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NS 241 Cultural and Historical Aspects of the Scientific Endeavor
Michael, Richard


Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.
CourseNS 241 Cultural and Historical Aspects of the Scientific Endeavor DN
SemesterS2J2005
FacultyMichael, Richard
TitleAdjunct Faculty
Degrees/CertificatesM.S., P.E.
Daytime Phone913-568-3658
E-MailRichard.Michael@park.edu
Richard_Michael@sbcglobal.net
Semester DatesMarch 14, 2005 to May 8, 2005
Class Days--T----
Class Time5:30 - 9:50 PM
Credit Hours3

Textbook:
Haber, Louis.  Black Pioneers of Science and Invention. An Odyssey Book, Harcourt Brace & Company, 1970

McGrayne, Sharon Bertsch, Nobel Prize Women in Science: Their Lives, Struggles, and Momentous Discoveries, Second Edition (2001) (ISBN 0-309-07270-0)  

NOTE:  This book is available in its entirety on the Web at: http://www.nap.edu/books/0309072700/html/

Students are strongly encouraged to purchase a print version of this book, but may choose instead to read this textbook online.  However, reading the entire book online can be very cumbersome, and the print copy is relatively inexpensive (roughly $20).

Textbooks can be purchased though the MBS bookstore

Additional Resources:
In addition to these required texts, the instructor has a limited number of  “loaner” supplemental texts:

Flowers, Charles.  A Science Odyssey.  William Morrow and Company.  New York.  Students do NOT need to purchase this book.  (A companion video tape series to this book is also available for checkout at the Park University main campus library.)


Course Description:
A history of science is presented in terms of the multicultural aspects of our scientific heritage.  Focus is upon the nature of scientific inquiry and the social factors affecting the participation of diverse groups of individuals in the advancement of science.  3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
Students learn best in a mutually supportive, student centered classroom environment.

Learning in science is best accomplished by:

• Developing an understanding of key concepts and principles
• Then challenging students to develop their understanding and their critical thinking skills by applying those concepts and principles to critically analyzing real life issues and problems relating to science and technology.
• Minimizing rote memorization.

“Science is built up of facts, as a house is with stones. But a collection of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house.”
-Henri Poincare

"Tell me and I forget; teach me and I may remember; involve me and I learn."

-Attributed to Benjamin Franklin.  Also credited in a slightly different form as a Chinese proverb.

Learning Outcomes:
Course Goals

Students will:

• Gain a greater awareness and appreciation of the role of human diversity in the development of our current understanding of the physical world.
• Gain independent critical inquiry and critical thinking skills and related knowledge which will benefit students in all aspects of their lives.
• Gain an improved understanding and appreciation of science and a “scientific approach” to learning and understanding and how to apply and use that understanding in their personal lives, their professional careers, and their roles as citizens in a democratic society.

Learning Objectives

The course is designed to:

• Familiarize the student with the nature of scientific inquiry and a scientific approach.
• Develop student appreciation and understanding of the importance of science in their lives, in society, and in the world we live in.
• Enable the student to gain “minds-on” experience with scientific inquiry and objective critical analysis by focusing on and analyzing issues related to the cultural and historic aspects of science.
• Develop student awareness and appreciation of the multicultural nature of our scientific heritage.
• Create in the student an enhanced appreciation and understanding of the historical conditions under which science developed and evolved.
• Identify and explore significant contributions by members of minority groups and by women – both in the past and present.
• Provide the student an opportunity to appreciate cultural differences and to share cultural experiences and values as they relate to science.
• Stimulate the student to employ science literacy and critical thinking skills and to demonstrate these skills by written and oral presentations.
• Help alleviate student apprehension and apathy by stimulating a long term interest in science.
• Develop student appreciation for his/ her role as an informed member of society and its physical environment.
• Foster team-working skills by collaborating with partners and in groups to critically analyze issues related to science.
• Improve essential information gathering skills and the ability to critically evaluate information found –essential skills for the Information Age.  This specifically includes using the Internet and electronic databases for research and communication, critically evaluating information quality and reliability, etc.
• Help students achieve the goals established by Park University for scientific and critical literacies.

Course Assessment:
Successful completion of this course will require that the student:

1. Attend class regularly, arrive on time and stay for the entire class period.
2. Demonstrate conduct conducive to positive academic environment.
3. Read all assignments, handouts, etc. and view all videos attentively.
4. Participate actively and thoughtfully in classroom activities, discussion and debate with reasonable frequency and competency.
5. Complete all examinations.  Exams are administered only on the date and at the time indicated in the course schedule or as announced in class.  Missing an exam will result in a grade of zero unless prior arrangements have been made with the instructor.  Anything related to the course may appear on the exams.  
6. Complete all written assignments, projects, etc. as instructed and submit these on time.  In-class projects, quizzes, and exercises may not be made up.  Oral presentations need to be presented on the date scheduled.  


The course emphasizes student active, inquiry centered learning.  Lectures, when used, will include opportunity for discussion and questions.  This is not a spectator course.  “Minds-on” problem solving, issue investigations and analyses, group discussions, student presentations, instructional videos, and use of the Park computer labs (as available) for web-based inquiry will be involved.  Guest speakers and/or a field trip or trips may also be involved.  Rote memorization is minimized.  Because of the issue-centered nature of much of the course content, for many or most questions analyzed there will not be a single “right” answer.

Grading:
Course grades are based on the following:
Percent
Midterm Exam 20%
Final examination 20%
Class participation and attendance* 15%
Critical Analysis Papers* 15%
Student Classroom Presentations* 10%
Community Resource Assignment* 10%
In-class projects, exercises, quizzes, assignments 10%
TOTAL =           100%

* Please see guidelines in this syllabus and/or first night handouts

NOTE:  To accommodate classroom interaction and material coverage, it may be necessary to change the numbers of exams or papers.  If this becomes necessary, the grade weighting listed above will be changed to reflect any necessary changes.

Course grading will be as follows:

90-100%=A 80-89%=B 70-79%=C 60-69%=D Less than 60 % = F

Late Submission of Course Materials:
It is expected that all work will be done conscientiously and submitted on time.  The instructor recognizes that emergencies do occur, so if circumstances beyond your control prevent timely submission of work, please confer with the instructor.

Several policies have been previously mentioned.  Active class participation by each and every student is particularly important, for individual and group learning and for individual grades.  Discussion of class topics, issues, and expressing various points of view is encouraged both inside and outside the classroom.  However, all submitted work must be your own, unless group effort is specifically authorized by the instructor.  

Writing papers together (unless specifically authorized by the instructor), copying papers or sections thereof, and other forms of plagiarism are unacceptable and may result in an “F” for the course.  

Whenever information from an outside source is used in a submitted paper or assignment, that information MUST be properly documented as to source.  This applies whether the information is quoted, paraphrased or simply used.

Unless specifically authorized by the instructor, assignments are to be typed or printed and checked for grammatical and typographical errors.   If a student is unclear about the guidelines or requirements for an assignment, please see the instructor.  

Additional information on attendance, or lack thereof, is covered under the section on grading participation.

Reference sources which are from the Internet need to be cited directly in the text of the document and on the reference list.  A hard copy of the article, information should also be submitted with the paper for all assignments.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Cell Phone and Pager Policy

Out of simple courtesy, please turn off cellular phones and beepers during class time.  If you absolutely must have these on because of family or work related responsibilities, please switch to silent, vibrating mode, and leave the classroom to answer essential calls.  

WeekDate Assignment
1March 15Please email your contact information before the first class to:
Richard.Michael@Park.edu
Please include the following  information – Your Name, Day & Evening Telephone Contact  Numbers, Preferred email address, Major, Class Standing (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior), What you want to gain from this class.
Class: Discussion – Chapters 1 and 2

Homework:  IMPORTANT Pre-Assignment

Please COMPLETE BEFORE First Class

Because of our ultra-accelerated eight week, eight class term, it is essential that we start quickly, and continue to work diligently throughout the term.

Please complete the following before our first class:

Read online

Land of Plenty: America's Competitive Edge in Science, Engineering, and Technology

http://www.nsf.gov/od/cawmset/report/cawmset_brochure.pdf

(Summary of the Report of the Congressional Commission on the Advancement of Women and Minorities in Science, Engineering and Technology Development)

Please come to our first class prepared to discuss your thoughts about the following statement:

“When any individuals, or groups – women, minorities, the physically challenged, etc.  –  are denied full equality of access to education or participation and advancement in science, engineering and, related fields, we ALL suffer the consequences!”


At your option, you may also choose to explore one or more of the following relevant web sites and related links on those pages:

http://www.astr.ua.edu/4000WS/4000WS.html

http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/srs/women/start.htm

http://www.mills.edu/ACAD_INFO/MCS/SPERTUS/Gender/wom_and_min.html


Please also read the first two chapters in our print textbook, Black Pioneers of Science and Invention

(If for any reason you have difficulty sending emails, or are challenged at finding and accessing sources on the Internet, please do not be concerned.  We will work together to develop our basic skills at finding, accessing, and evaluating information sources on the Internet – increasingly essential skills in this “Information Age”).

2March 22(More detailed course schedule and class meeting schedule will be announced on the first night of class.)
3March 29Critical analysis paper #1 due
Options:
1. Should we have developed and dropped the atomic bomb in WWII?
2. The Tuskegee Study
3. The Digital Divide
4. Environmental Justice / Environmental Equity
4April 5(More detailed course schedule and class meeting schedule will be announced on the first night of class.)
5April 12Midterm Exam & exam related group presentations
6April 19(More detailed course schedule and class meeting schedule will be announced on the first night of class.)
7April 26Critical analysis paper #2 due.  Options to be announced in class.
8May 3Community Resource Project due.  Final Exam

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.  
Park University 2004-2005 Undergraduate Catalog
Page 101

Plagiarism:
Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. <a href="http://www.park.edu/catalog">
Park University 2004-2005 Undergraduate Catalog</a> Page 101
All submitted work must be your own, unless group effort is specifically authorized by the instructor.  

Writing papers together (unless specifically authorized by the instructor), copying papers or sections thereof, and other forms of plagiarism are unacceptable and may result in an “F” for the course.  

Whenever information from an outside source is used in a submitted paper or assignment, that information MUST be properly documented as to source.  This applies whether the information is quoted, paraphrased or simply used.

Unless specifically authorized by the instructor, assignments are to be typed or printed and checked for grammatical and typographical errors.   If a student is unclear about the guidelines or requirements for an assignment, please see the instructor.  

Additional information on attendance, or lack thereof, is covered under the section on grading participation.

Reference sources which are from the Internet need to be cited directly in the text of the document and on the reference list.  A hard copy of the article, information should also be submitted with the paper for all assignments.

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "WH".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2004-2005 Undergraduate Catalog Page 100

Disability Guidelines:

Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all learners that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to learners concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding learners with disabilities and, to the extent of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page:
http://www.park.edu/disability
 
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SPECIAL NOTES

This syllabus is subject to change at the discretion of the instructor. Material included is intended to provide an outline of the course and rules to which the instructor will adhere in evaluating the student's progress. However, this syllabus is not intended to be a legal contract. Questions regarding the syllabus are welcome any time.

The instructor is committed to an appreciation of diversity and to respect for the differences among the diverse individuals and diverse groups comprising our students.  

This course will help to foster a multi-cultural education in a positive, mutually supportive classroom environment that embraces our diversity.  

Directly parallel to the themes of the course, we will work together to increase our understanding and appreciation of our individualities, our commonalities, and our differences.

Acknowledgements

Appreciation is expressed to Tim Schoof, Ed.D., M.S., MBA and Margaret Monahan, R.N., M.S. for their generous permission to use and adapt materials developed by each of them, both in this syllabus and in the course.

Copyright:
This material is copyright and can not be reused without author permission.