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About The Science Department PDF Print E-mail

Science Teachers 

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Back:  Ms. Kenn Mr. Misumi, Mr. Boreanaz, Mr. Leem Mr. Lum

Front:  Ms. Manzo, Ms. Jung, Mr. Kim (Assistant Curriculum Leader)

  Thomson Science teachers are a dedicated and diverse team who strive for high standards in conjunction with the school's mission statement; they create opportunities for students to become life-long learners in pursuit of personal excellence.

  Each has qualifications in teaching a specialty area of Science:  Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, and/or Environmental Science.  They also have additional experience and/or qualifications in teaching another subject area like ESL, Special Education, Math, Physical Education, History, Geography, Computer and Technological Education, Business, and/or Guidance.

  Furthermore, Thomson science teachers bring to the classroom life experiences from Science-related industries and graduate work at universities, as well from businesses and social work.

  Thomson Science teachers have also volunteered to support Science education in the Science and teaching community.  Several teachers have volunteered for the Science Teachers' Association of Ontario (STAO) as Committee members, Regional Counsellors, Student Volunteer Co-ordinators and presenters at the annual STAO Conference.  Science teachers have presented at STEM Showcases and Eureka! Science Teachers' Conferences for the Toronto District School Board

  All are eager to share the wealth of experience and expertise to help students to enjoy learning and understanding Science at Thomson.

Right:  Mr. Lee is the 2015 recepient of the STAO Service Award.

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Learning Facilities

  The goal of the Thomson Science Department is increasing student achievement and success.  In preparation for students' success, they are provided with different opportunities to learn Science with technologies.

  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.

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  Every classroom has access to a SMART Interactive Whiteboard (aka. SMARTBoard) for displaying active simulations and 3D applications during lessons.  SMARTBoards have been used for collaborative learning opportunties like data collection in labs, research, presentations; plus live real-time discussions with scientists.

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  Science teachers have utilized SMART Response System (aka. clickers) and other digital technologies (Kahoot! mobile app).  They gauge students' prior knowledge and misconceptions entering a new topic.  Also, they promptly gain and give feedback of student understanding of lecture and homework materials to review.


  Clickers have also been used to quickly gather and grade student achievement during evaluations.  Students get to practice utilizing clickers as they are also utilized at universities and colleges.


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   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. 

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  All Science rooms have access to wireless internet.  In addition, all classrooms can access a set of Google Chrome notebooks and iPads for students for use in the classroom.   Students have been engaged in their learning by utilizing this computer technology more creatively and frequently.

  Google Chrome notebooks and iPads 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.
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  Science students at Thomson utilize Vernier LabQuest2 interfaces and probeware in collecting data while 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
  • Ion-selective electrodes - Ammonium, nitrate
  • 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)
  • Anemometer (wind speed), relative humidity, soil moisture 
  • Energy - Current, voltage, resistance, power 
  • Motion - Position, velocity, acceleration of moving objects
  • Kinematics, and dynamics
  • Low-g acceleration
  • Microphone - Waves and speed of sound
  • Dual-range force - Friction, harmonic motion, impact of collisions, centripedal force
  • Photogate - Free fall, rolling objects, collision, pendulum 

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  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 Science Students Awarded First Place in Student Spaceflight Experiment Program (SSEP)*

Science Experiment Launched On Board SpaceX-Falcon 9 Rocket & CRS-9 Dragon Spacecraft in July 2016, Performed By Astronauts (Expedition 48) On Board International Space Station

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  Congratulations to Thomson biology students Kugenthini Tharmakulsekaram and Modlin Orange, co-principal investigators with students at Ryerson University, who submitted the winning proposal in the North America-wide Students Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP)* Competition.  

  The science experiment, the microgravitational growth of an edible pearl oysterm mushroom, Pleurotus ostreatus, was performed by astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS) in July 2016.  The experiment returned to Ryerson University in August 2016. 

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* 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.

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Modlin Orange, Ryerson students Preet Kahlon, Francis Buguis, & Gemma Mancuso; Kugenthini Tharmakulasekaram

 July 18, 2016. Space X-Falcon 9/CRS-9 Dragon rocket launches from Cape Canaveral, Florida.  CRS-9 Dragon spacecraft detaches, Falcon 9 rocket returns for Stage One landing.
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CRS-9 Dragon spacecraft docks with International Space Station.  

Astronauts of Expedition 48 who performed microgravity experiment on board International Space Station. 

Thomson Science Student Wins Outstanding High School Student - Science Award for Sixth Consecutive Year
(2011 to 2015, 2017; since inception in 2009, award absent in 2016)

  Congratulations to William Ding, the 2017 recipient of the award by the University of Toronto - Scarborough Campus and Ontario Research Fund.  In addition to his excellent marks, dedication and passions for science, and postive contributions to the community, the judging panel of university professors were impressed with William's photo essay titled "The Science Behind Playing Video Games".

  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?"), and Kugenthini Tharmakulasekaram (2015, "The Perfect Fried Egg").

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Onsia Ansari OHSSA 2011 Shelina Wali OHSS-SciAward 2011-2012 0.12 FarhanaManjra 2013 IMG 7961 ls ADJSHP1.0 COLBRI 9 Fairoza Manjra OHSSA 2015 0.23 IMG 0093-001 KugenthiniTharmakulasekaram OHSSA 2016



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.

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  As well, Mohammed Surti scored in the Top 20% of All Participants on the 2015 University of Waterloo Chem13 News Examination.

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  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.

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Summer Mentorship Program in the Health Sciences

  Congratulations to recent Thomson guaduates Victor OlawoyinAhleya Wilson, and Thabani Siziba.   They explored careers in health sciences while experiencing hands-on scientific research alongside leading scientists at Princess Margaret Hospital.

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 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.

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              Standard Life Kids Science Student Research 
                                  Internship Program

  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.

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 Enrichment Opportunities and Community Involvement


Thomson Grade 10 Science Students Selected for KidsScience Science Extravaganza at SickKids Hospital
  Every year, Grade 10 Thomson students who demonstrate 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.

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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. 

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Thomson Science Department Hosts Grade 8 Students

   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.

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Science Professionals Share "What It Takes" to be Successful

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  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.

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Thomson Volunteers at Toronto Science Fair

   Every year, Thomson Science students volunteer to help ensure that operations at the Toronto Science fair run smoothly at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus.  Among the tasks are judging projects by elementary students.  Thomson students enjoy contributing at this important event of scientific community.

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  Thomson Girls' Robotics Club
  The Girls' Robotics Club is available to any female student interested in learning to code, design, build, and program a robot.  MakerBots, LEGO Mindstorms EV3, and VEX EDR Robots are available.  Meetings happen at lunch and after school.
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Thomson Science Club

  The goal is to promote further student interest and enrichment in Science.  

  Favourite activities include dry ice bubbles and liquid nitrogen ice-cream.  Many types of chemical reactions are explored to better understand science.

  Members have also participated in the Toronto Science Fair.  Past projects investigated the effect of light frequencies on nervous responses of leg of a cricket.

  Thomson Science Club meets after school in Room 155.

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Last Updated on Monday, 28 August 2017 06:21
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