With an emphasis on critical thinking skill, IPS is designed to give students an understanding of the earth, its environment, and the universe. Through extensive laboratory work students are involved in the inquiry process of science. Hands-on experiments are designed to aid students in the developing of learning skill and processes such as observing, identifying, classifying, measure, inferring, hypothesizing and interpreting. Topics covered include universality of change from the weather and the rock cycle through plate tectonics to postulated changes in the universe. It continues with a look into the properties of matter and the structure of the atom and finishes with a look at the diversity of life on our planet. Term assignments in media, literature and research encourage students to experience science outside the classroom in their everyday lives.