Back: Mr. Lum, Mr. Johnson, Ms. Vander Meij, Ms. Littlejohn, Ms. Kenn, Dr. Kalanderopoulos, Mr. Boreanaz
Front: Mr. Kim (Curriculum Leader), Mr. Lee, Ms. Acharya, Ms. Doherty-Ross
Thomson Science teachers are a dedicated and diverse team who strive for high standards in conjunction with the school's mission statement to create opportunities for students to become life-long learners in pursuit of personal excellence.
Each of us has qualifications in teaching a specialty area of Science, whether it be Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, and/or Environmental Science. Many of us have additional experience and/or qualifications in teaching another subject area like ESL, Special Education, Math, Physical Education, History, Geography, Computer and Technical Education, Business, and/or Guidance.
In addition to teaching experience, many of us bring to the classroom life experiences from Science-related industries and graduate work at universities, as well from businesses and social work.
All of us are eager to share our wealth of experience and expertise to help our students enjoy and learn Science.
At DMT, the goal has always been to increase student achievement and success. Today, students embrace the use of computer technology, as does the Science Department. Students are provided with different opportunities to learn Science with technology in preparation for success now and in the future.
Science students study in one of eight Science class-laboratory rooms. Three of these rooms have eight workstation computers to aid students in their investigations.
Every classroom has access to a SMART Interactive Whiteboard (aka. SMARTBoard) for displaying active simulations and 3D applications during lessons. Science teachers have utilized SMARTBoards for collaborative learning opportunties like data collection in lab investigations, presentations, and research.
Science teachers have utilized SMART Response System (aka. clickers) to gauge students' prior knowledge and misconceptions entering a new topic. Clickers have been used to promptly gain and give feedback of student understanding of lecture and homework materials to review. Clickers have also been sed to quickly gather and grade student achievement during evaluations. Students get to practice utilizing clickers as they are also utilized at universities and colleges.
Every classroom has access to a multimedia projector and laptop for displaying online videos, Powerpoint presentations, and DVD videos to students.
Every Science course utilizes electronic textbooks and they are available for studies inside and outside the classroom.
All Science rooms have access to wireless internet. In addition, there are set of HP netbooks and notebooks for students for use in the classroom. Students have been engaged in their learning by utilizing this computer technology more creatively and frequently.
Netbooks and notebooks have been utilized in the following ways:
Increased, more active and meaningful participation of students during lessons via providing more students opportunities for descriptive feedback and expressing their opinions.
More visual, auditory, writing, translation, and organization support for students of all abilities and backgrounds, to make learning more engaging and meaningful.
Familiarization to and greater utilization of digital textbooks, a rich supplemental addition to the traditional textbook.
Immediate and individualized assessment and feedback of newly-learned materials via online quizzes.
Immediate opportunities for online investigations and/or greater access to real-time information for research on newly-taught Science content.
Faster collection of data by increased participation of students using investigative tools like probeware linked to netbooks.
Digital workspace for completion of assignments and presentations, individually or collaborately with peers as a network, using web tools like GoogleDocs, Prezi, and Wikispaces.
Immediate opportunities for grammar, plagarism, and spell-checking written responses, assignments, and presentations.
Immediate access to online learning simulations linked directly to the course moodle page or GIZMO page; to improve decision-marking, analyzing, and problem-solving skills.
Exposure to students to variety of electronic teaching tools to be used in post-secondary education.
Science students at Thomson, in very small groups, utilize Vernier LabQuest2 interfaces and probeware in performing inquiry-based and design experiments.
Vernier LabQuest2 and its probeware are utilized in undergraduate learning and graduate research at universities and colleges.
Science students at Thomson have been utilizing the following sensor probes and sensors in experiments in sciences, biology, chemistry, physics, health science, and environmental science:
Gas pressure, temperature, conductivity, and pH
Gas concentrations - oxygen, dissolved oxygen, carbon dioxide, ethanol
Heart rate, EKG (voltage from heart contractions), blood pressure, spirometer (flow rate of oxygen during breathing), and hand dynanometer (muscle fatigue studies)
Spectrophotometer - Absorbance, percent transmission, emission spectra, and fluorescence of light
Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR measuring photon flux densities)
Motion - Position, velocity, acceleration of moving objects
Kinematics, and dynamics
Microphone - Waves and speed of sound
Dual-range force - Friction, harmonic motion, impact of collisions, centripedal force
Photogate - Free fall, rolling objects, collision, pendulum
In support of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) program of the TDSB Years Of Action Plan, science programs at Thomson have integrated programming skills with innovative designs using LEGO Mindstorms and Arduino robotics. Students have been engaged in projects simulating real-world challenges while developing skills of creativity, problem-solving, collaboration, and perseverance.
To better understand the benefits of technology, such as the CanadArm in space exploration, students construct robotic arms and Mars rovers as part of the Grade 9 Astronomy unit. Hands-on skills, as well as knowledge of integrating sensors correctly in designing and building wind turbines are evaluated utilizing Arduino technology.
Outstanding Student Achievement
Thomson Students Awarded First Place in Student Spaceflight Experiment Program (SSEP)*
Science Experiment To Be Performed By Astronauts On Board International Space Station in 2015/2016
Their experiment will be sent on board the ISS likely in Spring of 2016.
* The SSEP research opportunity is enabled through NanoRacks, LLC, which is working in partnership with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory.
Thomson Student Receive Most Outstanding High School Student - Science Award for Fifth Consecutive Year
(2011 to 2015; Since Inception in 2009).
Congratulations to Kugenthini Tharmakusekaram, the 2015 recipient of the award by the University of Toronto - Scarborough Campus and Ontario Research Fund. In addition to her excellent marks, the judging panel of university professors were impressed with Kugenthini's photo essay titled "
Past Thomson recipients and their winning essays were Onsia Ansari (2011, "Don't Sweat It - The Science Behind Deodorants and Anti-Perspirants"), Shelina Wali (2012, "The Ongoing Acne Dilema - The Scientific Secrets Revealed"), and Farhana Manjra (2013, "Aging - A Predestined Process), and Fairoza Manra (2014, "Fear - An Emotion Or a State Of Mind?)
Outstanding Achievement on National Science Examinations
Congratulations to Mohammed Surti who scored in the Top 4% of All Participants on the 2015 University of Toronto National Biology Competition.
As well, Mohammed Surti scored in the Top 20% of All Participants on the 2015 University of Waterloo Chem13 News Examination.
Congratulations to Praveen Sakhamuri Venkata on his Certificate of Distinction, scoring in the Top 20% of All Participants on the 2014 University of Waterloo Avogadro Examination.
Summer Mentorship Program in the Health Sciences
Congratulations to recent Thomson guaduates Victor Olawoyin, Ahleya Wilson, and Thabani Siziba. They explored careers in health sciences while experiencing hands-on scientific research alongside leading scientists at Princess Margaret Hospital.
Youth Summer Program at
University of Toronto's Faculty of Medicine
Every summer, Thomson health science students participate. Recent graduates were Shelina Wali, Thabani Siziba, and Alita Ng from the program called Molecular Biology and Genetics - The Science Behind CSI. Shalyssa Low Bodington completed Human Physiology - How the Body Works. Raisa Syeda completed Microbiology - Microbes and the Body. All of these students gained valued insight in careers in the health sciences.
Standard Life Kids Science Student Research
In August, Thomson students gain valuable science experience in laboratory environments and research methods by assisting scientists in their research facilities at Sick Kids Hospital.
Recently, Kugenthini Tharmakulasekaram worked on research focusing on the role of white blood cells in inflammation.
Thomson Student Accepted to Ontario Science Centre School
Congratulations to Sharon Lee, one of 30 candidates accepted across Ontario, who completed her high school education at the Ontario Science Centre.
Sharon enrolled in Biology (SBI3U1), Chemistry (SCH4U1), and Calculus (MCV4U1).
Enrichment Opportunities and Community Involvement
Thomson Grade 10 Science Students Selected for KidsScience Science Extravaganza at Hospital for Sick Children
Every year, Grade 10 Thomson students demonstrating keen habits of mind for science are selected to participate in the symposium to inspire the "next generation of researchers, technologists, and innovators". Students tour biomedical research laboratories, listen to speakers involved in current biomedical research, and engage hands-on in solving a scientific problem.
STEM-Based Collaboration with Students from Thomson's Feeder Schools
In June of 2014, Thomson's student leaders in Science coached Grade 7 students from Charles Gordon Sr. P. S. on the challenge of designing and constructing a hovercraft. As mentors to their younger peers, science students demonstrated their skills in leadership, team-building, and communication.
Continued collaboration between the Science Departments at Thomson and its feeder schools ensures the continuity of learning of skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math by students through their schooling at the Intermediate and Senior levels.
Grade 8 Students Visit Science Department at Thomson
As part of the annual Grade 8 Visit to Thomson Day, prospective students from Charles Gordon Sr. P. S., Edgewood P. S., St. Andrews P. S., Robert Service Sr. P. S., John McCrae P. S., Knob Hill P. S., and J. S. Woodsworth Sr. P. S. were challenged with a STEM-based task, showcasing hands-on learning at Thomson.
Winners and other very successful groups from each of the 12 sessions throughout the day receive the invite to return to participate in a large-scale STEM-based challenge at Thomson in the spring.
Science Professionals Share "What It Takes" to be Successful
In past years, paramedics, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, a dental hygienist, a veterinary technician, a firefighter, and an orthodonist have all discussed their academic and personal journey, required to achieve their successes today, with curious Thomson students. These science professionals, some of whom are Thomson graduates, provided students valuable insight towards helping them to choose a career pathway.
Thomson Volunteers at Annual Conference of Science Teachers' Association of Ontario
Every year, Thomson students from Grades 10 to 12 volunteer to help ensure that operations at the educators' conference run smoothly. In addition to working hard in helping in their community, students learn about trends in Science and practices in Science Education. The volunteers enjoy the experience and they look forward to returning every year.
Thomson Volunteers at Toronto Science Fair
Every year, Thomson students in Grades 9 and 10 volunteer to help ensure that operations at the annual regional science fair run smoothly at the University of Toronto - Scarborough Campus. Among the tasks was judging projects by elementary students. Thomson students enjoy contributing at this important event of scientific community.
Thomson Science, Electronics, and Robotics Club
The goal is to promote further student interest and enrichment in Science and Robotics Technologies.
Favourite activities, returning from last year, are dry ice bubbles and liquid nitrogen ice-cream. This year, LEGO Mindstorms EV3, VEX Robotic kits, and Arduino Starter kits will be available to integrate skills of programming with designing and constructing.
Thomson Science, Electronics, and Robotics Club meets after school on Fridays in Room 155.