NS304 Science, Technology, and Society

for U1F 2006

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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.


NS 304 Science, Technology, and Society


U1F 2006 MY


Espinal, Jack L.


Adjunct Faculty


Master of Science

Office Location

Fort Myer

Office Hours

By Appointment

Daytime Phone

703 607 7864

Other Phone

703 534 7484




Web Page


Semester Dates

29 May 2006 – 30 July 2006

Class Days


Class Time

5:00 - 10:00 PM



Credit Hours


Sagan, Carl.  The Demon-Haunted World Science as a Candle in the Dark.  Random House, 1995

Textbooks can be purchased though the MBS bookstore

Additional Resources:
Feynman Richard P. The Pleasure of Finding Things Out.  Perseus Books, 1999
Nickell, Joe. The Outer Edge.  CSICOP, 1996
Ronan, Colin.  Science Explained.  Henry Holt and Company, 1993
Hawking, Stephen W.  A Brief History of Time. Bantam Books, 1988
Terzian Yervant.  Carl Sagan's Universe.  Cambridge University Press 1997
Filkin, David.  Stephen Hawking's Universe - The Cosmos Explained. Harper Collins, 1997
Resources for Independent Thinking - http://www.rit.org/
CSICOP / Skeptical Inquirer - http://www.csicop.org/si/
The Sagan Society - http://www.uga.edu/~dogsbody/
Metropolitan District of Washington Park Site http://www.park.edu/virginia  
Park University Library http://www.park.edu/library/index.asp
Quantico Marine Corps Base Family Library http://www.quantico.usmc-mccs.org/quanticolibrary.htm
Fort Myer Post Library http://www.fmmcmwr.com/librarymyer.htm

Course Description:
Relationship between science, technology, and society.  Topics include: the two cultures, the relationship between basic science and technology, the effects of technology upon society, and possible future technologies.  3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
The instructor's educational philosophy based on student interactions using discussions, readings, lab experiments, observations, quizzes, examinations, video, internet-mail exchange and writings.  The instructor will engage each learner in the lively exploration of science and the scientific method, discussions of readings, oral reports/presentations; field trips; videos, and other media that may be deemed appropriate and available.  Collaborative learning techniques will be used to analyze and solve problems in small groups. This course presents basic principles of Sciences they relate to everyday experiences.  It will help prepare you to make decisions about important environmental, social, and ethical issues that face our society and our small planet.  You will learn to use the scientific method in gathering information needed to make those decisions.  Together, we will explore the world around us using science as a tool for understanding.  Astrology, alien life, fortune telling, visions, and extrasensory perception will be examined from a scientific perspective. The mutual interaction of science and society will be stressed throughout the course. This will provide students with skills needed to extract scientific truth form the world around them and make informed decisions.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain the scientific method and use it understand the environment and solve problems.
  2. Explain the difference between science and non science subjects.
  3. Demonstrate how observation and perception impacts science and scientists.
  4. Explain the contributions of Nicholas Tesla to modern technology.  List his inventions that are still in use today.
  5. Students will be able to evaluate evidence of UFOs and alien abductions. They will understand the concept of extraordinary evidence being required for extraordinary claims.
  6. Students will be able to explain the issues surrounding diseases like hoof and mouth, anthrax, and mad cow disease on society.
  7. Given a health claim, students will be able to research and determine its veracity.
  8. Students will be able to explain the science behind electricity, light, and radiation. They will be able to apply these principles to analyze problems facing society.
  9. Students will be able to explain how psychics and magicians track their audiences.
  10. Students will be able to use logic, skepticism and principles of science to investigate phenomena in the environment.
  11. Describe the evidence that will be necessary for a scientists to except a claim of extraterrestrial intelligence.
  12. Describe the methodology currently use to search for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence.
  13. Students will be able to explain how science and society interact with each other.
  14. Students will demonstrate principles of observation when performing simple science experiments.
  15. Students will be able to make a can minute presentation that provides a biography and the contributions to science of and assigned scientist.
Class Assessment:
Assessment of learning will be determined by using the following:
1. Film Assessment: Students will review 6 science related, in-class Video Tapes/DVDs shown in class using a study group format.  
2. Quizzes: Both announced and unannounced quizzes on material will be administered.
3. Mid-term and Final Exams: Students will complete two examinations.
4. Research Project and Presentations: A topic is to be chosen, research material gathered, and a paper formulated. Research material should be information gathered from, but not limited to, academic journals. Popular magazines should not be included. A minimum of 3 academic references must be used and cited. Select a topic from those provided on the first day of class.

The final course grade will be determined by the following measurements:
1. Film Assessment 20 percent
2. Quizzes 20 percent
3. Midterm 15 percent
4. Final Examination 20 percent
4. Research Project and Presentation 10 percent
5. Field Trip and Presentation 15 percent

Final course grading scale:
93-100 % = A
83-92 %  = B
73-82 %  = C
63-72 %  = D
62 % and below or more than 15 hours of course time missed) = F

Late Submission of Course Materials:
If an assignment is due on a night that the student is not present, it is the student's responsibility to get the assignment to the instructor on the due date. Assignments will not be accepted after three dates of the due date without prior approval from the instructor.  Video Tapes and DVDs show in class cannot be made-up..

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Class participation is expected and will form a part of the final grade.   Students are expected to come to all classes and be on time. Roll will be checked each class meeting. Students are required to read all assigned material prior to class.  Classes missed for legitimate reasons, such as illness, temporary duty, are excusable; however, the student must make up the missed work as follows: written chapter problem solutions/comments must be turned in by e-mail prior the missed class session.  Written solutions to problems and discussion subjects covered in class will be prepared and presented to the instructor at an agreed upon date and an additional ten chapter questions will be completed. (a partial failing grade for class participation will be assessed for un-excused absences).  Exercises done in class and associated study guides cannot be made up.  Students missing class will receive zeros for these assignments.   The course web page - http://www.jespinal.com - contains electronic copies of many of the exercises and practice sets used in class.  Browse the web page to see what is there.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
See attached Table

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 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-87

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. Park University 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-87

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 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89

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. 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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Last Updated:5/10/2006 11:16:35 AM