Science 116/02 Syllabus

Spring, 1997


Dr. Ben Golden

Office Number: Science 322

Office Phone and Voice Mail Number: (770) 423-6163 E-Mail:

Fax Number: (770) 423-6625

Office Hours: MW 10:00 -- 11:00 A. M. and TTH 9:00 -- 9:55 A. M

Meeting Times:

Class:                TTH 9:55 A.M. - 12:10 P.M. in room AP 114
Laboratory:       Open hours in room AP 111

Laboratory Hours Saturday 9:00 A M to 1:00P M

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday 9:30 A M to 3:30 P M and 8:00 P M to 10:30 P M 8:00 A M to 12:00 P M and 1:30 P M to 3:30 P M and 8:00 P M to 10:30 P M 8:00 A M to 5:00 P M and 8:00 P M to 10:30 P M 8:00 A M to 12:00 P M and 1:30 P M to 6:30 P M and 8:00 P M to 10:30 P M 9:00 A M to 1:00 PM

Only one lab will be set up during each week. You must complete that lab during that week. The first lab begins on April 5, 1997.

Required Texts:

Trefil, James, and Robert M. Hazen. The Sciences, An Integrated Approach

Schiffer and King. Science Process II -- Laboratory Manual

Science 116/02 Materials Packet

Evaluation and Grading:

Group activities - 30%. Attendance, participation, and group evaluations will also be considered. Laboratory - 30% Tests - 2 at 15% each Final exam - 10% (Tuesday, June 10, 1997, 9:55 A M)

Attendance and Participation Policy:

Attendance is essential for the laboratories and group activities. In order to receive a grade on your laboratory report, you must have documented attendance at the laboratory for a sufficient time to have successfully completed it. Absences due to unavoidable circumstances will be dealt with on an individual basis. Group activities done during excused absences must be arranged with the instructor. Make up labs are not possible due to the nature of the open lab.

Before each graded group activity you will be given grading criteria for that activity.

Course Outline:

This course builds on Science 115 and is also divided into three sections. The general coverage of each section is described below. More details of course topics and expectations will be given during the quarter. As in Science 115, we will use a variety of examples from science to look at the scientific process and at principles which appear in many areas of science. The most important objectives of the course are for you to be able to understand and to use basic scientific methods and for you to be able to critical read and analyze claims and explanations of natural phenomena.

I. Systems: Predicting Complex Behavior

Sections in Science 115 looked at how the change in size of an object can dramatically change its behavior due to different scaling principles for different characteristics. Another reason for differing behavior can be the interaction of the component parts of the system. We will examine some of the common principles of systems and how they adapt and change with examples from such areas as molecules and living systems.

II. Origins and Destinations: Humans in the Universe

The principles of energy, information, and behavior of systems from previous sections can be used to attempt to understand and explain the origins and structure of the universe, the Earth, and life. To illustrate this, we will look at scientific principles and thinking selected from areas such as the origin of life, biological evolution, stellar (star) and planetary evolution, and the big bang.

III. Science and Non-Science: Identifying the Limits of Science

This section will tie together some of the ideas that have been used throughout the course and take a look at some apparently absolute limits to our ability to make predictions, such as the uncertainty principle and the principle of chaos. We will also examine some areas that are on the fringe of science, and examine claims in some areas which have no scientific basis (sometimes called pseudoscience).


Students who find that they cannot continue in college for the entire quarter after being enrolled, because of illness or any other reason, should complete an official withdrawal form. Forms may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar.

Students who officially withdraw from college with the approval of the Registrar will be assigned grades of "W" which will not affect their overall scholastic average. Students who officially withdraw after the drop date and before the last two weeks of the class will receive a "WF", which will be counted as a failing grade in their scholastic average. Those students who stop attending classes and notify no one usually are assigned failing grades which jeopardize their chances of future academic success.

Students may, by means of the same withdrawal form and with the approval of the Registrar, withdraw from individual courses while retaining other courses on their schedules. The last day to withdraw without academic penalty is Tuesday, May 6, 1997. Failure to do so will mean that the student has elected to receive the final grades earned in the course. The only exceptions to these withdrawal regulations will be for those instances which involve unusual and fully documented circumstances. Withdrawal forms are not processed during the last two weeks of each quarter.