Our curriculum map for the province of Ontario is here! If you are an Ontario educator, read on to explore our rationale for teaching our youth.

Our goal in educating our youth is to provide them with an experiential, tools-based approach to science & technology through the lens of conservation and monitoring.

  • By focusing on conservation, we can target both the science and social studies/geography curriculums in the junior and intermediate grades and beyond.
  • When students work with our data platform, we can also target the mathematics curriculum through data sets, graphs, and analysis of data.

By connecting social, science, and math together in one testing journey, our students (your students) will be able to see water monitoring and conservation in a holistic way. Systemic sustainability education can only be done right when cross-curricular competencies are fostered and developed with intentional programming, and that has been our goal here.

Planning on taking your students out for a water testing excursion?

Here’s how you can target different strands of the science curriculum in grades 4 to 8.

The new Science and Technology curriculum has just been released. The new, 2022 curriculum is structured around the same principles as the 2007 one before it, but with updated information and understandings. It is important to go over the vision and goals of the Science and Technology curriculum, and how they intersect with our goals at Water Rangers.

Firstly, the Science and Technology curriculum is concerned with relating science and technology to our changing world. Scientific understanding changes every day with new discoveries and theories, and our students should be prepared to deal with new information if given a good framework of understanding, based on STEM skills. Water Rangers is committed to providing a practical application of science and technology concepts through hands-on water quality monitoring.

Secondly, the Science and Technology curriculum encourages students to think critically about issues that impact the environment. Students will acquire a wide range of applicable skills in multiple disciplines from grades 4 to 8. Water Rangers aims to add water testing and monitoring to this list of skills. 

Source: https://www.dcp.edu.gov.on.ca/en/curriculum/science-technology/context/vision-goals

A: STEM Skills and Connections

Excerpt from the Ministry of Education Science and Technology (2022) document:

“This strand focuses on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills, coding and emerging technologies, practical applications of science and technology, and contributions that people with diverse lived experiences have made to science and technology. In all grades of the science and technology program, the learning related to this strand takes place in the context of learning related to the Life Systems, Matter and Energy, Structures and Mechanisms, and Earth and Space Systems strands, and it should be assessed and evaluated within these contexts”.

Source: https://www.dcp.edu.gov.on.ca/en/curriculum/science-technology/context/importance-stem

A1. STEM Investigation and Communication Skills

Grades 4-8

  • A1.1 use a scientific research process and associated skills to conduct investigations
  • A1.2 use a scientific experimentation process and associated skills to conduct investigations
  • A1.3 use an engineering design process and associated skills to design, build, and test devices, models, structures, and/or systems 
  • A1.4 follow established health and safety procedures during science and technology investigations, including wearing appropriate protective equipment and clothing and safely using tools, instruments, and materials
  • A1.5 communicate their findings, using science and technology vocabulary and formats that are appropriate for specific audiences and purposes   

A3. Applications, Connections, and Contributions

Grades 4-8

  • A3.1 describe practical applications of science and technology concepts in various occupations, including skilled trades, and how these applications address real-world problems
  • A3.2 investigate how science and technology can be used with other subject areas to address real-world problems
  • A3.3 analyse contributions to science and technology from various communities

B: Life Systems

B1. Relating Science and Technology to Our Changing World
Grade 4: Habitats and Communities

  • B1.1 assess positive and negative impacts of human activities on habitats and communities, while taking different perspectives into account

Grade 5: Human Health and Body Systems

  • B1.1 assess effects of a variety of social and environmental factors on human health, and describe ways in which individuals can reduce the harmful effects of these factors and take advantage of those that are beneficial

Grade 6: Biodiversity

  • B1.1 assess the benefits of biodiversity and the consequences of the diminishing of biodiversity
  • B1.2 analyse a local issue related to biodiversity while considering different perspectives; plan a course of action in response to the issue; and act on their plan

Grade 7: Interactions in the Environment

  • B1.1 assess the impact of various technologies on the environment
  • B1.2 assess the effectiveness of various ways of mitigating the negative and enhancing the positive impact of human activities on the environment
  • B1.3 analyse how diverse First Nations, Métis, and Inuit practices and perspectives contribute to environmental sustainability

B2. Exploring and Understanding Concepts

Grade 4: Habitats and Communities

  • B2.1 describe habitats as areas that provide organisms, including plants and animals, with the necessities of life, and identify ways in which a local habitat provides these necessities
  • B2.2 describe a community as a group of interacting species sharing a common habitat, and identify factors that affect the ability of a community of plants and animals to survive in a local habitat
  • B2.3 describe the relationship of organisms in a food chain, and classify organisms as producers, consumers, or decomposers
  • B2.4 demonstrate an understanding of a food web as the interconnection of multiple food chains in a natural community

Grade 6: Biodiversity

  • B2.1 describe the distinguishing characteristics of different groups of organisms, and use these characteristics to further classify these organisms using a classification system
  • B2.2 demonstrate an understanding of biodiversity as the diversity of life on Earth, including the diversity of organisms within species, among species in a community, and among communities and the habitats that support them
  • B2.4 describe ways in which biodiversity within and among communities is essential for maintaining the resilience of these communities
  • B2.5 describe interrelationships within species, between species, and between species and their natural environment, and explain how these interrelationships sustain biodiversity
  • B2.6 explain how invasive species reduce biodiversity in local environments
  • B2.7 explain how climate change contributes to a loss of biodiversity, and describe the impact of this loss

Grade 7: Interactions in the Environment

  • B2.1 explain that an ecosystem is a network of interactions among living organisms and their environment
  • B2.4 describe the transfer of energy in a food chain, and explain the effects of altering any part of the chain
  • B2.5 describe how matter is cycled within the environment, and explain how the cycling of matter promotes sustainability

C: Matter and Energy

C1. Relating Science and Technology to Our Changing World

Grade 5: Properties and Changes in Matter

  • C1.2 assess how the use of specific materials in the manufacture of common products affects the environment, and identify actions that society and individuals can take to mitigate negative impacts

Grade 7: Pure Substances and Mixtures

  • C1.1 analyse the social and environment impacts of the use and disposal of pure substances found in technological devices, considering local and global perspectives
  • C1.2 assess environmental and social impacts of different industrial methods used to separate mixtures

Grade 8: Fluids

  • C1.1 assess the environmental, social, and economic impacts of various innovations and technologies that are based on the properties of fluids
  • C1.2 assess the environmental and social impacts of fluid spills, including impacts on First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities, and including the cost and technical challenges related to cleanup and remediation efforts

C2. Exploring and Understanding Concepts

Grade 5: Properties and Changes in Matter

  • C2.3 describe changes of state of matter observed at home, in the community, or in the natural environment

Grade 6: Electrical Phenomena, Energy, and Devices

  • C2.3 identify materials that are good conductors of electric current and materials that are good insulators
  • C2.5 describe ways in which electrical energy is transformed into other forms of energy

Grade 7: Pure Substances and Mixtures

  • C2.4 use the particle theory to describe how different factors affect the solubility of a substance and the rate at which it dissolves
  • C2.6 explain why water is referred to as the universal solvent
  • C2.8 describe pure substances as elements and compounds consisting of atoms and combinations of atoms

Grade 8: Fluids

  • C2.8 describe factors that affect the flow of fluids

E: Earth and Space Systems

E1. Relating Science and Technology to Our Changing World

Grade 4: Rocks, Minerals, and Geological Processes

  • E1.1 analyse ways in which geological processes impact society and the environment
  • E1.2 assess social and environmental impacts of extracting and refining rocks and minerals and of manufacturing, recycling, and disposing of products derived from rocks and minerals, while taking various perspectives into account

Grade 5: Conservation of Energy and Resources

  • E1.1 analyse long-term impacts of human uses of energy and natural resources, on society and the environment, including climate change, and suggest ways to mitigate these impacts
  • E1.3 analyse how First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities use their knowledges and ways of knowing to conserve energy and resources

Grade 8: Water Systems

  • E1.1 assess the social and environmental impact of the scarcity of fresh water, and propose a plan of action to help address fresh water sustainability issues
  • E1.2 demonstrate an understanding of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit knowledges and values about water, connections to water, and ways of managing water resources sustainably
  • E1.3 assess the impact of scientific discoveries and technological innovations on local and global water systems

E2. Exploring and Understanding Concepts

Grade 4: Rocks, Minerals, and Geological Processes

  • E2.3 classify different rocks and minerals according to their composition and physical properties, using various tests and criteria

Grade 5: Conservation of Energy and Resources

  • E2.1 identify a variety of forms of energy, and describe how each form is used in everyday life
  • E2.2 demonstrate an understanding of the law of conservation of energy, including how energy cannot be created or destroyed but can only be transformed from one form to another
  • E2.3 describe how energy is stored as potential energy and transformed in a given device or system 
  • E2.4 demonstrate an understanding that when energy is transformed from one form to another, some energy may dissipate into the environment in the form of heat, light, and/or sound energy
  • E2.5 identify renewable and non-renewable sources of energy
  • E2.6 explain how the use of energy derived from fossil fuels changes the composition of the atmosphere and how these changes contribute to climate change 

Grade 7: Heat in the Environment

  • E2.3 use particle theory to explain the effects of heat on volume in solids, liquids, and gases, including during changes of states of matter
  • E2.4 explain how heat is transmitted through conduction, and describe natural processes that are affected by conduction 
  • E2.5 explain how heat is transmitted in liquids and gases through convection, and describe natural processes that depend on convection
  • E2.6 explain how heat is transmitted through radiation, and describe the effects of radiation from the Sun on different kinds of surfaces
  • E2.7 describe the role of radiation in heating and cooling Earth, and explain how greenhouse gases affect the transmission of radiated heat through the atmosphere
  • E2.8 identify common sources of greenhouse gases, including sources resulting from human activity, and describe how humans can reduce emissions of these gases

Grade 8: Water Systems

  • E2.1 identify the states of water on Earth’s surface, their distribution, relative amounts, and circulation, and the conditions under which they exist  
  • E2.2 demonstrate an understanding of a watershed, and explain its importance to water management and planning
  • E2.3 explain how human activity and natural phenomena cause changes in the water table
  • E2.4 identify factors, including climate change, that have contributed to the melting of glaciers and polar ice-caps, and describe the effects of this phenomenon on local and global water systems
  • E2.5 explain changes in atmospheric conditions caused by the presence of bodies of water  
  • E2.6 describe various indicators of water quality, and explain the impact of human activity on those indicators
  • E2.7 explain how municipalities process water and manage water usage 

Are you taking a look at our data platform?

With a vast network of accessible data, our platform can give your students real-world applications for core mathematics concepts.

The 2020 Mathematics curriculum puts a strong emphasis on the study of new and emerging technologies (such as coding). By including mathematics in our programming, our goal at Water Rangers is to display the ways in which connections across curricula can be made with data. 

Our open data platform contains decades of relevant scientific information on water health, including temperature, pH, and water quality issues (such as pollution). By studying this data by location, through our auto-generated graphs, or by extracting data for your students to manage in a more controlled environment, the connections between sustainability and data, and more broadly, science and math, will be easy to bridge. 

In a province where a majority of elementary-aged students feel some amount of math anxiety, we believe that an important way to remedy this issue is by making strong connections to real-world applications of math. 

Source: https://www.edu.uwo.ca/news-events/2020/math-anxiety.html

The four Mathematics competencies reflect similarities within the Science competencies. As we can see, British Columbia policymakers are structuring their curricula to feature competencies with can serve students in all subjects.

When exploring the Water Rangers data platform at app.waterrangers.ca, there are many opportunities to collect, analyze and interpret data sets that in some cases, span the course of over 20 years. With such robust data sets collected by scientists, citizens, and organizations, students can observe changes in data points over time, like water temperature at the macro level. Using autogenerated graphs based on location makes this even easier. Even on smaller scales, change can be observed, analyzed, and interpreted using multiple types of graphs and infographics. Seasonal changes are apparent as peaks and valleys are evenly distributed in the graphs. With all of the data present in Canada, connections between different locations within a region or a watershed can be made, with similar data presented across the Ottawa River watershed, or the Kootenai Basin watershed, to name a couple of examples.

Being able to interpret, communicate and represent scientific data effectively is an important part of science communication, and citizen science plays a role in helping us understand and act upon the data we must see to make positive change.

Click on the block below to learn how to create an account on app.waterrangers.ca, browse existing observations, and upload your own.

How to use our data platform

D. Data

Our open data platform has the potential to connect to all overall and specific expectations from grades 4 to 8 in strand D of the mathematics curriculum. The mathematics curriculum continually builds upon the expectations from the grade before, in a process called spiraling. Much of the language of the specific expectations will appear similar from grade to grade, with small changes to introduce new concepts. Because of this, we have chosen just to highlight the overall expectations for mathematics from grades 4 to 8.

D1. Data Literacy

By the end of each grade, students will:

Manage, analyse, and use data to make convincing arguments and informed decisions, in various contexts drawn from real life.

Through the lenses of:

  • Data Collection and Organization
    • (techniques, distribution, and population. Qualitative and quantitative data
  • Data Visualization 
    • (various types of graphs including line graphs. Creating charts, tables, and infographics)
  • Data Analysis 
    • (mean, median, mode and range. Central tendency and misleading graphs. Drawing conclusions and making arguments about data)
D2. Probability

By the end of each grade, students will:

Describe the likelihood that events will happen, and use that information to make predictions.

(Probability lines, Venn and tree diagrams. Theoretical and experimental probabilities)

Are you connecting the land with the people who live here?

This is how our waterways can be a part of your social studies conversations with students.

The 2018 Social Studies, History, and Geography curriculum’s goals are to help contextualize the lived experiences of our students, and the lives of everyone who came before them in this land we call Canada by giving them a sense of self and community, a sense of time, and a sense of place.

Connecting the history of the land and water to our stories can be done in a variety of ways. Through the lens of social studies, we can channel self and community through the “Concepts of Social Studies Thinking”. The concepts are:

  1. Significance
  2. Cause & Consequence
  3. Continuity & Change
  4. Patterns and Trends
  5. Interrelationships
  6. Perspective

Source: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/social-studies-history-geography-2018.pdf

While these concepts are a part of the Social Studies curriculum, there are many ways in which they connect with Science and Technology, as well as Mathematics. The process of water quality monitoring and the study of the data that comes from our analysis involves using the concepts of social studies thinking but under a different name: the scientific method. Creating a hypothesis, testing the theory, and analyzing the data for trends are all aspects of the concepts of social studies thinking. The curriculums of Ontario have an overarching goal to create a series of global competencies which students can use to guide them in all subjects. This is a good example of how social studies thinking can also be “global thinking”.

We have chosen to highlight the overall expectations of each grade from 4-8 for social studies and geography. We also go into more detail on expectations 1 (Application), 2 (Cause and Consequence), and 3 (Context) for each grade, and how they can be applied to water quality testing.

Social Studies: Strand B

Grade 4: Politics and Physical Regions of Canada

  • B1. Application: assess some key ways in which industrial development and the natural environment affect each other in two or more political and/or physical regions of Canada 
  • B2. Inquiry: use the social studies inquiry process to investigate some issues and challenges associated with balancing human needs/wants and activities with environmental stewardship in one or more of the political and/or physical regions of Canada
  • B3. Understanding Context: identify Canada’s political and physical regions, and describe their main characteristics and some significant activities that take place in them

Grade 5: The Role of Government and Responsible Citizenship

  • B1. Application: assess responses of governments in Canada, including First Nations, Métis, and Inuit governments, to some significant issues, and develop plans of action for governments and citizens to address social and environmental issues B2. Inquiry: use the social studies inquiry process to investigate Canadian social and/or environmental issues from various perspectives, including those of Indigenous peoples as well as of the level (or levels) of government responsible for addressing the issues
  • B3. Understanding Context: demonstrate an understanding of the roles and key responsibilities of citizens and of the different levels of government in Canada, including First Nations, Métis, and Inuit governments

Grade 6: Canada’s Interactions With the Global Community

  • B1. Application: explain the importance of international cooperation in addressing global issues, and evaluate the effectiveness of selected actions by Canada and Canadian citizens in the international arena
  • B2. Inquiry: use the social studies inquiry process to investigate some global issues of political, social, economic, and/or environmental importance, their impact on the global community, and responses to the issues
  • B3. Understanding Context: describe significant aspects of the involvement of Canada and Canadians in some regions around the world, including the impact of this involvement

Geography Strand A

Grade 7: Physical Patterns in a Changing World

  • A1. Application: analyse some challenges and opportunities presented by the physical environment and ways in which people have responded to them 
  • A2. Inquiry: use the geographic inquiry process to investigate the impact of natural events and/or human activities that change the physical environment, exploring the impact from a geographic perspective
  • A3. Understanding Geographic Context: demonstrate an understanding of significant patterns in Earth’s physical features and of some natural processes and human activities that create and change those features

Grade 8: Global Settlement: Patterns and Sustainability

  • A1. Application: analyse some significant interrelationships between Earth’s physical features and processes and human settlement patterns, and some ways in which the physical environment and issues of sustainability may affect settlement in the future 
  • A2. Inquiry: use the geographic inquiry process to investigate issues related to the interrelationship between human settlement and sustainability from a geographic perspective 
  • A3. Understanding Geographic Context: demonstrate an understanding of significant patterns and trends related to human settlement and of ways in which human settlement affects the environment
Geography Strand B

Grade 7: Natural Resources around the World: Use and Sustainability

  • B1. Application: analyse aspects of the extraction/harvesting and use of natural resources in different regions of the world, and assess ways of preserving these resources
  • B2. Inquiry: use the geographic inquiry process to investigate issues related to the impact of the extraction/harvesting and/or use of natural resources around the world from a geographic perspective
  • B3. Understanding Geographic Context: demonstrate an understanding of the sources and use of different types of natural resources and of some of the effects of the extraction/harvesting and use of these resources

Grade 8: Global Inequalities: Economic Development and Quality of Life

  • B1. Application: analyse some interrelationships among factors that contribute to global inequalities, with a focus on inequalities in quality of life, and assess various responses to these inequalities
  • B2. Inquiry: use the geographic inquiry process to investigate issues related to global development and quality of life from a geographic perspective 
  • B3. Understanding Geographic Context: demonstrate an understanding of significant patterns in and factors affecting economic development and quality of life in different regions of the world