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The world is so full of such marvelous things that humans are drawn to wonder at it and try to understand it. One result of that wonder is called science. The faculty of the Scientific Inquiry area are members of the scientific community, men and women who have devoted their professional lives to personal journeys of discovery as they investigate the world and help their students learn about it. We are committed to the ideal of science education in the context of liberal arts education, and science and mathematics are essential components of the modern liberal arts curriculum. We will help students-whatever their primary interests may be-understand the wonders of nature and also understand science as a force in our technological society.
Because science and technology are so central to our world, citizens must be scientifically informed so they can make informed decisions and participate intelligently in a democratic society. At the same time, scientists must consider the social implications and consequences of their work; and they must know how science has impacted society in the past. Thus, our studies of science itself are combined with studies of the history of science and with philosophical, social and political issues.

Some programs in this area allow you to learn basic science as part of your general liberal arts education whereas others are designed to help prepare you for a career in science or technology, or in an applied field such as medicine or computer networking. In all of our offerings, however, we emphasize the application of science, and you will use the scientific principles you learn to solve real-world problems.

Whether you are a first-year student, or more advanced, you will find a program that fits with your academic plan. You may choose to follow a pathway of a typical science major, or you may simply want to explore the wonder and application of science in a broader context. Programs in Scientific Inquiry are mostly repeating: either every year, or alternate years. These repeating programs are listed below.

Your interest or emphasis may be in biology, chemistry, computer science, math or physics, and there are several programs that offer beginning, intermediate and advanced work in all of these areas. You should refer to the individual catalog descriptions for more details.

By engaging in laboratory and group problem-solving exercises, you will learn to think like a scientist: to apply theories to experimental situations, to collect data and analyze them in the light of underlying theory, and to use data to test hypotheses. You will do much of your work with the same high quality, modern analytical instruments used in research laboratories, and using some of the best modern software available. In addition, you will read current scientific journal articles and learn to write technical reports and papers.

Advanced students working in this area have many opportunities to do scientific research, as part of an ongoing faculty research program. Research students have presented their work at scientific meetings and have become authors on technical papers. Alumni of Scientific Inquiry programs have an excellent record of success in graduate and professional schools, and in their chosen fields. The possibilities are limited only by your energy and ambition.

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Last Updated: August 25, 2017

The Evergreen State College

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Olympia, Washington 98505

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