Welcome to the ESA Science Department. For more information about the department, please contact the department directly: (416) 394-6910 x 20095 or [email protected]

The following are some highlights related to the department:

Science in an “Arts” School?

Yes! We are an arts school, but this means that we excel in the arts, not that our excellence is limited to the arts.

We offer all the science courses required for all university and college programs. All of our department members have degrees and talent in, and a passion for, their subject, as well as an appreciation of the arts.

A large number of our graduates enter university science and engineering programs. As well, many graduates are accepted into high-profile science-related university programs, but choose to study arts.

Students & The Science Program

Our program is designed to meet the needs of the diverse students who come from at dozens of major middle “feeder” schools:

-Students who wish to pursue a science-related career (which requires a strong high school science and math background) and who wish to take advantage of the unique opportunities at ESA, especially the arts;

-Students who wish to pursue a career not directly related to science, but who wish to develop worthwhile skills, knowledge and attitudes, in part through the study of science and the arts; and,

-Students who are not sure whether they wish to study science after ESA. (We aim to show you how enjoyable and useful science can be.)

Science in the ESA Timetable

All Grade 9 students take science (SNC1D1 or SNC1P1) as one of their eight courses. There is a 75-minute class every other school day for the entire year. Similarly, all Grade 10 students take either SNC2D1 or SNC2P1.

Science is not required per se in Grades 11 and 12. However, Grades 11 and 12 science course may fulfil more general diploma requirements.

In each of Grades 11 and 12, there are more the more specialized science courses of biology (SBI3U1, SBI4U1), chemistry (SCH3U1, SCH4U1) and physics (SPH3U1, SPH4U1). These ESA courses are the same ministry courses as most other Ontario or high schools and are taught by certified teachers. One highlight of ESA science courses is that they are taught to our generally happy, highly motivated and creative ESA students. We work together very well.

Although, in the past, we have occasionally offered some other ministry science courses (not specifically required for any university or college programs), these courses usually no longer are offered.

We continually refine our program to include a good balance of class instruction, small group activities/labs, computer use, student presentations and other small assignments, and always work with the rest of ESA to give students an overall excellent experience.

Since ESA students come from a wide variety of school backgrounds, with various skills, we begin each Grade 9 topic with a solid review and offer extra help opportunities. Students are encouraged to keep up to date with the material and to take advantage of help sessions.

Our Approach

Science concepts are learned/reinforced through activities, using an active scientific approach, delivered by enthusiastic teachers who love science (as an activity) and who enjoy what ESA offers.

While we teach, we strive for a balance among the following three areas of learning:

content (facts involving science, e.g. the structure of matter, electricity)

skills (e.g. thinking critically, designing experiments, organizing your ideas, using math, motivating yourself)

attitudes (do you enjoy science, ESA and learning in general, even though work is involved?)

Everyday-life examples/applications and societal issues are included to give more meaning/interest to the material. Connections are made to society and technology.

We make use of computers in science.

In most practical cases students perform the activities themselves, rather than watching a teacher demonstration. The Grade 9 program itself has more than 50 class activities.

We take advantage of our relatively “cosy” size school. It is big enough to be able to offer a full program, and still provides us the opportunity and pleasure of getting to know most of the students in the school, in both curricular and co/extra-curricular settings.

Approximately three-fourths of the students are young women. About one-half of our science courses are taught by women. The idea of women studying science is visible at ESA.

Student wellness and safety is a priority.

Three General Challenges of ESA for its (Science) Students

  • Time management – making up for time travelling to and from ESA;
  • Time management – balancing arts, academics, extra-curricular activities –learning to say “No, thank-you!” to some of the invitations that can cause you to be “spread too thin”; and,
  • Time management – using “free time” effectively (e.g. between 3:30 and a rehearsal or performance even though you are tired and nothing is due tomorrow, but three things are due next week).

Some (Simplified-for-Brevity) “Excellent (Science) Work Habits” (versus “Risky Behaviour”)

Attend classes regularly and punctually (vs. believing that you can simply replace a 75-minute class by “getting the notes from a friend”).

Focus and listen carefully in order to understand the material as it is being presented. Ask questions ASAP if necessary. “Make connections” within the material (vs. simply mindlessly copying notes and trying to make sense of them the night before the test).

Review regularly so that the new material can more easily be “connected” to what you have already learned (vs. seeing each lesson as completely new and mysterious).

Department Member Profiles (only the members’ initials are provided over the Internet)

Mr. E. B.(B.Ed.) began at ESA in 2003 and is teaching Grade 10 Science and Biology 11.  He previously taught at Richview Collegiate and Earl Haig Secondary School after moving to Toronto in 2002 from Saskatchewan, where he taught for 11 years.  Mr. B. enjoys the positive and enthusiastic attitudes at ESA. and is involved in supervising and assisting with swim team and a number of performances this year, including producing Mainstage.

Mr. D.B. (B.A., B.Ed.) is a guest of the department, and is beginning his first year at ESA as Head of the Physical Education Department. Mr. B. is also lucky enough to land in the science department where he will be teaching two sections of grade 9 academic science this year. He previously taught at Oakwood Collegiate and Regal Road Public School. Mr. B. really looks forward to the new journey that lies ahead of him at such a wonderful school.

Mr. M.B. (BSc. (Hon), B,Ed,) is excited for the upcoming year.  Mr. B. is thrilled to work at ESA as he finds the students a pleasure to teach and will enjoy watching all the performances take place throughout the year. Mr. B. teaches academic grade 9 and 10 science as well as grade 10 applied math. Mr. B. is looking forward to a successful year for his students academically and is hoping all students enjoy themselves and have fun at this distinct and amazing school.

Ms. M.F. (B.Sc., M.Sc., B.Ed.) has been teaching Science at ESA for seven years. She teaches Grades 9 and 10 Science, and Grade 11 Biology. This year, she is keen to continue the teacher-student intramural ultimate frisbee games and coach the school’s co-ed ultimate frisbee team. As always, Ms. F is thrilled to support the artistically talented students at ESA in their pursuit of scientific and athletic excellence.

Mrs. A.N. (B.Sc., M.Sc., B.Ed.) has been teaching Chemistry and Science for 20+ years and is enjoying her 14th year at ESA very much. She is looking forward to finding out more about her students’ talents and interests in the arts and science. She teaches  Grade 12 Chemistry, and Grade 10 Science. She is also very pleased to see her students excelling in their academics as well as their majors.

Mr. M.P. (B.Sc., B.Ed.) continues to enjoy working in ESA’s Science & Film Departments, and with the many excellent extra-curricular activities at the school. He teaches Grade 9 Science, Grade 11 Chemistry and Grade 10 film major. Having extensive background in the arts (including directing, producing, set design, lighting design, stage management, acting and writing), Mr. P. feels right at home in this wonderful school. Past successes include Arts Showcase, Music Theatre productions and many, many film festivals. He looks forward to helping with more intramural tournaments and coaching the senior girls’ basketball team.

Mr. R.S. (B.Sc., M.Eng, B.Ed.) has the pleasure of leading the department for his 21st year. He teaches Grade 9 Science and senior Physics. Having studied music throughout high school, he appreciates the role of the arts as part of a well-balanced program, particularly for developing time-management and organizational skills. He has two teenage young sons who both study arts (music) and science and is familiar with the joys and challenges of many parents.

Ms. Y.S. (BSc(Hon), BEd) is beginning her seventh year of teaching Science in the TDSB,  which also includes four years of teaching Math. This is her second year at ESA and she is excited to be back, as she had also completed her teaching practicum here. She is teaching Grade 9 Math, Grade 10 Science and Grade 11 Chemistry. Ms. S. enjoys teaching at such a vibrant school with talented students that are a pleasure to teach. Ms. S. also has six years’ experience of coaching basketball and is looking forward to working with students as they pursue their academic, artistic and athletic endeavours.

Ms. N.W. (B.Sc. (Hon), B.Ed.) is currently on a half time of leave of absence from the ESA science department.  Ms. W. spends every Day 2 with the science department and on Day 1 you will find her at Power Yoga Canada as their Director of Yoga.  As a two-time graduate from Queen’s University, in both Biology and Education, Ms. W. thoroughly enjoys her Grade 9 Science and Grade 12 Biology classes and is excited to get ESA’s Yoga Club up and running again this fall.  Having spent the first 18 years of her life in an out-port community on “The Rock” Ms. W. is continuously excited about life in Toronto and the relative absence of rain and fog. She also never grows tired of experiencing all the fabulous and unique things about ESA.