Earth and Space Science: SES4U (Grade 12, University Preparation)

Semester 1, Semester 2
Science, Grade 10, Academic
Credit Value

This course develops students’ understanding of Earth and its place in the universe. Students will investigate the properties of and forces in the universe and solar system and analyse techniques scientists use to generate knowledge about them. Students will closely examine the materials of Earth, its internal and surficial processes, and its geological history, and will learn how Earth’s systems interact and how they have changed over time. Throughout the course, students will learn how these forces, processes, and material affect their daily lives. The course draws on biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics in its consideration of geological and astronomical processes that can be observed directly or inferred from other evidence.

SES4U is based on Earth and Space Science, The Ontario Curriculum, Grade 12, Ministry of Education, 2009. It is comprised of six units, each of which has from eight to eleven activities. The first five units are term work; the final unit is the culminating task and exam.

Unit 1: Planetary Science (Science of the Solar System)

  • Activity 1: Tour of the Solar System
  • Activity 2: Comparing Properties of Solar Bodies
  • Activity 3: Formation of the Solar System
  • Activity 4: Kepler and Orbits
  • Activity 5: How Earth is Affected and Protected
  • Activity 6: Techniques used to Study Earth and Space
  • Activity 7: Satellite Imagery
  • Activity 8: Space Race
  • Activity 9: Is Anyone Out There?
  • Activity 10: Vocabulary Review and Career Exploration
  • Activity 11: Summative Evaluation

Unit 2: Astronomy (Science of the Universe)

  • Activity 1: Locating Features in the Night Sky
  • Activity 2: Major Milestones in Astronomical Knowledge and Theory
  • Activity 3: Changes in Astronomical Technology
  • Activity 4: Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram and Properties of Stars
  • Activity 5: Techniques for Measuring Properties of Stars
  • Activity 6: The Life and Death of a Star
  • Activity 7: Types of Galaxies
  • Activity 8: The Formation of the Universe
  • Activity 9: Summative Evaluation

Unit 3: Recording Earth’s Geological History

  • Activity 1: Evidence of Earth Changes
  • Activity 2: Dating Techniques
  • Activity 3: The Formation and Preservation of Fossils
  • Activity 4: Evolution of Life and Geological Time Scales
  • Activity 5: Evidence for the Age of the Earth
  • Activity 6: Paradigm Shifts in Geological Thinking
  • Activity 7: Interactions of Earth’s Spheres
  • Activity 8: An Ontario Geoscape
  • Activity 9: Vocabulary Review and Career Exploration
  • Activity 10: Summative Evaluation

Unit 4: Geological Processes

  • Activity 1: The Interior of the Earth
  • Activity 2: Earthquakes
  • Activity 3: Weathering and Erosion
  • Activity 4: Sedimentary Sequences, Transport, and Structures
  • Activity 5: Analyzing Developments in Technology
  • Activity 6: The Human Component
  • Activity 7: Vocabulary Review and Career Exploration

Unit 5: Earth Materials

  • Activity 1: Identifying Minerals
  • Activity 2: Igneous Rocks
  • Activity 3: Sedimentary Rocks
  • Activity 4: Metamorphic Rocks
  • Activity 5: Properties of Earth Materials
  • Activity 6: Technologies, Techniques, and Impact of Mining
  • Activity 7: Vocabulary Review and Career Exploration
  • Activity 8: Summative Evaluation

Unit 6: Final Summative Evaluation

  • Activity 1: Course Culminating Activity