Science Department - 100 Level
This course is an introduction to the study of modern biology, centering on concepts of evolution, genetics, and cell theory crucial to understanding the development of life and science of biology. This course aims to provide the student with some comprehension of the visible world, with an appreciation of the connections and interrelatedness of all scientific learning. Readings are chosen from a variety of sources; laboratory work, films, and occasional field work are features of the course.
131. Physical Science
The Physical Science program is designed to integrate both introductory chemistry and physics fundamentals into a five-week class that will enable the student to have a solid grasp of beginning topics. The material covered will include a crash course into math basics such as scientific notation, significant figures, and the use of exponents. Other topics are Atomic Theory and Structure, Thermodynamics, Electrostatics, Enthalphy changes in Chemical Reactions, Nomenclature, and Reaction Types. The course will stress the interaction of matter on the atomic and molecular levels and as we look into the structure of the atom and how the subatomic particles interact within the atom and between molecules.
This introductory course offers the student the fundamentals of chemistry and an opportunity to analyze modern environmental and biological problems from a chemical perspective. A conceptual understanding of chemistry is taught through lectures, demonstrations, laboratory experiments, and seminar discussions. Students are introduced to the lab reporting process and practice the skill. Readings are chosen from a variety of sources; laboratory work, films, and occasional field work are features of the course.
This is an introductory course in physics that emphasizes conceptual understanding and laboratory experience. Topics covered will include motion, Newton's laws of mechanics, energy and momentum, thermodynamics and the description of gases, and if time permits electricity and magnetism. While conceptual understanding is emphasized, students will also be introduced to a precise, quantitative description of nature with a problem solving approach that uses elementary math skills.
134. Introductory Environmental Science
This course is an introduction to the environmental science through exploration of Ecology and physical elements of the world around us. Centered through the investigation of the planet and its ecosystems, this course will provide a window for students into the laboratory sciences of the high school and scientific inquiry and methods. Rather than a standardized text, readings will be taken from a variety of sources. Laboratory work, field trips, and use of Taft property are prominent features of this course.
136. Forensic Science
This course introduces students to the principles and practices found in the field of forensic science, which draws from the biological and physical sciences. The course begins by examining the theories and concepts necessary to effectively examine, analyze, and reconstruct a major crime scene. Specifically, the legal issues related to the search and seizure of physical evidence, crime scene documentation techniques, and basic crime scene reconstruction methods will be studied. Students will also study trace evidence and how it is analyzed, compared, interpreted, and used in criminal investigations. Types of trace evidence to be discussed will include glass, paint, hair, fiber, and fingerprints. Case studies of actual crimes and trials will be discussed to illustrate how the science and techniques may be used in the real world.