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PHYS-106 Earth and Space Science

Description

This is a course designed for non-science majors which is a general survey of basic earth science and astronomy topics. This course will enable the student to learn basic concepts of soils, groundwater, weather and the hydrological cycle, urban geology, rocks and minerals, historical geology, plate tectonics, scale of the solar system, historical astronomy, basic motions of the earth plus celestial bodies, constellation identification, planet evolution and characteristics, space satellites, telescopes, the sun, stellar properties and evolution, and galaxies and cosmology. In the laboratory, the student will develop skill with basic equipment, laboratory techniques and procedures plus investigative skills to solve science-related problems. Field work will involve investigation of geology sites, constellation identification, and trips to local museums/planetariums. (3 hours lecture, 3 hours lab)

Overall Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Develop hands-on lab and demonstration activities that enable discovery learning and the development of science process skills.
  2. Develop a teaching strategy to address their students’ alternate conceptions (misconceptions).
  3. Discuss contemporary topics in earth/space science such as life in the universe, U.S. space program, etc., found in newspapers, magazine articles, and internet sites.
  4. Discuss chemical and physical properties used to identify rocks.
  5. Demonstrate simplified, inexpensive lab materials/equipment preparation.
  6. Develop activities for local astronomy (e.g. planetarium and night sky observation) and geology (e.g. rock quarry) field trip sites through visitations.
  7. Develop a earth/space science lesson plan.
  8. Integrate and implement effective microcomputer technology in the curriculum.

Major Topics

I. Introduction to Rocks and Minerals

A. Classification and Identification
B. Beach Sands
C. Field Trip to Woodstock Dome

II. Weathering and Soils

A. Orgin, Types and Properties
B. Field Sampling

III. Historical Geology

II. Weathering and Soils

A. Orgin, Types and Properties
B. Field Sampling

III. Historical Geology

A. Plate Tectonics
B. Earthquakes
C. Geologic Time
D. Field Trip to Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

IV. Maps

A. Topographic maps
B. Geologic maps

V. Weather: Hydrologic Cycle

A. The Atmosphere
B. How the weather works
C. Weather patterns and storms

IV. Maps

A. Topographic maps
B. Geologic maps

V. Weather: Hydrologic Cycle

A. The Atmosphere
B. How the weather works
C. Weather patterns and storms

VI. Overview of Astronomy

A. Terminology
B. Scale of Solar System and Univrse
C. Astronomy vs Astrology

VII. Historical Astronomy and Scientific Models

VIII. Basic Motions in Astronomy and Related Phenomena

A. Earth (e.g. Day & Night, Seasons, Time, etc.)
B. Moon (e.g. Phases)
C. Planets (e.g. Retrograde Motion)
D. Stars (e.g. Doppler Effect, Parallax, etc.)

IX. Night Sky Celestial Body Identification

A. Constellations, Planets, Nebula, Meteors, Variable Stars, etc.
B. Field Trip to Howard B. Owens Planetarium
E. Evening Skywatch

X. Solar System Objects

A. Planet’s evolution, characteristics, and geology including moons
B. The Moon
C. Comets, Asteriods and Meteorites
D. Space satellites and man-made debris
E. Solar System Evolution
F. Speaker on Planetqry Geology

XI. Light and the Electromagnetic Spectrum

XII. Telescopes

XIII. The Sun: Its Characteristics and Evolution

XIV. Stellar Properties and Evolution

XV. Brief Introduction to Galaxies and Cosmology

XVI. Class Project Presentations by Teachers

Course Requirements

Grading/exams: Grading procedures will be determined by the individual faculty member but will be calculated on the basis of homework and exams. This course will include a final comprehensive exam. Writing: Specific writing assignments will be determined by the individual faculty members but will include a critique and written homework and exam assignments.

Other Course Information

This course is a Science core course, a Science elective and an Arts and Sciences elective.


Student Profile - Maribel