The study of the sciences, including chemistry, at the secondary level gives students the opportunity to develop and refine their scientific literacy skills. The Ontario Curriculum of Science recognizes that it is essential for students to develop these skills as part of their education.
Secondary school students have the option to focus on more specialized areas of science, such as chemistry. Courses in chemistry, the study of the “composition and properties of substances and various elementary forms of matter”, are available to students in Grades 11 and 12.
The science curriculum focuses on the “big ideas”: those scientific concepts and theories which have proven to be both fundamental and stable over time. For chemistry, the curriculum identifies the following big ideas:
- Matter, Chemical Trends, and Chemical Bonding
- Chemical Reactions
- Quantities in Chemical Reactions
- Solutions and Solubility
- Gases and Atmospheric Chemistry
In Grade 11, chemistry students will build a strong understanding of the core concepts of chemistry. In Grade 12, chemistry courses are available both at the university preparation and college preparation level. At both levels, chemistry students will focus on the role of chemistry in everyday life and give consideration to the social and environmental effects of applied chemistry on the world around them.
According to the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada approximately 380,000 people are employed by the Canadian chemistry industry, in such areas as biochemistry and chemical engineering. A significant amount of those jobs are located in Ontario.
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