in the Natural World is one
of the Core Area Courses in the Clare College core curriculum at Saint
Bonaventure. The laboratory is a
distinct one-credit course; however, you must take the three-credit lecture
course and the one credit laboratory concurrently.
The content of the two courses overlaps in that the major themes of the
laboratory are considered in the lecture course as well.
in the Natural World is
unlike other science courses. Rather
than changing topics weekly to track the lecture course, we will focus on a
limited number of topics that are interconnected so the experiences will build
from one week to the next.
in the Natural World is also
different than other laboratory courses because the laboratory procedures will
rarely be specified for you. Your
group of either two or four people will be given a problem, and it will be up to
you to figure out how to solve it! This
format minimizes the amount of preparation required of you prior to class, but
instead it forces you to work efficiently as a team.
The laboratory experience is one of discovery rather than recapitulating
worn out "follow the instructions" labs.
You will procede in the same way that scientists make new discoveries, by
making observations, forming, testing, and evaluating hypotheses.
Thus, you will be challenged, but your efforts will be more rewarding as
you solve the weekly problem.
course is designed to meet a number of specific objectives.
They are as follows:
Students will understand
that science is an objective process that allows them to distinguish between
adequate and inadequate explanations of natural phenomena.
Students will be able to
perform a complete scientific investigation of an appropriate, testable, and
measurable phenomenon of interest.
Students will be able to
apply the appropriate quantitative techniques to a data set such as graphical
analysis, algebraic and dimensional analysis, and statistical testing, and
correctly interpreting the result.
exercises will be centered on the theme of energy and specifically the influence
of the First (energy is neither created nor destroyed) and Second (energy
conversions have a natural direction and inefficiency) Laws of Thermodynamics on
the disciplines of Physics, Chemistry, and Biology.
As a result, students will have an understanding of how these laws apply
to the following topics:
Laws of Motion
and Kinetic Energy
Earthís Climate System
of Chemical Reaction
and Endothermic Reactions
Cellular Respiration and Photosynthesis
Flow in Ecosystems
Prof. Sue Hagen
110A De La Roche
Dr. Jerry Kiefer
21 De La Roche
Dr. John Kupinski
214 De La Roche
Prof. Amy Noga
106 De La Roche
Prof. Kevin Vogel
110B De La Roche
have regularly scheduled office hours that will be posted and announced in
class. If you are not available
during any of your instructorís scheduled office hours, please make an
appointment for another time.
During the second
week of the semester, you will receive a lab manual. This manual will contain all of the introductory materials to
be studied prior
to class including any pre-lab assignments; the laboratory exercises themselves
will be handed out at the beginning of each class.
The charge for the lab manual is included in the $35 course fee which
will be billed directly by the Bursarís Office.
expected to bring pencils and calculators to laboratory every week.
are available for use outside of the lab for independent projects.
If students wish to sign out lab materials, a refundable ten dollar
deposit will be collected.
schedule of topics on the last page lists what will be covered in lab on a
specific day. Cross attending of
laboratory sections is prohibited except as approved by the instructors.
Because much of the
work in laboratory is performed by groups and not by individuals, attendance in
laboratory is critical. The
exercises are specifically designed to be performed by teams; an individual
cannot be expected to do all of the work within the allocated time! When you
miss a class, you place an additional burden on your lab partners.
Be fair to your classmates and make every effort to attend class (see
peer evaluation system under grading below).
If you unexpectedly
miss a lab, you must contact your
instructor AND make alternate arrangements within 48 hours.
Except for documented absences relating to university functions, there
will be NO make-up labs. You will,
however, be given ONE opportunity to atone for a missed class by writing a paper
on an approved topic. These papers
will be due two weeks after the instructor has assigned it.
Failure to turn in this exercise on time or subsequent absences from
laboratory will result in a zero for that week (a loss of approximately seven
percent from your course grade). This option cannot be used as a substitute for the last lab exercise.
Expect the class to last the full two hours.
Depending on how efficiently your group attacks the weekly exercise,
individual sessions may run overtime. It
is advised that you do not schedule another class or other commitments within a
half hour of your appointed end time. Special
dispensations will not be made to accommodate schedule conflicts.
The bulk of
the course grade will be determined by the evaluation of weekly assignments.
These assignments will include: preparatory
homework, quizzes, and in-class lab reports.
In order to
maximize your success in the course, it is essential that you come to lab
prepared. Adequate preparation will
require you to study the introductory material in the lab manual and
complete the written assignment at the end of each reading.
There are two copies of the assignment so that you can hand one in to
your instructor and use the other copy for reference during class.
instructor will collect these assignments randomly and may also, as a substitute
or in addition, give an entrance quiz on the reading/written assignment.
You are guaranteed a minimum of
four quizzes/homework collections; the average of these scores will count as
the equivalent of an in-class lab report.
It will be
assumed that you understand the introductory materials when you come to class.
If you are having difficulties, please consult your instructor in
will be given an in-class assignment each week. These assignments are due at the end of the class period.
Under no circumstances will your group be allowed to take the assignment
out of class and hand it in at a later time.
Therefore, if your schedule allows, it is advised that you arrive early
and preview the lab. Classes will
begin on schedule and tardiness will not be tolerated.
in-class assignment will be weighted equally and your level of success on one
assignment does not predict or prevent success on any future assignments.
During the last week of the semester, you will be
given a cumulative final exam. All
students must take the final to earn course credit. This
exam will be counted as the equivalent of a weekly laboratory assignment and
calculated into the in-class portion of your course grade.
You have the option of dropping the lowest lab score (DOES NOT apply to
zeros accrued from unexcused absences. Refer
to the above attendance policy). If
you exercise this option, the lab final will count double.
Your option choice must be submitted in
writing prior to the final exam.
Each lab group will conduct an independent scientific investigation,
culminating in an oral presentation of results to the class and the writing of a
group scientific paper.
In order to receive a passing grade for the course, all students must
actively participate in an oral presentation and the
final laboratory report must receive a satisfactory score (60%).
Individual lab groups will choose the investigation topics in consultation
with the laboratory instructor. This project will fulfill several of the course
objectives outlined above including the use of statistical testing to evaluate
Each individual (anonymously) will rate all of the other members of their
group at the end of the course. Individual
peer evaluation scores will be the average of the points they receive from the
members of their group. These
evaluations will be used to adjust the score of the scientific investigation
project. If an individual
receives on average a 90% on the peer evaluations, the individual will receive
90% of his or her score on the scientific investigation project.
All students must receive at least 60% in the peer evaluation to pass
Scores below 60% clearly indicate that you have shirked your
instructors reserve the right to overrule the peer evaluation score if it
appears there is a miscarriage of justice.
Your course grade will be determined using the following grade scheme:
below 60% F
Inquiry in the
Natural World will follow the
published schedule with regard to adding and dropping the course.
Below are the important dates:
Last day to add/drop
Last day to withdraw without instructor permission
Last day to drop with a W
No student will be
allowed to drop the course after the November 14 deadline except for severe and
extenuating circumstances. Both
the lab instructor and the Dean of Clare College must approve these requests.