GENERAL EDUCATION COURSE PROPOSAL
WEBER STATE UNIVERSITY
PHYSICAL SCIENCE EMPHASIS
Date: September 8, 2009
Catalog Abbreviation:PHYS 2210
Title of Course for Catalog:Physics for Scientists and Engineers I
Course Number: 2210
Credit Hours: 5
Course description as you want it to appear in the catalog:
PHYS PS/SI2210. Physics for Scientists and Engineers I (5) F, S First semester of a two-semester sequence in calculus-based physics, primarily for students in science, math, computer science, and pre engineering. This semester covers topics in mechanics, including kinematics, Newton's laws, and the conservation laws of energy, linear momentum, and angular momentum. Also covered are topics in gravity, fluid mechanics, waves, and thermodynamics. Co-requisite: MATH SI1210. Class meets five hours per week in lecture/discussion format. One 3-hour lab per week (PHYS 2219).
This course is the first half of a two semester sequence in introductory physics, taught at a mathematical level requiring calculus. Topics covered include describing motion, gravity, fluids, waves and thermodynamics. Students develop a deeper understanding of the world they live in and how it works. This material is fully appropriate for General Education Physical Science credit.
“Physics for Scientists and Engineers I” meets each of the goals described in the Natural Sciences General Education Mission Statement, the Natural Sciences Learning Outcomes and the Physical Science Specific Learning Outcomes. The details of how these goals and learning outcomes are achieved are listed below.
NATURAL SCIENCES GENERAL EDUCATION MISSION STATEMENT
The mission of the natural sciences general education program is to provide students with an understanding and appreciation of the natural world from a scientific perspective. Science is a way of knowing. Its purpose is to describe and explain the natural world, to investigate the mechanisms that govern nature, and to identify ways in which all natural phenomena are interrelated. Science produces knowledge that is based on evidence and that knowledge is repeatedly tested against observations of nature. The strength of science is that ideas and explanations that are inconsistent with evidence are refined or discarded and replaced by those that are more consistent.
Science provides personal fulfillment that comes from understanding the natural world. In addition, experience with the process of science develops skills that are increasingly important in the modern world. These include creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, and communication of ideas. A person who is scientifically literate is able to evaluate and propose explanations appropriately. The scientifically literate individual can assess whether or not a claim is scientific, and distinguish scientific explanations from those that are not scientific.
Physics is the study of the laws that govern the natural world. By approaching topics such as motion, waves and heat from a scientific perspective students gain new appreciation for the world around them.
Physics is full of excellent illustrations of the testing and evolution of scientific ideas. Theories as well established as gravity continue to have new observations that further develop the theories. Students are encouraged to think critically about current theories (What do we know? How sure are we of what we know? What questions still remain?). What it means for ideas to be formed from a scientific foundation is emphasized throughout the course material.
PHYSICAL SCIENCE GENERAL EDUCATION COURSES
An approved physical science general education course will prepare a student tofulfill all of the natural science and physical science learning outcomes outlined below.
NATURAL SCIENCES LEARNING OUTCOMES
After completing the natural sciences general education requirements, students will demonstrate their understanding of general principles of science:
1.Nature of science. Scientific knowledge is based on evidence that is repeatedly examined, and can change with new information. Scientific explanations differ fundamentally from those that are not scientific.
As described previously, Physics has many examples of ideas that have evolved through the scientific process. This includes our understanding of fundamental topics such as mechanics, how and why objects move, and more abstract ideas like what heat is.
2.Integration of science. All natural phenomena are interrelated and share basic organizational principles. Scientific explanations obtained from different disciplines should be cohesive and integrated.
Physics aims to describe the underlying “laws” of the universe. The concepts of forces affecting motion, energy conservation, momentum conservation, etc are applicable to all fields of science.
3.Science and society. The study of science provides explanations that have significant impact on society, including technological advancements, improvement of human life, and better understanding of human and other influences on the earth’s environment.
Throughout history advances in physics have impacted society. Students are presented with scientific ideas in conjunction with practical applications and implications of those ideas. The understanding of pressure and buoyancy forces within a fluid has led to several technological advances. The laws of thermodynamics describe the functioning of refrigerators and air conditioners.
4.Problem solving and data analysis. Science relies on empirical data, and such data must be analyzed, interpreted, and generalized in a rigorous manner.
This course emphasizes both the conceptual basis of physical laws as well as the use of equations and mathematics for problem solving, including trigonometry. Quantitative calculations and graphical illustrations are used throughout the entire course content to further students’ understanding of the physical laws that describe nature. Students have an opportunity to collect data and perform analysis of their data in the lab portion of the course. Problem solving and data analysis also forms a portion of the students’ assessment and evaluation.
PHYSICAL SCIENCE SPECIFIC LEARNING OUTCOMES
Students will demonstrate their understanding of the following feature of the physical world:
1.Organization of systems: The universe is scientifically understandable in terms of interconnected systems. The systems evolve over time according to basic physical laws.
Students are taught to recognize systems in a variety of situations. Problems are often approached by first identifying the systems involved. One this has been done, students then learn to analyze the interactions within a system or between two or more systems.
2.Matter: Matter comprises an important component of the universe, and has physical properties that can be described over a range of scales.
Matter is considered from the fundamental level of the atom, up through the macroscopic scale of entire objects and groups of objects. Students learn the basic properties of matter such as mass, density and thermal conductivity. Interactions of matter are also discussed.
3.Energy: Interactions within the universe can be described in terms of energy exchange and conservation.
Energy conservation is one of the fundamental principles emphasized in all physics courses. Several physical problems can be solved by considering energy conservation, and students are given several opportunities to apply this concept. This course examines several different forms of energy, including mechanical energy, sound energy, heat, etc.
4.Forces: Equilibrium and change are determined by forces acting at all organizational levels.
Several types of forces over a large range of scales are considered. Newton’s laws of motion, which describe how forces affect motion and the criteria for equilibrium, are applied to a variety of situations.
COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING
1. Has this proposal been discussed with and approved by the department?
2. List those general education courses in other departments with similar subject matter and explain how this course differs.
No other general education course covers introductory physics concepts and thus there is no overlap with other courses.
3. If the proposed new general education course affects course requirements or enrollments in other departments, list the departments and programs involved and attach comments from each.
N/A This is not a new course, but a current general education course that is being reviewed.
4. Attach a topical outline of the course. Include the number of contact hours per week and the format of these hours (e.g., lecture, lab, field trip, etc.).
New Courses Only:
5. Discuss how you will assess student learning outcomes associated with this course
N/A This is not a new course, but a current general education course that is being reviewed.
Current General Education Courses and Existing Courses Seeking General Education Status:
6. Discuss how you have assessed the applicable or identified student learning outcomes associated with this course.
Assignments and examinations given in this course assess students’ understanding of all the learning goals and objectives discussed above. Conceptual questions probe understanding of what comprises a scientific idea and how these ideas evolve, as well as the implications of these ideas. Both conceptual and quantitative problems are used to examine the topics of matter, energy and forces. For example, for each of the following groups of learning objectives, some formative and summative assessment measures are listed. Each of these may be used by an instructor at his/her discretion, depending on teaching style, class size, course dynamics, etc.
Natural Sciences Learning Outcomes: Written homework responses (short response and essays),
Exam questions (free response and multiple choice), research papers, in-class discussion with feedback (e.g., minute papers, "clickers," etc.) guided laboratory exercises, and independent scientific research projects.
Physical Science Specific Learning Outcomes: In-class interactive exercises (e.g., "clickers," group responses to demonstration prompts, etc.), Homework exercises (short response and quantitative problem solving), Quiz problems (multiple choice conceptual problems and quantitative problem solving), Exam problems (multiple choice conceptual problems and quantitative problem solving), and guided laboratory exercises. In addition, annual department assessments have included an analysis of the results of a validated research instruments such as the "Force Concept Inventory" to assess student learning of these core concepts.
7. How has this assessment information been used to improve student learning?
Feedback regarding student performance is used to continually modify course material to better reach the learning goals and outcomes described above. For example, the laboratories have been continually resides during the past decade, and new pedagogies such as small group work and responses have been introduced in class to address conceptual problems.
This is the first semester of a two-semester sequence in calculus-based physics, primarily for students in science, math, computer science, and pre-engineering. This semester covers topics in mechanics, including kinematics, Newton's laws, and the conservation laws of energy, linear momentum, and angular momentum. Also covered are topics in gravity, fluid mechanics, waves, and thermodynamics. Class meets five hours per week in lecture/discussion format. There is one 3-hour lab per week (PHYS 2219).Prerequisites Math 1210 (co-requisite)
Class Times LL 121, 9:30 AM Monday - Friday
Required Texts Physics for Scientist and Engineers, 2nd Edition, Knight
Instructor John Armstrong
Office Hours SL 205, 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM, Mon and Weds, or by appointment
This course has two main goals:
1. Survey the physical laws and phenomena that describe the nature of the Universe
2. Develop a method for studying the world that is based on experimental verification and problem solving
You will find that physics is embedded in everything we see and do, from driving our cars and cooking dinner to probing the fundamental nature of matter. But physics is more than a body of knowledge. It is a method for exploring and understanding the way the world works. When you are done with this course, you will possess a full range of valuable analytical problem solving skills. You will also learn that the Universe is comprehensible, not only by some scientist, but by you.
Succeeding in Class
This course, and the materials in the course, are designed to help you learn physics. Like any complex mental activity, physics requires study and practice. Lucky for you, physics is also really fun! To succeed, you should take full advantage of the materials available. I recommend that you:
1. Prepare for class by reviewing the reading assignment. These are short reading assignments prior to each class to get you thinking about the discussion topics.
PHYS 2210: Physics for Scientists and Engineers IPHYS 2210: Physics for Scientists and Engineers I
2. Actively engage through class participation. We will be practicing physics in class through demonstrations, simulations, and experiments. Read your text and come prepared to participate.
3. Practice what you have learned through the workbook exercises.
4. Re-read the reading assignment.
5. Hone your problem solving skills through homework problems.
6. Assess what you have learned through exams.
All of our weekly assignments will be on Mastering Physics, due at 11:59 PM on Wednesday night, when the next homework is assigned. Late submissions will not be accepted (since I will be posting solutions on Thursday morning). All of the assignments in this class will be performed online, using the Mastering Physics Website: http://www.masteringphysics.com
This course will be using the Mastering Physics web resources supplied with your textbook. If you purchased a used textbook, you can purchase a subscription with a credit card on the web site. This is required for the course, as your Mastering Physics assignments will be recorded under your name in the online gradebook. The name of your course is ARMSTRONGPHYS2210F09. You will need this to register for our course on line.
There will be five equally weighted exams during the course. These serve as a measure of your 'retained' knowledge and will help you (and me) keep tabs on your progress. If you must miss and exam due to a prior commitment, you must make arrangements in advance. Makeup exams will not be given except under the most extreme circumstances. All exams will be held in LL 121 on the dates indicated.
Lab is a required component of this course, and you must be enrolled in a lab section. I will be doing my best to coordinate our schedule with the one in your lab, but be aware that some weeks we will cover topics after or before you cover them in lab.
Your grade will be compiled from homework, exams, and lab according to the following:
Mastering Physics 40%
Exams (5 exams @ 8% each) 40%
Lab Reports (Average from lab) 17%
Lab Final 3%
While I will not be taking attendance in class, you are encouraged to attend regularly. This is going to be an awesome, exciting class, so why would you want to be anywhere else?
Academic Integrity Regarding academic integrity, I will enforce policies as laid down in Section IV:D of the Student Responsibilities outlined in the Student Code. Specifically, no cheating or other forms of academic dishonesty will be tolerated. The first instance of cheating will result in a zero on that assignment. The second instance will result in failing the class. You will be working in groups occasionally, however, so you will be required to distinguish the difference between collaboration and cheating. When in doubt, make sure to give credit where credit is due.
Any students requiring accommodations or services due to a disability must contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) in room 181 of the Student Service Center. SSD can also arrange to provide course materials (including this syllabus) in alternative formats if necessary.
PHYS 2210: Physics for Scientists and Engineers I