Science 3

Course Outline

Learners in the early elementary years have a natural curiosity about the world around them. They explore the world with their senses. The primary- grade 3 science program is an inquiry-based, hands-on program that encourages learners to discover the world around them by manipulating materials, gathering evidence by making direct observations, and talking and writing about what they are learning.  Learners will conduct investigations by asking questions, making plans and predictions, gathering evidence and evaluating their own thinking and the thinking of others.

The focus of the primary - grade 3 science curriculum is to support the development of scientific inquiry. Learners in P-3 will develop proficiency in the concepts of scientific processes, allowing them to become increasingly independent as the level of investigation becomes more sophisticated. 

Learners will analyse soil in the environment

An investigation of soil will lead learners to the discovery that soil is an environment for many living things. By examining soils, learners discover that soils are made up of more than one type of substance and that the particular combination of materials in soil has an impact on the types of organisms that can live in the soil. A focus on the ways in which soil can be altered, especially changes that occur as a result of water, leads learners to discover how soil is impacted by humans and the environment. Learners will have opportunities to observe, manipulate, and test various soil samples to explore their composition, water absorption, drainage, and erosion.

Learners will investigate plants in the environment

Learners will engage in careful observation of how plants grow and respond to their natural environment which will reveal patterns of growth. Learners will investigate how various conditions affect plant growth and they will explore and compare the life cycles of various plants. The interconnectiveness between plants, the environment, and humans will be explored as well as biodiversity and the cultural importance of plants..

Learners will investigate invisible forces

This outcome will introduce learners to two kinds of forces that can act between objects when the objects are not touching, magnetic and electrostatic. Some forces involve direct pushes and pulls, where a surface is directly contacted, while others involve interaction at a distance. Through investigations, learners will discover that magnetic forces and static electric forces involve attraction and repulsion and that they act on different types of materials. Learners will explore how these forces can affect their everyday lives. Investigations of invisible forces presents an opportunity to practice skills such as data collection, data recording and data analysis as well as the skills of prediction and hypothesis creation. 

Learners will construct a structure in response to a design challenge

By taking part in the problem solving process to address a challenge, learners will discover that the characteristics of the structures they build, such as their strength, are linked to the properties of the materials they use and to the particular way the materials are configured and joined. Learners will test and evaluate their structures based on design challenge criteria; they will be challenged to refine their designs as appropriate. The testing of structures allows for exploration of the idea of a fair test which provides the foundation for the scientific concept of control of variables. Testing and the design process will also provide opportunities to practice skills of measurement and data analysis.


  • Learners will analyse soil in the environment.
  • Learners will investigate plants in the environment.
  • Learners will investigate invisible forces.
  • Learners will construct a structure in response to a design challenge.

Updated March 10, 2022