About Smarter Science

What is Smarter Science™?

Smarter Science is a framework for teaching and learning science in grades 1–12 and for developing the skills of inquiry, creativity, and innovation in a meaningful and engaging manner. Students engaged in Smarter Science-based activities are actively investigating and problem solving, enabled by a teacher who helps them address challenges relevant to their world. As they learn to think and act like scientists, students become increasingly independent and self-confident learners.

Originally developed in the Thames Valley District School Board, Smarter Science was piloted in 50 schools in Ontario between 2006 and 2010. School boards across the province soon began to recognize the value of the framework, as did Youth Science Canada. Smarter Science is now part of Youth Science Canada’s program for engaging youth in science and providing a curricular connection to project-based science and science fairs. Youth Science Canada is collaborating with members of the education community, including school boards, teachers, parents, and ministries of education, to train teachers to teach the processes of inquiry and technological problem solving.

A key feature of Smarter Science is its open-source nature. All resources developed by cooperating school boards and contributing teachers can be accessed online, at no cost, through www.smarterscience.ca and www.educasciences.ca, and resources may be freely reproduced and distributed.

Why Smarter Science?

Smarter Science evolved from a need to make the Ontario elementary science and technology curriculum and the secondary science curriculum come alive for students, with classroom activities that reflect the investigative, creative, and social nature of science. Teachers—particularly elementary teachers, who are often less comfortable with their own knowledge of science—need an effective framework for teaching science that actively engages students, incorporates literacy and numeracy learning, and develops thinking skills, problem-solving skills, and independent learners.

Smarter Science is a framework, not a program; it is a means for teaching students how todoscience, but does not tell you what to teach. Smarter Science, when introduced appropriately, results in learners that are engaged in the process of science and more than willing to create, innovate, and explore the science curriculum.

Thinking Like a Scientist!

What do scientists do?

  • They ask questions about, and make systematic observations, of natural phenomena.
  • They record observations and conduct experiments where possible.
  • They use the data they collect to develop models that explain the phenomena.
  • They test their models repeatedly, and discard, refine, or confirm them.

Smarter Science aims to teach students the process skills that scientists use to learn about the world.