Table of contents

Overview

The draft science curriculum was released in March 2021 and updated in December 2021. Science calls on students to use their curiosity, creativity and perseverance to develop a deeper understanding of the natural world. It includes the study of physics, chemistry, biology, Earth science, astronomy and computer science.

Through science, students develop critical thinking, problem solving, confidence and communication skills to make sense of complex information both on their own and in teams. They gain knowledge by applying scientific methods. Exploring the environment through diverse perspectives and traditional knowledge allows students to connect with their surroundings and recognize the responsibility we share for our planet.

Studying science equips students to evaluate information they encounter every day. It can lead to careers in research, medicine, computer science, geology, engineering, astronomy, agriculture and more.

What is new: December 13, 2021

Alberta's K-6 curriculum renewal is moving forward based on valuable insights gained from listening to Albertans. Changes to science will help students:

  • develop an appreciation for dinosaurs and their significance in Alberta’s history
  • learn about different types of dinosaurs, how fossilized dinosaur bones were discovered in Alberta and the heritage sites where they are found
  • learn additional factual and scientific content related to climate change, such as how clean energy production can reduce net greenhouse gas emissions

Engagement timeline

  • Open

    Feedback open until Spring 2022

  • Completed

Resources (updated Dec 2021)

Shifts in K-6 science

When comparing the draft science curriculum from December 2021 to the current curriculum, these are the main shifts in knowledge and skill requirements.

  Draft curriculum Current curriculum
Specific units and topics Students build foundational knowledge across K-6 to deepen their understanding of scientific ideas, methods and thinking. Organized by units and topics that limit connections between scientific ideas, methods and thinking.
Computational thinking Clear expectations for students to learn problem solving that includes coding and algorithms. No references to problem solving with coding.
Science components/scientific methods Students will learn scientific methods, including investigation, evidence, explanation, understanding, and representation in separate units and apply them across all grades. Students learn to apply science inquiry skills at each grade but do not study scientific methods in a separate unit.
Diverse perspectives Opportunities for students to explore diverse perspectives and cultures.

First Nations, Métis and Inuit knowledge, practices and perspectives are clearly and respectfully included.

No references to diverse perspectives.

No references to First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives.

Snapshot by grade

These are samples of what students learn in K-6 from grade to grade. The highlights indicate updates made to the draft curriculum in December 2021.

  • Kindergarten
    Kindergarten
    • Properties of natural and constructed objects can be explored through 5 senses
    • Surrounding environment and its elements, including connection to and respect for the environment
    • Ways to protect the environment, like reducing waste, recycling, reusing and not littering
    • Children will learn the concepts of clear instruction and sequences in a classroom
    • Reasons for human and animal movement, like the need to seek food and water and to escape danger
  • Grade 1
    Grade 1
    • Students will learn to analyze properties of natural and constructed objects and investigate how they can be changed
    • Students will learn about their environment, including seasonal changes
    • First Nations, Métis, and Inuit community actions that illustrate a responsibility to care for the natural world
    • Ways safety instructions can be followed and the importance of following instructions
    • Investigation and its importance, including respect for nature
  • Grade 2
    Grade 2
    • Identify the materials used to make various objects
    • Earth, its landforms and its bodies of water, including personal connections to land
    • Ways that creativity can be used to ensure that instructions lead to the desired outcome
    • Methods and processes used in scientific investigation
  • Grade 3
    Grade 3
    • Natural and processed materials and their potential to be changed
    • Changes to Earth’s surface and human responsibility for protecting the planet
    • First Nations, Métis and Inuit relationships, intergenerational knowledge of landscapes
    • The Earth is warming up due to a range of causes
    • Creativity and its relationship to computational thinking
    • Ways investigation develops knowledge in science
    • Update: Different types of dinosaurs, how fossilized dinosaur bones were discovered in Alberta and the heritage sites where they are found
  • Grade 4
    Grade 4
    • Apply knowledge of recycling, reusing, reducing, repurposing and repairing materials to reduce waste
    • Ways to design solutions to problems using algorithms for computer science, technology and engineering
    • Nature of evidence and its role in science
    • Update: Increased specificity of language related to the environmental impact of waste materials
  • Grade 5
    Grade 5
    • Physical properties of solids, liquids and gases
    • Climate and weather conditions and conservation agriculture
    • Compare renewable energy resources with non‑renewable energy resources, and demonstrate appropriate use of scientific vocabulary when discussing energy resources
    • Creating computational artifacts, coding and translating algorithms into code
    • Ways evidence is enhanced and the importance of handling it responsibly, including scientific ethics related to animals
  • Grade 6
    Grade 6
    • Effect of heating and cooling on matter
    • Factors affecting climate and climate change
    • Factors to consider when choosing which energy resource to use, like availability, societal impacts, economic impacts, and environmental and climate impacts
    • The scientific, environmental and economic considerations around energy distribution and use in Alberta
    • Using design and abstraction to create and refine computational artifacts and considering the environmental impacts of using technology
    • Role of explanation in science
    • Update: Investigation of dinosaur extinction; additional factual and scientific learnings about climate change, including the release of greenhouse gases and personal actions that can be taken to address climate change

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