2008-09 Catalog

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Program Description

Introduction to Natural Science

Last Updated: 02/02/2009

Fall, Winter and Spring quarters

Faculty: Paula Schofield chemistry, Neal Nelson mathematics, computer science, Bret Weinstein biology

Faculty Signature Required: Winter quarter; Spring quarter

Major areas of study include general biology with laboratory, general chemistry with laboratory, computer science, mathematics for scientists, scientific writing.

Class Standing: This all-level program accepts up to 25% freshmen as well as supporting and encouraging those ready for advanced work.

Accepts Winter Enrollment: This program will accept new students who have appropriate background. Contact faculty at Academic Fair or by email. New students should expect to complete some catch-up work during the December break.

Accepts Spring Enrollment: This program will accept new students who have appropriate background, including 2 quarters of college general biology and 2 quarters of college general chemistry. Contact faculty at Academic Fair or by email. New students should expect to complete some catch-up work during the March break.

Prerequisites: proficiency in high school algebra.

This program will offer students a conceptual and methodological introduction to biology, chemistry, mathematics, and computation. As an organizing theme, we will examine the cycles and transformations of matter, energy, and information on a variety of scales, in both living and non-living systems. As appropriate, we will use quantitative and computational methods to gain additional insights into biological and chemical processes.

In addition to studying current scientific theories, we will consider the historical, societal, and personal factors that influence our thinking about the natural world. We will also examine the impacts on societies due to changes in science and technology. During spring quarter, there will be an opportunity for small student groups to conduct an independent, scientific investigation designed in collaboration with the program faculty. Program activities will include lectures, small group problem solving workshops, laboratory and field work, and seminar discussions. Students will learn to describe their work through scientific writing and public presentations.

This program is designed for students who want a solid preparation for further study in the sciences. Students who only want to get a taste of science will find this program quite demanding and should consult the faculty before the program begins. Overall, we expect students to end the program in the spring with a working knowledge of scientific, mathematical, and computational concepts, with the ability to reason critically and to solve problems, and with hands-on experience in natural science.

Credits: 16 per quarter

Enrollment: 72

Books: www.tescbookstore.com

Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in physical and biological sciences, medicine and health sciences, computer science, environmental sciences and education.

Planning Units: Programs for Freshmen, Scientific Inquiry

Program Revisions

Date Revision
November 17th, 2008 Winter quarter enrollment details added.
November 25th, 2008 Winter enrollment field utilized.
February 2nd, 2009 Spring enrollment field utilized.