SCI 101: Survey of Science

Class Program
Degree Code
Natural Science
Credits 5 Lecture Hours 55
An introduction to and survey of the natural sciences of astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology, and physics.
Course Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to demonstrate the following knowledge or skills:

  1. State the scientific method and how it is applied in each of the subject sciences.
  2. Recognize the difference between science and pseudoscience.
  3. Discuss in a qualitative way current research areas in each of the subject sciences.
  4. Discuss the historical background of each of the subject sciences.
  5. Develop a general appreciation and understanding of science.
  6. State the difference between a fact and a belief.
Course Content Outline
  1. Introduction to Science
    The scientific method.
    The historical background of modern sciences.
  2. Astronomy
    History of astronomy
    Astronomical time and distances
    The solar system
    Suns, galaxies, clusters, etc.
    Cosmology and theories of the origin of the universe.
    The life cycle of stars
    The big bang theory
    Dark matter, dark energy, and the fate of the universe
    Phases of the moon and the effect of the moon on tides
  3. Biology
    History of biology
    Environmental science
    Genetic engineering and recombinant DNA
    Immunology and AIDS
  4. Chemistry
    History of chemistry
    The periodic table
    Electron shells
    Atoms and their components
    Ionic vs. molecular compounds
    Properties of gases
    Acids, bases, and properties of H2O
    An understanding of chemical reactions
  5. Geology
    History of geology
    Plate tectonics
    Geologic time scales and radiometric dating
    The rock cycle
    The ice ages and glaciation
    Local geology (Missoula floods, Cascade volcanoes)
  6. Physics
    History of physics
    Newton’s laws
    The fundamental forces of nature
    Quantum mechanics
    Elementary particles
    Electricity and magnetism
    Particle accelerators
    Nuclear fission and fusion
Department Guidelines

Depending on the instructor, grades might be based on a combination of written assignments, three or four unit tests, and a comprehensive final test. The written assignments would be based on assigned readings.

PO5 should be assessed: Students will be able to solve problems by gathering, interpreting, combining and/or applying information from multiple sources.