Below is a summary of some of what kids learn about in science in Grade 6. There are four strands covered in science in each grade level: Understanding Life Systems, Understanding Structures and Mechanisms, Understanding Matter and Energy, and Understanding Earth and Space Systems.

In each strand we've provided a few examples of the big ideas being explored, the overall expectations of your child by year end, and specific examples of what your kid will learn.

Grade 6: Science

Strand One: Understanding Life Systems

Big Ideas:
•    Biodiversity includes diversity of individuals, species and ecosystems;
•    Classification of the components within a diverse system is a beginning point for understanding the interrelationships among the components;
•    Because all living things are connected, maintaining diversity is critical to the health of the planet;
•    Humans make choices that can have an impact on biodiversity.

Overall Expectations (by year end):
1.    Assess human impacts on biodiversity, and identify ways of preserving biodiversity;
2.    Investigate characteristics of living things and classify diverse organisms according to specific characteristics;
3.    Demonstrate an understanding of biodiversity, its contributions to the stability of natural systems and its benefit to humans.

Examples of What Kids Learn:
•    To think of a plan of what you could do to try to stop a local forest from being cut down to make room for a new shopping plaza
•    To identify and describe distinguishing characteristics of different plants and animals, such as invertebrates having no spinal column
•    Explain how invasive species like purple loosestrife reduce biodiversity in local environments

Strand Two: Understanding Structures and Mechanisms

Big Ideas:
•    Flight occurs when the characteristics of structures take advantage of certain properties of air;
•    Air has many properties that can be used for flight and for other purposes.

Overall Expectations (by year end):
1.    Assess the societal and environmental impacts of flying devices that make use of properties of air;
2.    Investigate ways in which flying devices make use of properties of air;
3.    Explain ways in which properties of air can be applied to the principles of flight and flying devices.

Examples of What Kids Learn:
•    To assess the costs and benefits of aviation technology for society and the environment from various perspectives, including farmers, doctors and airline workers
•    To use technological problem-solving skills to design, build and test a flying device like a kite or a paper airplane
•    To identify and describe the four forces of flight – lift, weight, drag and thrust

Strand Three: Understanding Matter and Energy

Big Ideas:
•    Electrical energy can be transformed into other forms of energy;
•    Other forms of energy can be transformed into electrical energy;
•    Electrical energy plays a significant role in society and its production has an impact on the environment.

Overall Expectations (by year end):
1.    Evaluate the impact of the use of electricity on both the way we live and the environment;
2.    Investigate the characteristics of static and current electricity and construct simple circuits;
3.    Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of electrical energy and its transformation into and from other forms of energy.

Examples of What Kids Learn:
•    To design, build and test a potato battery
•    To identify materials that are good conductors of electricity (copper, aluminum) and good insulators (glass, rubber)
•    To describe ways in which the use of electricity by society has changed over time (i.e. drying clothes in a dryer versus on a clothes line)

Strand Four: Understanding Earth and Space Systems

Big Ideas:
•    Earth is a part of a large interrelated system;
•    Technological and scientific advances that enable humans to study space affect our lives.

Overall Expectations (by year end):
1.    Assess the impact of space exploration on society and the environment;
2.    Investigate characteristics of the systems of which the earth is a part and the relationship between the earth, the sun and the moon;
3.    Demonstrate an understanding of components of the systems of which the earth is a part, and explain the phenomena that result from the movement of different bodies in space.

Examples of What Kids Learn:
•    To use appropriate science and technology vocabulary, including axis, tilt and rotation
•    To identify parts of the solar system, including the sun, moon, planets, comets, and satellites
•    To identify bodies in space that emit light, i.e. stars