British Columbia

Our curriculum map for the province of British Columbia is here! If you are a B.C. educator, read on to explore our rationale for teaching our youth.

Our goal in educating our youth is to provide them with an experiential, tools-based approach to science & technology through the lens of conservation and monitoring.

  • By focusing on conservation, we can target both the science and social studies/geography curriculums in the junior and intermediate grades and beyond.
  • When students work with our data platform, we can also target the mathematics curriculum through data sets, graphs, and analysis of data.

By connecting social, science, and math together in one testing journey, our students (your students) will be able to see water monitoring and conservation in a holistic way. Systemic sustainability education can only be done right when cross-curricular competencies are fostered and developed with intentional programming, and that has been our goal here.

Planning on taking your students out for a water testing excursion?

Here’s how you can target different strands of the science curriculum in grades 4 to 8.


The British Columbia Science curriculum’s structure is based around six curricular competencies. The competencies are:

  1. Questioning and predicting
  2. Planning and conducting
  3. Processing and analyzing data and information 
  4. Evaluating
  5. Applying and innovating
  6. Communicating

These six competencies guide teachers and students through scientific analysis and serve as a way of carrying out experiments, fieldwork, observations, data analysis, and more. These competencies are often reflected in multiple subjects across the elementary curriculum with alterations to structure and wording. The importance of the competencies is the help develop a method for student engagement with real-world problems in math, science, social studies, and more. Below are specific links to the curriculum from grades 4-8.


Big Ideas 

that connect to a water testing excursion

Grade 4 

  • All living things sense and respond to their environment.
    • How do living things sense, respond, and adapt to stimuli in their environment?
    • How is sensing and responding related to interdependence within ecosystems?
  • Energy can be transformed.
    • What is energy input and energy output? 
    • What is energy conservation? 
    • What is the relationship between energy input, output, and conservation?.

Grade 5 

  • Solutions are homogenous
    • How are solutions homogeneous? 
    • What are their uses? 
  • Earth materials change as they move through the rock cycle and can be used as natural resources.
    • How do we interact with water, rocks, minerals, soils, and plants?
    • How can Earth be considered a closed material system?
    • How can we act as stewards of our environment?

Grade 6

  • Everyday materials are often mixtures
    • What is a heterogeneous mixture? 
    • How can mixtures be separated?
  • Newton’s three laws of motion describe the relationship between force and motion
    • How are balanced and unbalanced forces evident in your life and activities?

Grade 7

  • Evolution by natural selection provides an explanation for the diversity and survival of living things
    • Why do living things change over time? 
    • How do these changes affect biodiversity?
  • Elements consist of one type of atom, and compounds consist of atoms of different elements chemically combined
    • What are the similarities and differences between elements and compounds? 
    • How can you investigate the properties of elements and compounds?
  • Earth and its climate have changed over geological time
    • How do people and their practices impact Earth and its climate?

Grade 8

  • Life processes are performed at the cellular level
    • How can you tell if something is living? 
    • How do humans and micro-organisms interact?
  • Energy can be transferred as both a particle and a wave
    • How does electromagnetic energy behave like both a particle and a wave? 
    • What are the properties and behaviours of light? 
    • How do you sense light?

Going Further: Water testing in secondary school (9-12)

By grades 9 and 10, science related to water testing focuses broadly on energy change or transformation, and the interconnectedness of systems. In grades 9 and 10, you can connect your water testing excursions with changes in systems over time by turning your excursions into once-a-month, or once-a-week events. By collecting water quality data over time, you can observe how water systems connect with these big ideas.

Grade 9

  • Electric current is the flow of electric charge.
  • The biosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere are interconnected, as matter cycles and energy flows through them.

Grade 10

  • Energy is conserved, and its transformation can affect living things and the environment.

By grades 11 and 12, students’ options are more diverse, and water testing has more strong connections to Environmental Science 11 and 12, Life Sciences 11, and Science for Citizens 11.

Within environmental science, you can connect water quality testing to all big ideas, with a focus on complex roles and relationships within ecosystems, change in systems over time, and whether or not change is brought about by humans, or otherwise. The most important part of doing water testing in the end, is understanding living sustainability, maintaining the sustainability of ecosystems, and practicing responsible land use (all of which are important components of citizen science, as well).


Are you taking a look at our data platform?

With a vast network of accessible data, our platform can give your students real-world applications for core mathematics concepts.


The British Columbia Mathematics curriculum’s structure is based around four curricular competencies. The competencies are:

  1. Reasoning and Analyzing
  2. Understanding and solving
  3. Communicating and representing
  4. Connecting and reflecting 

The four Mathematics competencies reflect similarities within the Science competencies. As we can see, British Columbia policymakers are structuring their curricula to feature competencies with can serve students in all subjects.

When exploring the Water Rangers data platform at app.waterrangers.ca, there are many opportunities to collect, analyze and interpret data sets that in some cases, span the course of over 20 years. With such robust data sets collected by scientists, citizens, and organizations, students can observe changes in data points over time, like water temperature at the macro level. Using autogenerated graphs based on location makes this even easier. Even on smaller scales, change can be observed, analyzed, and interpreted using multiple types of graphs and infographics. Seasonal changes are apparent as peaks and valleys are evenly distributed in the graphs. With all of the data present in Canada, connections between different locations within a region or a watershed can be made, with similar data presented across the Ottawa River watershed, or the Kootenai Basin watershed, to name a couple of examples.

Being able to interpret, communicate and represent scientific data effectively is an important part of science communication, and citizen science plays a role in helping us understand and act upon the data we must see to make positive change.

Click on the button below to learn how to create an account on app.waterrangers.ca, browse existing observations, and upload your own.

How to use our data platform


Big Ideas 

that relate to water quality data analysis and interpretation 

Grade 4

  • Regular changes in patterns can be identified and represented using tools and tables.
  • Analyzing and interpreting experiments in data probability develops an understanding of chance.

Grade 5

  • Identified regularities in number patterns can be expressed in tables.
  • Data represented in graphs can be used to show many-to-one correspondence.

Grade 6

  • Linear relations can be identified and represented using expressions with variables and line graphs and can be used to form generalizations.
  • Data from the results of an experiment can be used to predict the theoretical probability of an event and to compare and interpret.

Grade 7

  • Linear relations can be represented in many connected ways to identify regularities and make generalizations.
  • Data from circle graphs can be used to illustrate proportion and to compare and interpret.

Grade 8

  • Discrete linear relationships can be represented in many connected ways and used to identify and make generalizations.
  • Analyzing data by determining averages is one way to make sense of large data sets and enables us to compare and interpret.

Going Further: Water quality data analysis in secondary school (9-12)

By grade 9, students will focus on “Analyzing the validity, reliability, and representation of data enables us to compare and interpret”. In statistics, students will be particularly focused on using statistics in society. They may use real-world data collected by First peoples or Statistics Canada, for example, to conclude “potential problems related to bias, use of language, ethics, cost, time and timing”. Analyzing data of this nature, particularly water quality data, can lead to great connections between science and social studies. Exploring how water quality data is represented, what changes are visible over time, and who will be affected by these changes is a key aspect of Water Rangers’ community teaching and training.

Source: https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/curriculum/mathematics/9/core

Grade 9

  • Analyzing the validity, reliability, and representation of data enables us to compare and interpret.

Grade 10 (Workplace Mathematics)

  • Representing and analyzing data allows us to notice and wonder about relationships.

Grade 10 (Foundations of Mathematics and Pre-calculus)

  • Representing and analyzing situations allows us to notice and wonder about relationships.

By grades 11 and 12, students have the option of choosing between a wide range of mathematics courses, including Foundations of Mathematics 11 & 12, as well as History of Mathematics 11. in Foundations 11, applications of statistics including “measures of central tendency, standard deviation, confidence intervals, z-scores, distributions” In Foundations 12, the Big Idea “Mathematical analysis informs financial decisions” is a great starting point for using water quality data to make assumptions about how funding and resources are allocated to non-government organizations and the British Columbia Conservation Officer Service.

Sources: https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/curriculum/mathematics/11/foundations-of-mathematics https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/curriculum/mathematics/12/foundations-of-mathematics

Are you connecting the land with the people who live here?

This is how our waterways can be a part of your social studies conversations with students.


The goal of Social Studies in elementary school is to help students become informed citizens. An informed citizen in this context “understands key historical, geographical, political, economic, and societal concepts, and how these different factors relate to and interact with each other”.

Source: https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/curriculum/social-studies/goals-and-rationale

Interactions between humans and the environment are a key concept of the Social Studies curriculum. Water Rangers’ goal is to help students connect water and water health with our own lived experiences on an individual level as well as a societal one. Water has been an integral part of our history, and our use of water today is a reflection of our past and dictates our future. We believe that informed citizens will make connections between water health and how our society treats water today. Acting to protect waterways is integral to our futures, and will shape our interactions within our society to come.

Big Ideas 

that relate to water’s history and its role in society

Grade 4

  • The pursuit of valuable natural resources has played a key role in changing the land, people, and communities of Canada.
  • Interactions between First Peoples and Europeans lead to conflict and cooperation, which continues to shape Canada’s identity.

Grade 5

  • Natural resources continue to shape the economy and identity of different regions of Canada.
  • Canada’s policies and treatment of minority peoples have negative and positive legacies.

Grade 6

  • Economic self-interest can be a significant cause of conflict among peoples and governments.
  • Complex global problems require international cooperation to make difficult choices for the future.

Grade 7

  • Increasingly complex societies required new systems of laws and government.
  • Economic specialization and trade networks can lead to conflict and cooperation between societies.

Grade 8

  • Contacts and conflicts between peoples stimulated significant cultural, social, political change.
  • Human and environmental factors shape changes in population and living standards.
  • Exploration, expansion, and colonization had varying consequences for different groups.
  • Changing ideas about the world created tension between people wanting to adopt new ideas and those wanting to preserve established traditions.

Going Further: History and Geography relating to water’s impact on society (9-12)

Coming soon!