Science School Frequently Asked Questions

A Science School student uses a pipette to transfer a liquid into a test tube

If you have a question that isn’t covered below, please contact us here or call us at 416-696-4620.

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

How is Science School different from my high school?

All of our Grade 12 courses follow the Ontario curriculum, but what sets Science School apart is our unique environment; all of your classes are right here in the Ontario Science Centre! Students have opportunities to work with teachers and staff to design and develop exhibit prototypes, multimedia communication pieces and interactive programming. Students also gain valuable skills through visitor engagement practicums. Our graduates have gone on to remarkable careers in science, math, engineering, medicine, art, music, communications and more.

How is the Innovation Course credit counted towards my Ontario Secondary School Diploma?

Our Innovation Course is a single-credit Interdisciplinary Studies Course (IDC4U) and counts as an optional credit toward your Ontario Secondary School Diploma. Check with your guidance counsellor to confirm that you meet all the necessary compulsory and optional course requirements for high school graduation before applying.

Can the Innovation Course be used as part of my university or college application?

Each university treats IDC4U courses differently. Most will accept it as part of your top six courses in calculating your average, but some specialized programs may require specific prerequisite courses. Check the website of the school and program you wish to apply for and talk to your guidance counsellor to determine the best choices for you.

Will I be able to attend graduation at my home school?

Yes. If you are attending the second semester of the school year at Science School, you will be transferred back to your home school before the end of the semester.

Are there field trips?

Yes, public health measures permitting. Past trips have included attending science-based university lectures, museum visits and chocolate factory visits. Students are encouraged to explore the city together by participating in activities like art festivals, attending Blue Jays games or skating at Nathan Phillips Square.

ABOUT APPLYING

What are the course prerequisites?

The prerequisites for our Grade 12 university-level science courses will be the same as at your home school, as these courses follow the Ontario curriculum. The prerequisite for the Innovation Course is any university or university/college preparation course.

Can I apply if I’m from outside Toronto?

Yes, as long as you are enrolled in a school board within the province of Ontario. Guidance counsellors from the Toronto District School Board and Toronto Catholic District School Board will oversee the transfer of your enrolment and provide general guidance support. You are responsible for arranging your own accommodation, travel and living expenses while you are attending Science School.

Can I choose which semester I attend?

It is possible to make a case if necessary. When you apply to Science School, include a letter to the selection committee explaining why you are only able to attend during one of the semesters.

My home school is non-semestered. Can I still apply?

Science School only operates on a semester system due to our small size and the nature of our program. This allows us to offer placements to more students. Discuss the implications of transferring to a semester system and your options with your guidance counsellor before applying to Science School.

I am in Grade 10. Can I attend Science School next year?

Yes, as long as you’ve completed the prerequisites for the courses you are planning to take at Science School.

Can my Grade 8 teacher write my recommendation?

Yes. We require recommendations from two adults who are not family members related to you but know you well, such as a coach, a work or volunteer placement supervisor or mentor. At least one must be from a teacher who has taught you any subject in secondary school.

When will I be informed if I am accepted?

We typically communicate offers of acceptance in May. You will hear from us in time to choose your courses for next year with your school’s guidance department.

ABOUT THE CLASSES

What kinds of teachers teach at Science School?

Experienced science and math teachers are seconded to Science School from Toronto District and Toronto Catholic District School Board secondary schools. They are members in good standing of the Ontario College of Teachers and they have to apply to be at Science School, just like students.

Are summer classes available?

No. The school operates from September to June.

How many students are in each class?

Class sizes depend on the number of students who enrol in a course, but they do not exceed 30 to 36 students.

Can I change my courses after I selected them?

Yes. Your course selection does not become final until your guidance counsellor registers you at Science School.

Can I retake any Grade 12 classes at Science School?

If you already received a credit for the course, you cannot retake the class at Science School.

What does the class schedule look like?

Classes start at 8:30 a.m. and end at 3:35 p.m. Each day consists of three 75-minute periods, a 35-minute lunch break and a double period at the end of the day. Any period in which you are not enrolled in a course is considered your spare.

What can I do between classes?

During your spare and lunch periods, you can eat or do homework, complete your practicum hours, go for a walk in the Don Valley or participate in other Science Centre activities like media events, exhibit prototyping or workshops.

Is there a dress code at Science School?

Yes. As you move through the building every day, our visitors will look to you as a member of the Science Centre team to assist them with their visit. The dress code is business casual but still represents you.