety precautions to follow when handling, storing and disposing of substances at home and in the laboratory.
Equipment and apparatus There are many different types of apparatus equipment used for experiments. They all have unique names and functions.
Experiment using the scientific method Experiments are conducted by following a scientific method. This is a systematic approach to acquiring new knowledge.
Order of the scientific method A scientific method is organised into a logical sequence for predicting, collecting, analysing and presenting newly acquired knowledge.
The basketball experiment Experiments usually involve three types of variables; dependent, independent and controlled.
Imagination in science Technological advancement observed throughout time is often assisted by the application of scientific knowledge.
The Archer returns – rethinking method Science is a way of improving predictions, often by measuring and collecting data and applying it to a model.

Classification of organisms

Activity Name Activity Outcome Curriculum Code Code Description
Reasons for classifying Classification systems are used to group organisms.
Guess these organisms Classification helps scientists group organisms according to similar characteristics.
Taxonomic ranks Relationships between species are represented as taxonomic ranks. KS3 Biology
Differences between species.
Kingdoms of classification All organisms are classified into five kingdoms based on a range of primary characteristics.
All about plants: Kingdom Plantae Kingdom Plantae consists of non-flowering and flowering plants.
Classify these plants Plants can be grouped according to their similarities and differences.
All about animals: Kingdom Animalia Kingdom Animalia consists of vertebrates (backbone) and invertebrates (no backbone).
Mind your Mendelios! Organisms can be categorised into different species; different species are categorised into genuses; and different genuses are categorised into families.
Using the dichotomous key Objects, such as living things, can be sorted into categories using a dichotomous key.
Create your own dichotomous key Dichotomous keys can be constructed to sort objects into categories.
Classification over time People have classified organisms differently through history, and will continue to use new techniques in the future.
Naming the scientific way Most organisms have one or more common names, and a scientific name based on Carl Linnaeus’s binomial naming system.
What’s in a name? Scientific names are constructed according to a set of rules, and are often based on Greek or Latin words.


Activity Name Activity Outcome Curriculum Code Code Description
Levels of ecology Students learn that ecosystems are diverse environments distinguished by unique  interacting living and non-living components 7A2
Trace and interpret the flow of energy and materials within an ecosystem.
Biotic or abiotic? This activity shows that ecosystems are a mix of living (biotic) and non-living (abiotic) factors that can change over time and affect one another.
Plant food: photosynthesis Photosynthesis is the process by which plants convert the light energy form the Sun into chemicals they can use as food. 7B2
Investigate life processes and structures of plants, and interpret related characteristics and needs of plants in a local environment.
Stored energy: respiration Respiration is the process by which living things release energy stored in food to drive all the chemical reactions required for life. -
Energy in food chains Food chains describe the movement of energy through an ecosystem. Organisms can be described and classified according to the way they get their energy. 7A2
Trace and interpret the flow of energy and materials within an ecosystem.
Classifying consumers Food webs are organised by diet, herbivore, carnivore, omnivore and trophic positions, producer and consumer
Strange relationships Organisms interact in complex relationships defined by how they affect one another’s health and ability to survive. 7A1
Investigate and describe relationships between humans and their environments, and identify related issues and scientific questions.


Activity Name Activity Outcome Curriculum Code Code Description
Introduction to microscopes Light microscopes have features which allow you to observe certain objects too small to see clearly with the naked eye.
Characteristics of living things Living things have a combination of functions and characteristics that distinguish them from non-living things.
Cell explorer Living cells contain specialised structures that are responsible for a range of functions. 8B1
Investigate and describe example scientific studies of the characteristics of living things.
Comparing plant and animal cells Animal and plants can be distinguished by their cells’ structures and functions. 8B2
Examine plant and animal structures; and identify contributing roles of cells, tissues and organs.
Building blocks of life Organisms can be single cells, or multiple cells arranged into tissues, organs, and organ systems. 8B2
Distinguish between plant and animal cells.
Cell division Multicellular organisms grow when their cells grow and divide, a process called binary fission.
Mitosis Eukaryotic cells grow and divide into two near-identical daughter cells through the process of mitosis.

Body systems

Activity Name Activity Outcome Curriculum Code Code Description
Introduction to body systems The human body is made up of systems of organs that are responsible for survival and reproduction. 8B3
Describe, in general terms, body systems for respiration, circulation, digestion, excretion and sensory awareness.
Circulatory system The structures of the human circulatory system move oxygen, nutrients and waste around the body by pumping blood through a network of vessels.
Respiratory system The structures of the human respiratory system enable our body to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide from the air.
Digestive system The structures of the human digestive system enable us to break food down and absorb the nutrients they contain, while excreting the waste.

Pure substances and mixtures

Activity Name Activity Outcome Curriculum Code Code Description
Recognising pure substances from mixtures Pure substances cannot be physically separated. Mixtures can be physically separated. 8A2
Distinguish among pure substances, mixtures and solutions, using common examples.
What makes a mixture? Mixtures are made up of more than one substance which have different physical properties.
Examples of pure substances and mixtures Pure substances are composed of one type of element or compound. Mixtures are composed of two or more types of elements, compounds or both. 8A2
Relate the properties of mixtures and solutions to the particle model of matter.
Stir it up! Mixtures that are solutions A solution is a type of mixture which contains one or more solutes dissolved in a solvent.
Solute + Solvent = Solution A solution is a type of mixture that contains one solute and one solvent.
What is a suspension? A suspension is a type of mixture in which insoluble particles are suspended and eventually sink.

Techniques for separating mixtures

Activity Name Activity Outcome Curriculum Code Code Description
Physical properties of a substance Physical properties are characteristics of a substance that can be used to separate them from a mixture. 9B1
Investigate and describe properties of materials.
Filtration and evaporation Filtration and evaporation are two methods for separating mixtures.
Distillation Distillation is a method used to separate a liquid from a mixture.
Filtration: Save the fish! Filtration is a separation technique that can be used to clarify water.
Exploring more separation techniques There is a variety of separation techniques that can be used to separate a mixture, which all exploit different physical properties.
The island activity Natural and man-made objects can be used to separate a seawater mixture into drinking water.

States of matter

Activity Name Activity Outcome Curriculum Code Code Description
Particle matters Matter makes up everything and comes in three main states; solid, liquid and gas.
Changing states States can change from one form to another by undergoing different processes. 7C2
Describe the effect of heat on the motion of particles; and explain changes of state, using the particle model of matter.
Diffusion in the lab Diffusion is the movement of particles from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration.
Expansion experiments Expansion occurs when objects are heated, causing the particles inside to move further apart. 7C2
Investigate and describe the effects of heating and cooling on the volume of different materials, and identify applications of these effects.
The Particle Model Examiner Heatwaves can cause infrastructure problems because as particles heat up the object will expand.
Using models in science Models are used in science to visualise things that are too big or small. Models are usually scaled up or down.

Elements, compounds and mixtures

Activity Name Activity Outcome Curriculum Code Code Description
Classification of matter All matter can be divided into two categories; pure substances and mixtures.
Changing models of the atom The model of the atom has changed over time due to advancing technology and new discoveries.
Structure of the atom Atoms are the basic unit of matter and consist of three sub-atomic particles which all have unique characteristics.
Introduction to the periodic table The periodic table comprises of elements arranged in groups, columns, by atomic number number and atomic mass. 9B3
Use the periodic table to identify the number of protons, electrons and other information about each atom; and describe, in general terms, the relationship between the structure of atoms in each group and the properties of elements in that group.
Properties and uses of elements All elements are distinguished by their physical properties, such as conductivity, malleability and mass.
Comparing compounds Elements in the periodic table bond in different ways, to form either covalent or ionic compounds. 9B3
Distinguish between ionic and molecular compounds, and describe the properties of some common examples of each.
Naming compounds While compounds are named systematically, some have more recognisable common names. 9B4
Read and interpret chemical formulas for compounds of two elements, and give the IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) name and common name of these compounds.

Chemical reactions

Activity Name Activity Outcome Curriculum Code Code Description
Physical and chemical changes Changes to a substance can be physical or chemical. 9B1
Identify conditions under which properties of a material are changed, and critically evaluate if a new substance has been produced.
Signs of chemical change There is a variety of observable indicators that suggests a chemical change has probably occured.
Types of reactions There are different types of chemical reactions which are named by their unique process for forming a new substance. 9B4
Describe familiar chemical reactions, and represent these reactions by using word equations and chemical formulas and by constructing models of reactants and products
Law of conservation of mass After a chemical reaction is complete the mass of the new substance will equal the mass of the original substance.

Simple machines

Activity Name Activity Outcome Curriculum Code Code Description
Gutenberg’s effort challenge An object that is too heavy to lift can be moved by other objects that decrease the amount of effort.
Introducing simple machines Simple machines are used to decrease effort by carrying out specific tasks that help move or lift objects. 7D2
Analyze a mechanical device, by: − describing the overall function of the device − describing the contribution of individual components or subsystems to the overall function of the device − identifying components that operate as simple machines.
Investigating levers A lever uses a pivot to reduce the effort required to lift an object, or to increase the speed applied to moving a load. 7D1
Investigate and provide examples of mechanical devices used in the past to meet particular needs.
Classes of levers There are three classes of lever based on the order of the fulcrum, effort and load.
The pulley problem An arrangement of pulleys decreases effort in lifting, pulling or moving heavy objects.
Simple machines revealed Simple machines are used in everyday life to decrease the effort required to move heavy objects. 7D2
Aanalyze a mechanical device, by: − describing the overall function of the device − describing the contribution of individual components or subsystems to the overall function of the device − identifying components that operate as simple machines.

Familiar forces

Activity Name Activity Outcome Curriculum Code Code Description
Everyday forces A force is used to move objects in different ways and directions.
Effects of applying forces Behind every physical action is an applied force which can speed up, slow down, or change the direction of an object.
Balanced forces Equal forces acting on one object from opposite directions are described as balanced.
Unbalanced forces Unequal forces acting on one object from opposite directions are described as unbalance, and can cause objects to speed up, slow down or change direction.
The friction advantage? Friction is the force that opposes movement when the surfaces of two materials rub against each other. 7D2
Identify examples of frictional forces and their use in structures.
Air resistance Air resistance is a force caused by a gas rubbing against the surface of a material.
Crash test dummies The stopping distance of a car driving at the same speed is different when comparing wet and dry tracks, and bald and new tyre treads.

Effects of gravity

Activity Name Activity Outcome Curriculum Code Code Description
Playing with gravity Gravity is a force affecting all objects in the universe.
Gravity on Earth Gravity is a non-contact, attractive force that tends to be measured from the centre of an object.
Measuring forces The amount of force an object applies depends on its mass and its change in speed. 7D2
Recognize and use units of force and mass, and identify and measure forces and loads.
Create your own Solar System The Sun’s gravitational force is responsible for supporting the Solar System. 9E1
Describe and apply techniques for determining the position and motion of objects in space.

Forms of energy

Activity Name Activity Outcome Curriculum Code Code Description
Kinetic and potential energy Energy can make objects perform work. All objects possess stored energy and moving energy. 9D1
Identify, describe and interpret examples of mechanical, chemical, thermal, electrical and light energy.
Energy transformations Energy can transfer from object to object and change into different forms. Energy transformations can be represented by flow diagrams. 9D1
Investigate and describe evidence of energy transfer and transformation.
Conduction, convection & radiation Heat can be transferred by three processes; conduction, convection and radiation. 7C2
Explain how heat is transmitted by conduction, convection and radiation in solids, liquids and gases.
Energy efficiency Energy efficiency is a measure of the amount of energy entering a system being transformed into useful work.
The home energy challenge Good choices in the home can improve energy efficiency and expenses. 7C3
Describe and interpret the function of household devices and systems for generating, transferring, controlling or removing thermal energy.


Activity Name Activity Outcome Curriculum Code Code Description
Introduction to electricity Electrical current is the movement of a charge between two points. Static electricity is the separation of a charge between two points. 9D2
Distinguish between static and current electricity, and identify example evidence of each.
Bits and pieces Components of simple circuits serve specific functions. 9D2
Identify electrical conductors and insulators, and compare the resistance of different materials to electric flow; use switches and resistors to control electrical flow, and predict the effects of these and other devices in given applications.
Schemes and plans Circuit diagrams are simplified instructions for communicating circuit designs. 9D2
Investigate toys, models and household appliances; and draw circuit diagrams to show the flow of electricity through them.
Opened and closed For electrical current to flow a circuit must be closed.
Series and parallel Parallel and series circuits are designed differently.
Current and voltage The current, voltage and resistance within a conductor vary according to the formula V=IR. 9D2
Describe, using models, the nature of electrical current; and explain the relationship among current, resistance and voltage

Earth, moon and Sun

Activity Name Activity Outcome Curriculum Code Code Description
Perspectives of the Earth, Moon and Sun Our Solar System consists of a star, eight planets and numerous other smaller objects. 9E1
Describe, in general terms, the distribution of matter in star systems, galaxies, nebulae and the universe as a whole.
Earth, Moon and Sun movements The Earth rotates on a tilted axis and revolves around the Sun, which we observe as periods of day and night and yearly seasons. 9E1
Investigate predictions about the motion, alignment and collision of bodies in space.
Phases of the moon The Moon orbits the Earth and spins on its own axis, resulting what we observe as eight phases.
A reason for seasons At different times of the year each of the Earth’s hemispheres tilts towards or away from the Sun, creating the variation in seasons.

The water cycle

Activity Name Activity Outcome Curriculum Code Code Description
Water cycle processes Water cycles through the environment in different phases by different processes. 7A2
Describe the process of cycling carbon and water through an ecosystem.
Human impacts on the water cycle Human impacts can have negative effects on the water cycle.
The Aswan dam case study Artificial structures can have a negative effects on the water cycle.

Renewable resources

Activity Name Activity Outcome Curriculum Code Code Description
Energy Island There are different sources of energy used to generate electricity some that will run out and some that will not. 7C1
Identify examples of personal and societal choices in using energy resources and technology.


Activity Name Activity Outcome Curriculum Code Code Description
Journey to the centre of the Earth The Earth is divided into layers called the crust, upper mantle, lower mantle, outer core and inner core. 7E1
Interpret models that show a layered structure for Earth’s interior; and describe, in general terms, evidence for such models.
Introduction to rocks and minerals Ores are useful rocks and minerals that can be extracted profitably from the ground. Rocks can be categorised as igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic. 7E1
Distinguish between rocks and minerals.
Weathering and erosion Weathering describes processes that turn large rocks into smaller rocks, while erosion describes processes that transport rocky materials. 7E2
Investigate and interpret examples of weathering, erosion and sedimentation.
Sedimentary rocks Sedimentary rocks and the fossils they contain are formed through a process involving sediment being deposited in water. 7E2/4
Describe characteristics of the three main classes of rocks—igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic—and describe evidence of their formation; describe the nature of different kinds of fossils, and identify hypotheses about their formation.
Igneous rocks Igneous rocks are formed from cooling lava or magma, and can be defined as intrusive or extrusive. 7E2
Describe characteristics of the three main classes of rocks—igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic—and describe evidence of their formation.
Metamorphic rocks Metamorphic rocks are formed by heat and pressure changing igneous or sedimentary rocks, and can form through regional or contact processes.
The rock cycle There are a variety of pathways and time scales defining how minerals can become different rock types.