It’s easy to fall in love with learning science - it’s hands-on, relates to the world around us, and we get to do all kinds of cool and interesting experiments. There is no other subject where you get to make slime, test and observe different solids and gases, or problem solve in so many tactile and creative ways. 

Indeed, science is around us all the time, making the subject highly relevant to those who pursue it. We see weather patterns created by the confluence of different reactions of air and our position as we move around the sun, we see different ecosystems in cities and natural surroundings, we observe a changing moon in the sky, and the impact of industry on the atmosphere. Science is prevalent in the things we use: it was likely a scientist that had a hand in engineering the plastics and metals we use in everyday life, and hundreds of scientific connections to the technology we use from coding to the composition of our screens.

Science even pervades the services and tools we rely on: medicine, dentistry, the cars we drive, and the food we eat. Science is all over the news, from global warming to vaccines and natural fuels. Imagine an object or thing around you that doesn’t have a connection to science, and you will likely be hard pressed to think of something.

It is perhaps for this reason that students continue studying science all the way through high school and beyond. When you know more about the world around you, you can feel empowered to protect it and use it in sustainable ways. Of course, it is incredibly rewarding and engaging to make scientific inquiries, and to learn about anything from how the soles of our shoes are made to the food chain of a cheetah.

By the time Canadian students get to secondary school, we start to delve deeper into the study of science and explore its different branches as separate disciplines. Many students choose to study science at an academic level for university preparation and pre-requisites, while others prefer to take a more general approach to studying science. Whatever pathway you decide to take, remember that any knowledge of science will enrich your understanding of the world. 

Should your interests happen to lie in chemistry, you are reading the right article to understand how you can pursue your interest in the subject in high school.

Do you know what topics you will cover in chemistry in grade 9 science? Learn all about the exciting coursework you’ll do in secondary school.

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What is Basic Chemistry?

Chemistry is an area of science that lies somewhere between biology and physics. In chemistry class, you will study matter and how it behaves and changes. An understanding of basic chemistry will take you through the fundamentals of understanding different fluids and solids, and you will encounter terms like solution, mechanical mixture, gases, solids, pure substances, homogeneous mixtures, and more. Chemistry deals with the basic building locks of reality, such as particles, atoms, molecules and different chemical processes.

While there are numerous branches of chemistry that have been added as research and technology have advanced, the main branches are analytical chemistry, biochemistry, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and physical chemistry.

Basic learning in chemistry can serve important purposes. You may discover that you love the subject and want to pursue it in more depth, putting all your effort into more academic track courses that lead you to chemistry study in university. Alternatively, you could discover that you want to pursue more practical applications of chemistry, in areas like mechanics or even skincare. You may also realize that you don’t enjoy learning the topic at all, and move on to other areas of studies.

basic chemistry kid
Have you dreamed of being a scientist since you were a child? Source: Unsplash.

Are There General Chemistry Courses in Grade 9?

Students interested in chemistry in grade 9 in Canada should know that it is usually learned as part of a science course. Science in grade 9 will usually cover chemistry alongside topics like Earth and Space Science, Biology, and Physics. The purpose of this broad approach is to introduce you to different core branches of science you may decide to specialize in as you move to the senior grades.

There are so many advantages to learning chemistry as part of a larger science curriculum. An introduction style approach to chemistry in grade 9 will enable you to decide how serious or not you are about the subject. While mixing fluids and conducting experiments can sound fun and engaging, you will have to do that work alongside copious documentation and writing through lab reports, not to mention pre-reading and research.

Chemistry courses in high school can have a positive impact in your life, with many benefits that last long into your career.

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How Do I Become a Chemistry Major?

Students that decide they love chemistry may have a goal to complete a major in the subject in university. So what steps can you take to get there?

1. Research University Chemistry Programs

The first step toward becoming a chemistry major is to research the programs you are interested in to see what they are looking for in a successful application. In many cases, you will need to have academic courses in chemistry and other science related subjects such as biology to apply, as well as academic English and Math.

You might also look at what schools value other than good grades. Which extracurriculars can you explore to be more well rounded as a student? Another thing to consider are tests you might need to take, especially if you are looking at American universities that want to see an SAT or MCAT score.

2. Plan Your Secondary School Pathway

Once you know what courses, assessments, and extracurriculars you might want to have under your belt when you apply for university programs in chemistry, you can start planning your pathway of secondary courses. Identify which courses your high school offers, as you may even need to consider courses in night school or a private credit granting school if the offerings don’t align with your plan. Speak to your science teacher or guidance counsellor to find out what they think you should do, and discuss your plans with family or friends that have pursued a similar route.

3. Stay Focused

Knowing your long term plan early in your high school career is pretty remarkable. The important thing to know is to maintain your focus so you can achieve your goals. High school can be a pretty distracting time, with so many events and social events happening. Make sure you are balanced in your approach to having fun and staying serious about school. When you are anchored to your goals, you can prioritize or de-prioritize everything else.

What happens in a grade 9 chemistry class? Experiments, labs, research and so much more.

mastering chemistry
Taking a chemistry major can lead to a career in the field. Source: Unsplash.

Are Online Chemistry Classes Worth it?

Online chemistry classes can seem odd, especially when so much of the work in chemistry seems to be hands on.

While online chemistry courses won’t give you time in the lab environment you get in class, these courses are a great way for students to learn chemistry in a lower pressure environment from the comfort of home. There may be opportunities to experiment in your kitchen or near a sink, so you will get to have some of the experiences of a lab without all the bells and whistles. Online chemistry courses are also great if you are doing an academic upgrade or need a course to fulfill a college or university prerequisite. You may actually be surprised at what you can learn online!

Thanks to so many advances in technology, and the massive adoption of virtual streaming platforms and learning environments brought about by the pandemic, online chemistry courses can be surprisingly enriching and fun. Teachers will often live stream their labs, and you will get to see everything up close.

online courses chemistry
Taking a chemistry course online can be surprisingly rewarding. Source: Unsplash.

Is Mastering Chemistry Important in Secondary School?

First of all, it’s important to note that it’s impossible to ‘master’ chemistry at such a young age when there is so much to learn in the topic. But you will want to have a strong and competent grasp of the science and chemistry curriculum so you can have the grades you need to get into the program or pursue the career of your dreams.

For this reason, it’s important to consider private tutoring. Superprof.ca is the best place to find a chemistry tutor for your needs.

Superprof is a site that brings together students and tutors from all different backgrounds, but most certainly in the areas of science and chemistry. Is having a tutor worth the expense? It absolutely is, especially if you want to do what you can to secure your success in your secondary courses.

A private chemistry or science tutor can work with you to review your learning, and help you to understand the more complex topics and terminology. They can give you feedback on inquiries, research projects and lab reports, and guide you to producing your best work. Tutors can help you prepare for exams and tests, and work with you extra to make sure you are ready to get a high score.

Do you love science and want to continue learning chemistry in high school? Here’s everything you need to know about basic chemistry classes.

Superprof tutors come from a variety of different academic backgrounds and understand their subject well. You will want to have someone who understands the science curriculum in your province, has an engaging teaching style that speaks to your learning needs, and can meet with you at a time and place that works for you.

Check out Superprof to compare tutors in your city and their rates.

 

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Colleen

Colleen is a Toronto-based educator, mom and freelance writer who believes in lifelong learning and strong coffee.