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Goal 3: Natural Sciences

Goal: To improve students’ understanding of natural science principles and of the methods of scientific inquiry, i.e, the ways in which scientists investigate natural science phenomena. As a basis for lifelong learning, students need to know the vocabulary of science and to realize that while a set of principles has been developed through the work of previous scientists, ongoing scientific inquiry and new knowledge will bring changes in some of the ways scientists view the world. By studying the problems that engage today's scientists, students learn to appreciate the importance of science in their lives and to understand the value of a scientific perspective. Students should be encouraged to study both the biological and physical sciences.

LEP Objective: Explore scientific knowledge of the natural world.  Understand the central concepts and principles of science; experience the process of scientific inquiry; comprehend science as a human endeavor and understand the impact of science on individuals and on society. Students can meet this requirement through 2 approved courses or experiences in different rubrics or academic areas, at least one of these must be a laboratory course.

Students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate understanding of scientific theories.

  2. Formulate and test hypotheses by performing laboratory, simulation, or field experiments in at least two of the natural science disciplines. One of these experimental components should develop, in greater depth, students, laboratory experience in the collection of data, its statistical and graphical analysis, and an appreciation of its sources of error and uncertainty.

  3. Communicate their experimental findings, analyses, and interpretations both orally and in writing.

  4. Evaluate societal issues from a natural science perspective, ask questions about the evidence presented, and make informed judgments about science-related topics and policies.

 Consistent with LEP Student Learning Outcomes, students will also demonstrate their ability to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of concepts, principles, and theories in the physical or natural sciences.

  • Make observations and collect  data, design and carry out experiments or other types of scientific investigations.

  • Formulate research questions and testable hypotheses, analyze and interpret data, draw inferences and conclusions, and identify further questions for investigation.

  • Demonstrate awareness of the interdependent relationships of basic science, applied science, mathematics, and technology.

  • Recognize the human nature of the scientific enterprise, including the importance of curiosity, creativity, and imagination; the dual nature of scientific knowledge as changeable and durable; and the impact of a scientist's personal identity on the scientific process.

  • Evaluate societal issues from a science perspective, question the evidence presented, and make informed judgments about these issues.

The following courses are pre-approved to fulfill this goal requirement and further indicate what other goal area(s) or Diversity courses of the Liberal Education Program (LEP) or Racial Issues Graduation Requirements (RIGR) the course fulfills.

Requirements (Minimum of two courses, no more than 4 credits from one rubric or academic area. Include one laboratory course, indicated with *)

Atmospheric & Hydrologic Sciences
course: Introduction to Atmospheric Science, 3 Cr.
course (10): Natural Hazards and Human Society, 3 Cr.
course: Introduction to Environmental Geology, 3 Cr.
course: Physical Geology Systems, 4 Cr.
course: Introduction to Physical Hydrology, 4 Cr.
course: Introductory Meteorology, 4 Cr.

Anthropology
course (Diversity): Human Origins, 3 Cr.

Astronomy
course: Astrobiology, 3 Cr.
course: Concepts of the Solar System, 3 Cr.
course (2): Concepts of Stars and the Universe, 3 Cr.
course (8) (Diversity): Archeoastronomy, 3 Cr.
course: General Astronomy, 4 Cr.

Biological Sciences
course (10): Environment and Society, 3 Cr.
course (10): The Living World, 3 Cr.
course: Human Biology, 3 Cr.
course: Human Disorders (Topical), 3 Cr.
course (Diversity): Cultural Botany, 3 Cr.
course (Diversity): Biology of Women, 3 Cr.
course (10): Organismal Diversity, 4 Cr.

Chemistry
course: Understanding Chemistry, 3 Cr.
course (10): Chemistry and the Environment, 3 Cr.
course: General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry, 5 Cr.
course: Preparatory Chemistry, 4 Cr.
course: Forensic Science, 3 Cr.
course: General Chemistry 1, 4 Cr.
course: General Chemistry 2, 4 Cr.
course: Advanced Forensic Science, 3 Cr.

Geography
course: Physical Geography, 3 Cr.

Health
course: Principles of Nutrition, 3 Cr.

Physics
course: Famous People of Science, 3 Cr.
course: Concepts in Physics, 3 Cr.
course (10): Energy and Environment, 3 Cr.
course: General Physics I, 4 Cr.
course: General Physics II, 4 Cr.
course: Classical Physics I, 5 Cr.
course: Classical Physics II, 5 Cr.