The Comprehensive Sciences Curriculum

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

          The Comprehensive Sciences courses (Computer Science, Life Science, Physical Science and Planetary Science) are designed to provide significant introductory information and instruction in the basic principles of the natural sciences (astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology, physics) and also in computer technology and information systems.  All of the courses are inquiry-based with lecture and laboratory experiences that stimulate intellectual curiosity and promote the development of critical thinking, analytical and problem-solving skills.  All of the courses are three (3) credit hours and involve two hours of lecture and two hours laboratory each week in a semester.

          There is a laboratory fee for each course.

LIFE SCIENCES LECTURE-LABORATORY (COMP 001)

          This course explores the basic concepts of the biological (life) sciences.  These concepts will be presented through the examination of the principal characteristics that all living things (bacteria, protozoa, fungi, plants, animals) have in common (i.e., ecology, genetics, taxonomy, metabolism, evolution, reproduction and development, etc.).

          The lecture information surveys living systems on the chemical, cellular and organismal levels.  The exploration is complemented by key laboratory applications and observations that will enable the students to recognize, comprehend and appreciate the complexities of biological organization that exist in nature.

PLANETARY SCIENCE LECTURE-LABORATORY (COMP 002)

          The planetary science course involves studies of astronomy (planets, stars, the universe) and geology (the earth).  In geology, the principal features of planet earth such as size, shape, composition, motions are presented.  How planet earth changes as a result of internal and external forces acting on it provides a topic of interest.  In astronomy, emphasis is on the other planets, the solar system and other celestial bodies that exist in the universe.

          Laboratory investigations involve the examination of various samples, planetarium visits and field trips to area geological sites and venues where  technolog-ically advanced telescopes can be used.

PHYSICAL SCIENCE LECTURE-LABORATORY (COMP 003)

          The basic principles of chemistry and of physics are covered in the course.  Emphasis is placed on understanding these concepts and how they can be used to relate to every day phenomena.  The inorganic and organic aspects of matter, the laws that govern their actions and the formulas that predict the activities of molecules comprise some of the information on basic concepts in chemistry. 

          The laws of physics that govern the solid, liquid and gaseous states of matter are explored.

          Lecture topics include the foundations of science, principles/concepts/laws of motion, heat and temperature, energy, sound, light, atomic structure, organic and inorganic chemistry.

          Laboratory exercises include laboratory safety, measurements, law of pendulum, spectrophotometry, identification and physical property determination of substances and empirical formula determination of compounds. 

COMPUTERS and SOCIETY (COMP 004)

          Computers and Society is an introductory course in computer science.  Course activities include lectures, laboratory sessions, and discussions.  Lecture material will cover vocabulary, applications, implications, communications and networks, history, and the future directions of computers.  Assigned reading will be on the computer's impact on numerous aspects of society.  Current events and popular computer topics such as the digital divide, privacy, identity theft and viruses will be presented.  Students will explore and discuss how these and other topics affect their lives specifically and society overall.

          The laboratory is equipped with DELL multimedia computer systems on a Local Area Network with access to Internet.  Introductory experience with the general use of a computer equipped with the Windows 7 operating system and the workings of a LAN is provided.  Applications such as Word Processing, Spreadsheet, Database Management, and Communication are introduced using Microsoft Office and Windows Explorer.

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