Elon College
    
SCIENCE  WITHOUT  BORDERS  
SCI  171  
Professor  Nancy E. Harris
Course Syllabus
Course Description
Required Materials
Semester Project
 Tentative Schedule 
Course Description
Science Without Borders is an interdisciplinary science course for students who are not majoring in science.  The course examines five of the biggest ideas in science:  atomic structure, the periodic properties of chemical elements, the origin of the universe, plate tectonics and the origin and evolution of life on Earth.  The emphasis is upon the development of these ideas over time through the "scientific method" as a way of discovery.  The course also compares and contrasts science as a way of knowing with art and ethics as other ways of learning.  
 
 
 
   Course Instructor
Dr. Nancy E. Harris.  (X 2438) (124 B)
Required Materials
The Five Biggest Ideas in Science by Wynn, Wiggins and Harris  
Course Pack for Science Without Borders by Agnew, Harris and Wright 
 
 
Attendance Policy
You are permitted two absences.  Each additional absence will result in a point subtracted from your final grade.  Tardiness and leaving early are NOT PERMITTED.  If you know now that you will have a problem getting to class on time or staying for the whole class then you need to drop the class.  Repeated tardy behavior or leaving class early will result in points subtracted from the final grade.
Semester Project
A substantial part of your evaluation will result from the semester project.  This is a group project.  Very early in the semester, you will form a group of about five people.  Each group will study a problem or issue that has something to do with science.  I will give you a list of possible topics for your consideration.  Groups will be formed based upon interest.  Once you are in a group and know your topic, I will meet with each group to talk about a plan.  You will begin gathering background information regarding your topic using books, interviews, surveys, internet and other activities.  At some point I will ask each group to propose an action plan designed to address the problem or issue.  For example, if your topic were human cloning you might propose that the federal government ban all research related to animal cloning.  At this point your group will develop a benefits and risks analysis as a way of evaluating the consequences of your proposed course of action.  We will talk in class about the benefits and risks analysis as a type of decision making process.  Based upon your analysis, your group may choose to modify the proposed action plan.  The last few days of class will be devoted to project presentations.  Each group will have approximately 45 minutes to present their issue, their proposed course of action and their analysis of the action.  Presentations may take any form (lecture, quizzes, surveys, group discussions, video clips, debates, panels, etc.), but must present background information related to the issue, present the proposed action plan and analysis, use visual aids and involve participation of all group members.  A group paper (with rough draft) is also required.  Throughout the semester I will be giving you more information concerning the project and reminding you of where you should be in the project.  You will be evaluated both in terms of the overall group performance as well as your individual contributions to the project.  You will have an opportunity to evaluate your own contributions as well as those of your fellow group members.  Peer evaluation will be taken into consideration in determining your grade.
 
Evaluation
Your course grade will be determined as follows: 

                                                      quizzes          20% 
                                                 midterm exam    20% 
                        assignments and participation   20% 
                                                        project         20% 
                                                   final exam         20% 
 

 
Tentative Schedule
            intro to the course / scientific method
form project groups / physics idea
physics idea
chemistry idea
chemistry idea
quiz on physics and chemistry ideas
astronomy idea
astronomy idea
geology idea
geology idea
quiz on astronomy and geology ideas
midterm review
midterm exam
biology idea
biology idea
biology idea
quiz on biology idea / work on project
science and other disciplines
science and ethics
benefits and risks analysis
the art of science and the science of art
the art of science and the science of art
last quiz / work on project
project presentations
project presentations
project presentations
 
 
 
 
 
 
Page Designed by Elon College Academic Computing Services