Scientific Investigation Skills and Career Exploration – Ontario Science Curriculum (Grades 9-12)

PlantingScience investigations fit into the Grades 9-12 Ontario Science Curriculum under the “Scientific Investigation Skills and Career Exploration” sections (Grades 9-10: pp. 48-49, 60-61, 72-73, 84-85; Grades 11-12: pp. 48-49, 62-63, 76-77, 152-153).


The two overall expectations can be covered in all of the PlantingScience investigation themes suitable for grades 9-12 students, including:

The Wonder of Seeds

Corn Competition

Celery Challenge

The Power of Sunlight

Where does Pollen come from?

C-Fern in the Open

Foundations of Genetics

Genetics of Inbred Arabidopsis


  1. Students can demonstrate both inquiry and research-based scientific investigation skills in the following areas:
    1. Initiating and planning [IP]
    2. Performing and recording [PR]
    3. Analysing and interpreting [AI]
    4. Communicating [C]
  2. Students can have the opportunity to identify and describe a variety of careers related to the field of plant science, and identify scientists, including Canadians, who have and are currently making contributions to this diverse field.


Specific expectations (Grades 9-12):


PlantingScience investigation themes can meet specific expectations of section “A. Scientific Investigation Skills and Career Exploration” of the Grade 9-12 Ontario Science Curriculum in the following ways:


A1. Scientific Investigation Skills


Initiating and Planning [IP]

A1.1. Students can formulate scientific questions about something they have observed, about ideas or problems or issues. Further, students can make predictions and formulate hypotheses in order to focus their research ideas for the specific projects on which they choose to continue their investigations.  

A1.2. Students can choose and prepare appropriate instruments and materials for their particular investigations. The difficulty of equipment preparation or the complexity of its use will depend on the grade level and the choice of investigation theme.  


A1.3. Students can research background information in order to formulate best predictions and hypotheses about their chosen projects. Select resources are available on the PlantingScience in association with each particular investigation theme.


A1.4. Resources of safety practices and procedures for the use of equipment and materials for all of the investigation themes can be found on the following websites and specific recommendations for PlantingScience investigations themes available on the website under the “Investigating Safely” link:


Performing and Recording [PR]

A1.5. Students can conduct their investigations, adapt or alter procedures as needed, use equipment and materials most efficiently to collect observations and data.


A1.6. Student can collect, organize, and record data using various appropriate formats. Collected data can further be shared among students groups in the class so that larger data sets can be analysed for accuracy.


A1.7. Students can further research the validity of their results using outside sources as they have done when researching their investigation theme questions. They can select, organize, and record appropriate information using recommended formats and an accepted form of academic documentation.


Analysing and Interpreting [AI]

A1.8. Students can analyse and interpret the collected data to determine whether their initial hypotheses are supported based on the evidence and determine what types of errors, biases, or uncertainties may have introduced into their investigations during the planning or implementation stages.


A1.9. Students can analyse the information obtained from other sources for validity and try to determine whether other research may contain errors or biases.


A1.10. Students can formulate conclusions based on their project results, results of their peers, and the research findings. Further, they can justify their conclusions based on all available evidence.


Communicating [C]

A1.11-1.13. Students can communicate their ideas, plans, procedures, results, and conclusions in class in a variety of ways. As one of the main goals of PlantingScience is communication between students and scientists, students can communicate with scientist mentors during active sessions via writing and orally through Skype and learn to provide as much information as possible about their projects to their mentors in order to receive most effective feedback.


A2. Career Exploration


A2.1. Students can learn about a variety of plant science-related careers and education necessary for these as our mentors include graduate students in various stages of graduate school (e.g. Masters, Ph.D.), professors, technicians, scientists, those who are working in the private sector, and also those who are in non-academic institutions.


A2.2. Students can learn about scientists that have previously made impacts on plant science (including Canadians), but they can also learn from scientists who are making an impact on plant science now. Our scientist mentors are from all over the world, but if it requested, Canadian schools can be paired specifically with Canadian mentors.


Julia Nowak:

Updated: 20 July 2015


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NSF_Logo.jpg This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant #2010556 and #1502892. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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