Science K-12 – Rationale


Science provides opportunities for us to better understand the natural world. Through science, we ask questions and seek answers to grow our collective scientific knowledge. We continually revise and refine our knowledge as we acquire new evidence. While maintaining our respect for evidence, we are aware that our scientific knowledge is provisional and is influenced by our culture, values, and ethics. Linking traditional and contemporary First Peoples understandings and current scientific knowledge enables us to make meaningful connections with our everyday lives and the world beyond.

The Science curriculum takes a place-based approach to science learning. Students will develop place-based knowledge about the area in which they live, learning about and building on First Peoples knowledge and other traditional ecological knowledge of the area. This provides the basis for an intuitive relationship with and respect for the natural world, connections with ecosystems and community, and a sense of relatedness that encourages lifelong harmony with nature.

The Science curriculum includes content from biology, chemistry, physics, and earth and space sciences at the K-9 level. In Grades 10-12, the content expands to include anatomy and physiology, environmental science, geology, and specialized science. The curriculum gives students the opportunity to develop the skills, processes, attitudes, and scientific habits of mind that allow them to pursue their own inquiries using scientific methods. Using critical thinking, creative insight, and their current scientific knowledge, students collaborate, investigate, solve problems, communicate, innovate, discover, and increase their understanding of science through hands-on experience. Students have opportunities to develop personal and social awareness of their roles and responsibilities with respect to the environment. By cultivating an appreciation for the field of science, students can recognize opportunities to apply their knowledge in their everyday lives or contribute to science in their future careers.

The intent of the curriculum is to develop scientifically literate citizens who have a critical awareness of the role of science in society, combined with a caring and responsible disposition and an understanding of the social, health, ethical, and environmental dimensions of issues. Scientifically literate citizens are able to use scientific evidence, as well as their knowledge from other areas of learning, to develop their own views, discuss and debate, and make informed decisions in their daily lives and about broader issues, while maintaining their curiosity and wonder about the natural world.


The B.C. Science curriculum contributes to students’ development as educated citizens through the achievement of the following goals. Students are expected to: 
  • develop an understanding and appreciation of the nature of science as an evidence-based way of knowing the natural world that yields descriptions and explanations, which are in turn continually being improved within the context of our cultural values and ethics
  • develop place-based knowledge of the natural world and experience the local area in which they live by accessing and building on existing understandings, including those of First Peoples
  • develop a solid foundation of conceptual and procedural knowledge in science that they can use to interpret the natural world and apply to new problems, issues, and events; to further learning; and to their lives
  • develop the habits of mind associated with science – a sustained curiosity; a valuing of questions; an openness to new ideas and consideration of alternatives; an appreciation of evidence; an awareness of assumptions and a questioning of given information; a healthy, informed skepticism; a seeking of patterns, connections, and understanding; and a consideration of social, ethical, and environmental implications
  • develop a lifelong interest in science and the attitudes that will make them scientifically literate citizens who bring a scientific perspective, as appropriate, to social, moral, and ethical decisions and actions in their own lives, culture, and the environment